Daring Bakers, December: A French Yule Log
Here we go again! At the beginning of the month, the Daring Bakers (DBers) are assigned a secret recipe by that month's host(s). At the end of the month, the DBers reveal their results!
This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.
They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.
You can find the recipe on Hilda's and Marin's blogs.
Basically, from top to bottom, you've got an dacqoise biscuit (almond cake), dark chocolate mousse, creme brulee, more chocolate mousse, praline layer, more chocolate mousse, a layer of dark chocolate ganache, and another layer of dacquoise biscuit, all covered in dark chocolate glaze. Yup.
I had a little hiccup with the creme brulee; I lined my baking pan with parchment, but some of the mixture seeped under it, setting up around the parchment. I had to scrape it off the parchment after it had set a little, clumsily reform it, then freeze it so it would set completely. Thus, my creme brulee looks a little disgruntled, sort of like Cartman from South Park. ><
Carving away servings revealed a gentler, kinder yule log. The so-called perfect bite comprises each element of the log. The perfect bite is sorta big. Just like the yule-time spirit!
Mellow log. Cool log. Much more content. Also, room temperature, so I didn't have to use a power tool to slice. Mmm.
Here's a closeup of all the components. The top layer of biscuit dacquoise is just hidden under the glacage (fancy French for icing or glazing). The praline was a big favorite. I made almond praline, crumbled it up, then crumbled up some European wafer cookies, similar to Italian pirhouettes, but sturdier so that they maintained their crunch once stirred into the lovely melted dark chocolate.
There's gelatin in the mousse and icing recipes, and I'm not fond of the consistency agar agar produces, so for my vegetarian dinner guest, I made a mini dessert using the elements that were not made with ground-up animal parts.
She warmed it in the microwave a bit because I'd almost forgotten it until my boyfriend reminded me. It was pretty frozen even after sitting out for a bit, but it melted beautifully in the microwave.
In conclusion: this log was almost as good as last year's coffee buttercream traditional log, and in some ways, better!
Check out the other DBers' French yule logs. Make one of your own, even--it's a fun challenge. Or buy one from AJ's in the frozen food section (no, I didn't, but I did wonder if other DBers were considering it!). Whatever you do, have a safe, happy, and satisfying holidays!