Sunday, December 28, 2008

Le Défi de décembre du Boulanger qui ose (Daring Baker’s December Challenge)

This month the Daring Bakers went French with a French Yule Log recipe. What is the difference between a French and a typical “American” Yule Log? The “American” Yule log is made of cake and buttercream and it is rolled very similar to a jelly roll. The French Yule log is a cream based dessert, layered with different textured inserts, and served frozen (like ice cream cake).
This month’s challenge was not too challenging. It seemed overwhelming at first because there was a lot of steps and a lot of layers, but really the challenge here was organization. After reading through the entire recipe, you have to create a game plan for completion. I did the loaf over three days. You can do it in one day, but I like to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible since it is the holiday season and I am home for break. So, below is the order by day of what I completed. Enjoy!

By the way- I am at home for the holidays and completed this challenge for a dinner party my mother was hosting. I got the biggest compliments about this dessert- This is just like a dessert you would pay $20 or more for in an upscale restaurant. THAT was the biggest compliment ever and brought a HUGE smile to me face!

DAY ONE

Dacquoise Biscuit (Almond “Cake”)
This layer was pretty uneventful. I followed the directions as written. I did make my own almond meal. Score one for me!

Raspberry Crème Brulee
I have never made a crème brulee before, but if I have learned anything from “Top Chef” this season- you have to give it adequate time to cook. (All you “Top Chef” fans out there will know what I am talking about). So

Changes
- I did not have a vanilla bean. So, I used a little vanilla extract.
- By the namesake, you can tell I added raspberry puree. I pushed about 6oz of fresh raspberries through a sieve. Because raspberries are slightly bitter, I added 2 tbs of confectioners sugar (in addition to the sugar already in the recipe).
- After reading a lot of comments regarding the temperature of the oven to bake the crème brulee and doing some on-line research, I decided to bake mine at 275 degrees.

Milk Chocolate Almond Praline Feuillete
At first I was going to skip the praline part of this step. Truthfully, I wanted to be lazy and I did not want to dirty up another pan. But, then I decided if I was going to do this thing I was going to go all out.

I am at home for Winter Break and my mom is in a new house. I have to get acquainted with the new kitchen ware. One particular challenge is the stove. Our old stove and my stove in my apartment at school are both electric. The stove in the new home is gas. Gas cooks differently then electric. Long story not so short, I burnt the chocolate using the double boiler method. Instead of trying on top of the stove again, I just melted the chocolate in the microwave. And I just remembered, I forgot the butter. Oh, well. Still tasty.

Changes
- I made an almond praline paste. I used a lot more than 2 Tbs, but I am not sure of the exact measure. I just put some sugar in the pain and almonds and then ground all that down to a paste and then threw it all in the crisp insert layer.
- I used Rice Krispies cereal. (I did not have the time nor patience nor extra eggs to make the crepes myself. In the future I will, I promise :-)

White Chocolate Chantilly
I love the combination of white chocolate and raspberries. Since I did the raspberry crème brulee, I thought it would be nice to so the mousse in white chocolate. I did not make the mousse however, because the recipe called for gelatin and as a vegetarian, I don’t do gelatin (it is made from animal bones—just in case you did not know and was wondering). So, I did a chantilly instead.

Changes
- It was not intentional, but since reading must not be my forte, I misread the recipe and but in 2 Tbs of corn syrup instead of 2 tsp.

At the end of day one, I put the crème brulee in the freezer and the Dacquoise, Praline Crisp, and Chantilly base in the fridge.

DAY TWO

White Chocolate Chantilly (continued)
I only made the base for the chantilly on day one. Today, I whipped it up. It whipped up beautifully and though I added too much corn syrup it is not overly sweet.

ASSEMBLY

Assembly went pretty uneventful. I placed the Dacquoise on the bottom of the loft pan, followed by Chantilly Cream, followed by the Crème Brulee, followed by more Chantilly Cream, followed by the Praline Crisp, and the last layer of Chantilly Cream. After which, I placed the almost completed loaf in the freezer to set up before the final two steps.

I had a lot of praline crisp left over. I would suggest cutting that recipe in half.

Milk Chocolate Ganache
I was surprised of the caramelized sugar taste you could taste in the ganache layer. I am glad I decided to follow the recipe, exactly, and caramelize the sugar.
At the end of day two, the entire loaf is in the freezer and awaiting icing on day three.

DAY THREE

Milk Chocolate Icing
This is another element that called for gelatin. I did not have access to agar agar and truthfully, I am not sure I saw the need for it. So, I decided to just forgo the gelatin, not replace it, and just make a simple ganache. The ganache icing turned out just fine. Score another point for vegetarianism :-)
All in all great challenge and it was yummy. Though I am not a huge crème brulee fan. The rest was fantastic.

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.

22 comments:

  1. Very well done! Your log looks great!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Wow, the white chocolate mousse looks gorgeous and so yummy! I'm not a huge fan of creme brulee either :P

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  3. Looks really tasty. Have to admit that raspberry creme brulee sounds tasty, even though it wasn't your favorite. Great job!!!

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  4. Well done and very nicely glaced.
    Cheers,
    Elra

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  5. Fantastic job! I'm so glad you liked it and were nicely complimented on it (it makes all the work worth it doesn't it?) Have a very Happy New Year!

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  6. Great job on your challenge, looks fantastic and have a great new year.

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  7. This looks delicious! I love the flavors you chose...they sound fabulous.

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  8. Not only does this look appetizing it was DELICIOUS!

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  9. Looks great! That is quite a compliment...I didn't get anything close to that. My dad was even like "Not your greatest challenge!" Well then! Yours is wonderful.

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  10. Great job on your Yule Log! It looks awesome.

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  11. your yule-log looks spectacular! Lovin' the extra thick slices! Great job on this month's challenge

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  12. Congratulations on the compliments! It's always rewarding after a challenging task.

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  13. Great job on this challenge. Cooking with gas is totally different - I have had my share of burnt offerings since I switched!

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  14. wonderful job, I got a lot of compliments too. Especially after describing each of the layers, lol!

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  15. I wondered about just leaving the gelatin out of the ganache, since I've never made ganache with it in there before. Now I know, thanks. Your log looks lovely, and I like your flavor choices.

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  16. Well done! You are right that the key to this was organisation...!

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  17. It looks great, not as rich as the original recipe :)

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  18. Very, very nicely done on your challenge this month

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  19. Ahh yours sounds so good! I'm a fruit person. Why did I not use fruit? Great idea on the creme brulee and chantilly!

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  20. Great job! What a great way to end a dinner party. Very impressive indeed:)

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