Welcome to the December 2008 Daring Bakers challenge! Yeah!
And the Challenge this month is…
A French Yule Log!!!
To start with, our hosts for this month were Hilda of Saffron (http://saffronandblueberry.blogspot.com/) & Blueberry & Marion of Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux (Il en faut peu pour etre heureux (http://ilenfautpeupour.canalblog.com/).
The recipe this months comes from: http://plaisirgourmand.perso.cegetel.net/index.html.
The author is : Flore
Here is what our hosts say about our challenge this month:
“SO, what is a French Yule Log you say & how is it different from the Yule Log we made last December if you were a member then? In France you can buy 2 kinds of Yule log, either the Genoise & Buttercream type that we made last December, or what is more commonly purchased which is a frozen Yule Log very reminiscent of an ice cream cake, only often it’s not made of ice cream but rather frozen mousse of some sort. In French this is called an entremets which is sometimes loosely translated in English as simply a cream dessert. This also means that this recipe is not holiday-specific, it is also just a scrumptious dessert recipe.”
“This recipe comes almost entirely, except for one small labeled portion & some of the variations courtesy of our dear Daring Baker Fairy Tartelette, from the website: Florilège Gourmand (address above) which belongs to Flore (who has not disclosed her last name to me in my exchanges with her) & is unreal. Her website is in French & different portions of the recipe have been pulled from the recipes in the entremets section.”
“So, to the business of our Yule log:
#2 THE CHALLENGE RULE is that you MUST MAKE ALL 6 of these elements for the log:
1) Dacquoise Biscuit
3) Ganache Insert
4) Praline (Crisp) Insert
5) Creme Brulee Insert
The assembly will essentially be a Dacquoise Biscuit at the bottom, & the inserts inter-layered with mousse, with an icing finish. That’s about it for rules. Oh yeah, please have fun!”
We were able to use different flavor components to our Yule Log, I will only be sharing the ones that I used, you can find all the delicious different flavors of each component at all of the other Daring Bakers sites: http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/
FRENCH YULE LOG OR ENTREMETS RECIPE by Flore of Florilège Gourmand
Element #1 Dacquoise Biscuit (Almond Cake)
Preparation time: 10 min + 15 min for baking
Equipment: 2 mixing bowls, hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment, spatula, baking pan such as a 10”x15” jelly-roll pan, parchment paper
Note: You can use the Dacquoise for the bottom of your Yule Log only, or as bottom & top layers, or if using a Yule log mold (half-pipe) to line your entire mold with the biscuit. Take care to spread the Dacquoise accordingly. Try to bake the Dacquoise the same day you assemble the log to keep it as moist as possible.
2.8 oz (3/4cup + 1Tbsp / 80g) almond meal
1.75 oz (1/2 cup / 50g) confectioner’s sugar
2Tbsp (15g) all-purpose flour
3.5oz (100g / ~100ml) about 3 medium egg whites (I used Ener-G egg replacer for 2 eggs, as well as 1 tsp each of baking powder and vinegar)
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
1. Finely mix the almond meal and the caster sugar. (If you have a mixer, you can use it by pulsing the ingredients together for no longer than 30 seconds).
2. Sift the flour into the mix.
3. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff.
4. Pour the almond meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula.
5. Grease a piece of parchment paper and line your baking pan with it.
6. Spread the batter on a piece of parchment paper to an area slightly larger than your desired shape (circle, long strip etc…) and to a height of 1/3 inches (8mm).
7. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 15 minutes (depends on your oven), until golden.
8. Let cool and cut to the desired shape.
Element #2 Dark Chocolate Mousse I used:
CREAMY DESSERT PUDDINGS This recipe was created by one of our cooking instructors at the McDougall Program, Alex Bury. Prep: 10 min Chill: opt Serves: 4
2 12.3 ounce boxes lite silken tofu (1 box silken, 1 box firm)
½ cup Wonderslim cocoa powder
¾ cup agave nectar (use ½ cup honey)
¼ cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
Place all ingredients into a food processor & process until creamy & smooth. Serve at once or cover & refrigerate until serving time.
Element #3 Dark Chocolate Ganache Insert
Preparation time: 10 min
Equipment: pan, whisk. If you have an immersion blender, it comes in handy.
Note: Because the ganache hardens as it cools, you should make it right before you intend to use it to facilitate piping it onto the log during assembly. Please be careful when caramelizing the sugar & then adding the cream. It may splatter & boil.
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
4.5oz (2/3 cup – 1 Tbsp/ 135g) heavy cream (35% fat content) (soy creamer)
5 oz (135g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
3Tbsp + 1/2tsp (45g) unsalted butter softened (Earth Balance)
1. Make caramel: Using the dry method, melt the sugar by spreading it in an even layer in a small saucepan with high sides. Heat over medium-high heat, watching it carefully as the sugar begins to melt. Never stir the mixture. As the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan occasionally to allow the sugar to melt evenly. Cook to dark amber color (for most of you that means darker than last month’s challenge).
2. While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until boiling. Pour cream into the caramel & stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter & boil.
3. Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate. Wait 30 seconds & stir until smooth.
4. Add the softened butter & whip hard & fast (if you have a plunging mixer use it). The chocolate should be smooth & shiny.
Element #4 Praline Feuillete (Crisp) Insert
Ingredients for the Praline Feuillete:
3.5 oz (100g) milk chocolate (dark chocolate)
1 2/3 Tbsp (25g) butter (Earth Balance)
2 Tbsp (1 oz / 30g) praline (Hazelnut pralines from last months challenge)
2.1oz (60g) lace crepes(gavottes)/rice krispies/corn flakes/Special K (Nutty Rice, gluten free cereal)
1. Melt the chocolate & butter in a double boiler.
2. Add the praline & the coarsely crushed lace crepes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate.
3. Spread between 2 sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.
Element #5 Vanilla Crème Brulée Insert
It is not a crème brulée per see, it’s a recipe for “Pastry Cream” (Custard) a few alternative bakers used this one as a sub. I think it ended up too floury to me, but it wasn’t bad.
From “The Joy of Vegan Baking” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (Highly recommend)
65g granulated sugar (1/3c)
16g unbleached AP flour (2 tablespoons)
32g cornstartch (4 tablespoons)
60ml water (1/4c)
315ml nondairy milk (I’ve used soy & it works well) (1 1/3c)
2 teaspoons lemon or vanilla extract
Beat together sugar, flour, cornstartch & water on high speed until creamy, about 2 mintues. Set aside.
Bring milk to a simmer, pour about 80ml (1/3cup) of hot milk into the sugar mixture & stir to combine. Add the mixture back to the saucepan with the milk. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. It will begin to thicken immediately.
Scrape the bottom & sides of pan as you whisk. Cook until it begins to bubble, then whisk (as vigorously as you can) for 30 secs, and remove from heat. Stir in extracts. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Element #6 Dark Chocolate Icing
Preparation time: 25 minutes (10mn if you don’t count softening the gelatin)
Equipment: Small bowl, small saucepan
Note: Because the icing gelifies quickly, you should make it at the last minute.
For other gelatin equivalencies or gelatin to agar-agar equivalencies, look at the notes for the mousse component.
4g / ½ Tbsp powdered gelatin or 2 sheets gelatin (vegan gelatin powder)
¼ cup (60g) heavy cream (35 % fat content) (soy creamer)
2.1 oz (5 Tbsp / 60g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50g) water
1/3 cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Soften the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
2. Boil the rest of the ingredients and cook an additional 3 minutes after boiling.
3. Add to the chocolate mixture. Mix well.
4. Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well (it is starting to gelify), use immediately.
How To Assemble your French Yule Log
Depending on whether your mold is going to hold the assembly upside down until you unmold it or right side up, this order will be different.
THIS IS FOR UNMOLDING FROM UPSIDE DOWN TO RIGHT SIDE UP.
You will want to tap your mold gently on the countertop after each time you pipe mousse in to get rid of any air bubbles.
1) Line your mold or pan, whatever its shape, with rhodoid (clear hard plastic, I usually use transparencies cut to the desired shape, it’s easier to find than cellulose acetate which is what rhodoid translates to in English) OR plastic film. Rhodoid will give you a smoother shape but you may have a hard time using it depending on the kind of mold you’re using.
2) Pipe one third of the Mousse component into the mold.
3) Take the Creme Brulee Insert out of the freezer at the last minute & set on top of the mousse. Press down gently to slightly ensconce it in the mousse.
4) Pipe second third of the Mousse component around & on top of the Creme Brulee Insert.
5) Cut the Praline/Crisp Insert to a size slightly smaller than your mold so that it can be surrounded by mousse. Lay it on top of the mousse you just piped into the mold.
6) Pipe the last third of the Mousse component on top of the Praline Insert.
7) Freeze for a few hours to set. Take out of the freezer.
8 ) Pipe the Ganache Insert onto the frozen mousse leaving a slight edge so that ganache doesn’t seep out when you set the Dacquoise on top.
9) Close with the Dacquoise.
Freeze until the next day.
THE NEXT DAY…
Unmold the cake/log/whatever & set on a wire rack over a shallow pan. Cover the cake with the icing. Let set. Return to the freezer.
You may decorate your cake however you wish. The decorations can be set in the icing after it sets but before you return the cake to the freezer or you may attach them on top using extra ganache or leftover mousse, etc…
Transfer to the refrigerator no longer than ½ hour before serving as it may start to melt quickly depending on the elements you chose.
This is a tip I got from a fellow DB’er and it helped a lot!
Make these first in this order:
1. Creme Brulee (freeze then cut)
2. Mouse (refrigerate at least 1 hour)
3. Praline insert (freeze then cut)
Then assemble these 3 items & freeze for 2-3 hours until set.
Now make these:
1. Dacquoise Biscuit (allow to cool and cut)
2. Ganache Insert (pipe on previous frozen Yule log)
Finish assembly and FREEZE UNTIL NEXT DAY.
Lastly make Icing, remove log from mold & coat.
I forgot to say how much I liked this one. It tastes great (although I usually scrape off 1/2 of the creme brulee layer).