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.
Last December's Daring Baker's Challenge was to make a Buche de Noel, which seemed complicated at the time but was nowhere near the steps required for this French Yule Log. All the steps were fairly easy, just time consuming. And it took a lot of planning ahead of time to make sure everything required for each part was ready to go.
Take the Praline Feuillete (Crisp) Insert layer. It only had four ingredients, but two were items we had to make - the praline paste and the lace gavottes. Praline paste necessitated the peeling and roasting of hazelnuts, which I had in the freezer, but this time around I found the best way on the internet which made life so much easier. Rose Levy Barenbaum describes a way to peel hazelnuts that involves boiling them in water and baking soda, what a life saver.
My little sister Julianna is visiting from Christmas through New Year's Eve, so we devoted an entire day to the making of this French Yule Log. (There she is while I was working on taking photos.) She made the feuillette and the crisps and helped with everything else as well. It was definitely helpful to have an extra pair of hands!
As I made this recipe I discovered I didn't have a loaf pan. I'm sure I used to, but either I threw it out or it is hiding with the springform pan that has also taken a vacation. I looked around and discovered the ice tub that comes with the fridge sitting on top of the fridge, and it was just about the right size, so I lined it with cardboard from the chocolate boxes, plastic wrap, and we went from there.
We had slices of the French Yule log tonight after making pizzas (a la Daring Bakers Challenge October 2008) and the verdict was torn. The person that didn't do any of the work thought it was great, and loved all the different tastes and textures. Those of us who did the work would have made less components. I could have done without the chocolate creme brulee - it was icey in the slice and didn't have a lot of flavor (while excellent slightly chilled, it just takes the longest to unthaw). The dark chocolate mousse was amazing and was a nice companion to the ganache and feuillette.
As 2008 comes to a close, I'll take this opportunity to extend best wishes to everyone for 2009. You never know what's in store!
Categories: Cake, Chocolate, Daring Bakers, Hazelnuts, Holiday, Mousse