Sunday, December 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge December 2008 - French Yule Log

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.

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.

Milk chocolate praline feuillette
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.

Sister helping with photo shoot
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!

Layers out of the freezer
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

25 comments:

Nikita's Mom said...

excellent job! like you, i had to learn from the internet (julia child) how to skin hazelnuts!! your log looks delish!!!

Barbara Bakes said...

How naught for the loaf pan and the springform pan to run off together like that! How nice that you got to make it with your sister!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great log! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Me! said...

Yours looks great and glad to hear everyone else liked it, even if you didn't. My creme brulee layer was icey too. And my crisp layer didn't work out so well. I kinda wonder if I would have been happy if I just made the mousse.

Nichole said...

It looks beautiful!

Hilda said...

Wonderful job tackling this! I'm just sorry it didn't come out to your liking. But at least you now have an arsenal of recipes you can use to make different versions (with less layers). Have a Happy New Year!

MeetaK said...

Way to go Jenny! Well done on this challenge!
Wishing you and your family a happy new year!

Jenny said...

Good creativity for the pan. :-)

Jude said...

I would've just scratched my head if I didn't have a loaf pan. NIce save!

Sarah said...

good job! i am sure you enjoyed having a helper!

Nate-n-Annie said...

congratulations on getting it done. That was a tough challenge!

Gretchen Noelle said...

The ice tub was a good save. Loaf looks great and I am sure it was fun to bake with your sister around as well!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Happy holidays! Haha, I totally get what you said about the log 'makers' and the 'eaters'! Very different point of views! Bravo on getting it done without a loaf tin! :P

Aparna said...

Its nice to see your log has turned out so well. I definitely would have helped if had an extra pair of hands helping me, you were lucky.
That ice tub idea is great. I never thought of that!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year.

About your question about the agar, it was invisible in this dessert both tastewise and smellwise.

Lorraine E said...

Wow, you made the praline paste? I thought that the 6 elements were enough but to do more shows dedication. Good improv with the ice box too.

Haha the reaction was the same here. Hubby loved it but I was a bit PTSD'd about it :P

Baking Soda said...

You earned bonuspoints for creative thinking! I can relate to what you said about the difference between makers and eaters! Happy New Year!

Hannah said...

I know my creme brulee layer may sound iffy, but seriously, you don't taste the tofu and the jam was very sweet to begin with!

Anyway, your yule log came out wonderfully, despite all of the obstacles you had to overcome. :)

breadchick said...

I agree the mousse was fantastic but the dessert was a bit over the top.

Well done on the challenge and how much fun to share the tasks with family.

Y said...

I've never heard that tip about peeling hazelnuts before. Interesting! Was it miles easier than roasting and rubbing the skins off? Great looking log, by the way!

Faery said...

Your yule log is fabulous, a good idea to have an extra pair of hands...I did not have help so I was sooo tired ;)

Tartelette said...

Beautiful log Jenny!

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Looks great, and how fun to do it with your sister.
Snapper

Rysheda said...

Wow... Your log looks like death by chocolate with the chocolate creme brulee layer! It looks amazing. Great challenge. Happy New Year.

teafactory said...

ahh...i see another lindt lover! Log looks tasty! Happy new year :)

Kelly said...

What fun to share the baking with your sister. And how creative to make your own loaf pan! Great job!