Sunday, December 28, 2008

FRENCH YULE LOG- Daring Bakers

I know, you were expecting the classic French Yule Log, with the rolled cake in a tree form. Well I learned something this month. The French use that one but they also use this one as well. It is a frozen mousse type confection/pastry. They call it an entrement. From what I understand it is more popular than the former. The French really do make wonderful desserts. Everything really.

I have to say, that this month's Daring Bakers challenge was the most challenging thus far. The French Yule Log has so many elements. It was quite involved. It's not that it was terribly difficult but it was very time consuming. In my opinion it really wasn't worth the end product. Not that I think anyone's would be bad. In fact, I bet Tartelette's was amazing! And I am quite sure most of the DBer's would have amazing cakes as they are such talented people. There were some factors stacked against me for this challenge.

First up, I have never had a log like this so I had no experience to go by.

Second, the timing, meaning the most hectic month for me, was difficult to put aside time for such a lengthy process.

The elements were fabulous in and of themselves, but I just wasn't wowed by the end result (probably my doing).

One of the things that I personally would change would be to break up the feuillete insert so that you could cut through it easily without damaging the mousse. My cake just went SMUSH went I tried to cut it.

Also, the "icing" that you pour over it turned to a skin like texture. So my guests and I kind of peeled it off and put it aside. That I will definitely take responsibility for. Probably too much gelatin or something like that.

Now, maybe this sounds terrible, but I would make a few of these elements again but I would layer them in a wine glass or something and serve it that way instead.

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

No disrespect to our hostesses, this one just did not work for me. However, I did learn about chantilly cream, which was truly amazing. I also learned about Lace Crepes, which was a good experience as well. I made my own for the challenge instead of using rice cereal or corn flakes.

And one thing that is always nice to have around is praline paste, I made this as well, and am happy to have so me of it on hand because I always seem to find a use for it. It is so flavorful. I used some of my almond meal instead of chopping up almonds. It needed to be used. It worked well.

I will list the elements I liked and would do again for other applications. If you want the full recipe please go to our hosts sites Saffron and Blueberry and/or Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux:

Element #1 Dacquoise Biscuit (Almond Cake)

Preparation time: 10 mn + 15 mn 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

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
1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar

1. Finely mix the almond meal and the confectioner's 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.

Add 3 tablespoons of sifted unsweetened cocoa powder into the almond meal/caster sugar mix in Step #1 of the Almond Dacquoise

I did the chocolate.

Milk Chocolate Whipped Cream (Chantilly):
(Can be made the day before and kept in the fridge overnight)
2/3 cup (160g) heavy cream 35% fat
7.8 oz (220g) milk chocolate
2 1/3 tsp (15g) glucose or thick corn syrup
1 1/3 cup (320g) heavy cream 35% fat

1. Chop the chocolate coarsely.
2. Heat the 160g of cream to boiling and pour over the chocolate and glucose syrup.
3. Wait 30 seconds then stir the mix until smooth. Add the remaining cream.
4. Refrigerate to cool, then whip up.

I added a few drops of mint to this.

Element #4 Praline Feuillete (Crisp) Insert

Preparation time: 10 mn (+ optional 15mn if you make lace crepes)

Equipment: Small saucepan, baking sheet (if you make lace crepes).
Double boiler (or one small saucepan in another), wax paper, rolling pin (or I use an empty bottle of olive oil).

Note: Feuillete means layered (as in with leaves) so a Praline Feuillete is a Praline version of a delicate crisp. There are non-praline variations below. The crunch in this crisp comes from an ingredient which is called gavottes in French. Gavottes are lace-thin crepes. To our knowledge they are not available outside of France, so you have the option of making your own using the recipe below or you can simply substitute rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K for them. Special note: If you use one of the substitutes for the gavottes, you should halve the quantity stated, as in use 1oz of any of these cereals instead of 2.1oz.
If you want to make your own praline, please refer back to the Daring Baker Challenge Recipe from July 2008.

To make 2.1oz / 60g of gavottes (lace crepes - recipe by Ferich Mounia):
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk
2/3 Tbsp (8g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup – 2tsp (35g) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp / 0.5 oz (15g) beaten egg
1 tsp (3.5g) granulated sugar
½ tsp vegetable oil
1. Heat the milk and butter together until butter is completely melted. Remove from the heat.
2. Sift flour into milk-butter mixture while beating, add egg and granulated sugar. Make sure there are no lumps.
3. Grease a baking sheet and spread batter thinly over it.
4. Bake at 430°F (220°C) for a few minutes until the crepe is golden and crispy. Let cool.

Ingredients for the Praline Feuillete:
3.5 oz (100g) milk chocolate
1 2/3 Tbsp (25g) butter
2 Tbsp (1 oz / 30g) praline
2.1oz (60g) lace crepes(gavottes) or rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
2. Add the praline and the coarsely crushed lace crepes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate.
3. Spread between two sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.


Sarah said...

i wasn't a huge fan of this either, but yours turned out great!

Me! said...

Too bad you weren't loving yours. I didn't love my crisp layer. I guess mine didn't really get crisp. I also didn't break mine up and I guess it soaked up some moisture from the mousse or something but mine became really rubbery. I liked the mousse though. I thought that was the best part.

Hilda said...

No offense taken, not all recipes work for all people. I'm sorry the overall thing did not work for you but am glad that you at least liked some of the components, and the beauty of entremets is that you can make any combination of layers any way you want, so layering them in a glass is perfectly fine too. Happy New Year and good job giving this a try!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I certainly agree that this was one of the most challenging months! I thought about doing a layered glass of sorts, I bet it would be gorgeous and delicious! Great job!!

Sugar Chef said...

This was a very complicated dessert and good for you that you completed it. This time of year is stressful enough, but we still did our challenge. WooHoo!!

Ingrid said...

Sorry that the cake wasn't all that you hoped! It still loked lovely!

kat said...

Good for you getting it done. I was just too busy this month to even try.

Christine said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment! I know that you learned a lot. Me, I backed completely out, this recipe was way over my head!

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge. I personally thought that this was the hardest DB I had tackled todate. Have a great new year.

Navita said...

WOW Lorie...loved ur log. can i have a slice.. ;p

first time here. would love to entertain u at my lil place, so if u can , do stop by plz,. :)

Grace said...

i've never worked with praline paste, but by the sound of it, i need to get me some and get it fast. good work, lori, regardless of its lack of appeal. :)

Renee said...

Your finished Yule Log looks fantastic. It was a challenge. Good job!

Anonymous said...


The Blonde Duck said...

I love your version!

Bunny said...

It looks wonderful Lori, I wasn't able to do it this month, way to much for me to tackle for December!

giz said...

Everybody's yule log looks so different. I just simply couldn't get it together to get this challenge done.

Cristine said...

Your log looks beautiful!

Jude said...

So nice and elegant... Making the lace crepes was pretty interesting for me, too.

Aran said...

looks great lori. happy new year!

Linda said...

Well, the icing may not have turned out to your liking, but it is beautiful on your yule log! Really pretty. I wish I had done mine in white chocolate. I think it would have made it even better.

Jamie said...

Sorry you did not like this! We thought it was tasty, but doubt I will make this again! Happy New Year!!

Tiffany said...

I love love love the idea of layering it in a glass! Fabulous idea!!! I also had a problem cutting through the fuiellitine layer.

Nawal said...

Happy New Year :-)

Your French yule log looks so beautiful in white !

I had the same difficulities to cut the feuillete insert.

Madeleine said...

Beatiful yule log! in white!! great idea!!!

Great job! Sorry that the cake wasn't all that you hoped :(

Happy New Year!