This post features the last Daring Bakers Challenge for this year, which officially means that I have been a Daring Baker for 12 months - and what an exciting year it has been!
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.
Now this challenge looked like a very high mountain to climb, as it is comprised of six separate elements (entrements) which had to be assembled into what looked like a very complex frozen dessert. These elements are a dacquoise, a mousse, a creme brulee, a ganache, a feuillete (crisp) and a chocolate glaze. Whew! The other challenging thing was that there were numerous different flavour combinations provided in the recipe, so you had to plan which combinations you wanted to make. I made an almond dacquoise, a mango mousse, a coconut-vanilla creme brulee, a caramel (white chocolate) ganache, a coconut crisp and a white chocolate icing. I even invested in a half pipe pan to make this dessert so that it had the lovely, rounded dome of the traditional version. To top it off, I decorated my completed log with crushed pecan nuts.
The outcome was superb - this delicious, frozen treat looked and tasted impressive. I served it to my guests at a Christmas drinks afternoon that I hosted, and they enjoyed it too.
The crisp layer could be made using gavottes, a traditional French lace crepe, or cornflakes or rice crisps. Although I ended up using rice crisps, because their white colour blended in with the white on white colour that I was trying to achieve with my log, I also made the gavottes:
Here is the dacquoise, which I baked for twice as long as recommended in the recipe because I was looking for a golden cake, when in fact it is a type of meringue:
This is the log after the addition of the ganache layer:
Once the log has been frozen for a number of hours, it is unmoulded:
And here is the finished product, with the white chocolate icing and crushed pecans on top:
Although I was initially terrified of this challenge, I was pleased with the end result, and could hardly believe that I made this. Thanks to Hilda and Marion for choosing such a delicious and creative challenge. It was a fun way to round out my first year as a Daring Baker.
You can check out the Yule Logs made by the other Daring Bakers over the course of the next three days by checking out the Daring Bakers blogroll.