Sunday, December 28, 2008

Daring Bakers - Buche plaisirs sucres (French Yule Log)

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 mid-assembly, showing the mould lined with overhead transparency plastic:

This is the log after the addition of the ganache layer:

And finally, this is a shot of the finished log assembly, with the dacquoise base on top:

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.


Gretchen Noelle said...

Lovely, lovely job! I love the light color version. Mine is in the freezer now waiting the last couple of steps. So impressive!!!

Ivy said...

It looks beautiful and delicious.

Shelby said...

I wasn't able to participate this month, but I sure will make this sometime. It looks yummy and I am positive Grumpy would like it! Great job! What a challenge!

Susan @ My Wholefood Family Essentials said...

brilliant job and so pretty in white!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks fantastic! Nice flavor combo!



Chris said...

Well done! I love the ways yours looks. Its the first I have some across without the dark chocolate ganache. yum!

Hilda said...

Great job and I'm so glad you went for it and found it delicious, great flavor combination. Happy New Year!

Maggie said...

Wonderful log! The coconut-vanilla creme brulee sounds excellent, as does your other flavors.

jesse said...

Oh that log looks so adorable! It's almost too cute to eat!

Maggie said...

Well done - this challenge looks quite a task and you came out on top!!!
The French Yule Log is a masterpiece.

Mary said...

Your log looks terrific!

Kelly said...

I love that you choose a white option - how beautiful and, I'm sure, very yummy! Happy holidays.

giz said...

I truly admire your french yule log. As hard as I tried to find the time, this month was a total blur and I just couldn't get to it.

breadchick said...

How pretty your log is in all white!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Gretchen. I enjoyed eating and making this - it was fun!

Thanks Ivy :)

Thanks HoneyB. I recommend making it for a special occasion - it looks spectacular, and I can speak for the white chocolate version that it tastes very good.

Thanks Susan :)

Hi Rosa, thanks!

Thanks Chris :)

Hi Hilda, thanks for a great challenge - and Happy New Year to you too!

Thanks Maggie - it was a perfect summery taste combination.

Hi Jessie, I was scared to cut into it originally - I thought I'd mash it up or something.

Thanks Margaret :)

Hi Mary, thanks :)

Hi Kelly, as we are in summer, I liked the idea of the white combination. Happy holidays to you too!

Hi Giz, I know what you mean - I was so glad for a break by the time I got to it - always so much going on at Christmas. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and that you are enjoying a well-deserved break.

Thanks Mary :)

Cakelaw said...

Happy New Year to you too Chris!

Y said...

It looks so yummy!! I love those flavours, and love that all-white look :)

Anonymous said...

I love the light colors - they look fabulous!

Debyi said...

Your log looks amazing! I like that it is all white, very fun. Your flavor combos sound delicious, especially the creme brulee layer!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Y - I really enjoyed this challenge, especially the eating!

Thanks Sally - they're kinda summery and fitting for this time of year here.

Hi Debyi, thanks :).