December 2008 Daring Bakers Challenge
Tuesday, December 30, 2008 11:17:05 PM
Good Lord, this month, I really feared I'd not be able to complete this Challenge. (Actually, I have barely been able to post... ¬¬) And it still is my second time with DBs!!! Will I survive? o.O
But finally I did, after two trips, and one failed attempt, I could complete it on the last day! (Or almost, I'll explain this better, later on, in this post. ^.^'
But anyway, After more than a week without posting, finishing the year with a Daring Bakers challenge is quite an event! And for all the long waiting, my friends, you'll recieve 6 recipes in one!
I'll tell you:
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.
"What is a French Yule Log?", you would ask. And I would answer: "Yule Log is a christmas time dessert made by rolling a cake and then shaping and decorating it as a real wooden log. I could use any rolled cake, or even my Bolo de Rolo! But this is not French... (Don't ask me why, now...) A French Yule Log is like a layered dessert, log shaped."
That would be my answer.
But that's not enough, for Daring Bakers! No, ah, no, it isn't!
Our Bûche du Nöel Française must consist of many layers, on the following order, from down to top:
1 - Almond Dacquoise Biscuit
2 - Chocolate Ganache
3 - Mousse
4 - Crispy Layer
5 - Mousse
6 - Créme Brulée (although not bruléed)
7 - Mousse
8 - Almond Dacquoise Biscuit (optional)
9 - Chocolate Icing
Quite easy, huh? Not at all! Hahahaha
All this effort results in 9 layers, 6 different recipes, and a complex and delicious dessert! We had some freedom to use different recipes for the layers, and this was my option:
1 - Almond Dacquoise Biscuit (Original)
2 - White Chocolate Ganache (As suggested)
3 - Hazelnut - Dark Chocolate Mousse (addapted from my preferred recipe)
4 - Ginger Glass Cookie Layer
5 - Same mousse
6 - Créme Brulée (Original)
7 - Mousse again
8 - Almond Dacquoise Biscuit again
9 - Milk Chocolate Icing (As Suggested - will be done by tomorrow... Shame on me!)
And this is my pre-final result! (Remember that to assemble it, you must invert the order, so you can unmold and keep the same order. Spread the Icing only after you unmold your recipe. I still need to cover mine with the Chocolate Icing, which will be done on the 31st, and updated as soon as 2009 begins! Now, off to the recipes!
Element #1 - Almond Dacquoise Biscuit
Note: This recipe yelds enough for Top and Botton Layers. You can use the Dacquoise for the bottom of your Yule Log only, too. Try to bake the Dacquoise the same day you assemble the log to keep it as moist as possible.
80g almond meal (powdered almond)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 medium egg whites
50g white sugar
- 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).
- Sift the flour into the mix.
- Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff.
- Pour the almond meal mixture into the egg whites and fold delicately with a spatula.
- Grease a piece of parchment paper and line your baking pan with it.
- 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 1cm.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F) for approximately 15 minutes, until golden.
- Let cool and cut to the desired shape.
Element #2 - Hazelnut - Dark Chocolate Mousse
170g Semi-sweet Chocolate
2 cups Heavy Cream
3 tbsp Hazelnut Liquor (I used Frangelico)
3 Egg Whites
2 tbsp Sugar
- Start by whipping the egg whites with the sugar until they are stiff.
- Whip the cream with the hazelnut liquor until it's fluffy.
- Melt the chocolate and fold it into the whipped cream.
- Fold the Egg white into the whipped cream with chocolate.
- Chill the mousse for about 4 hours, prior to using.
Element #3 - Vanilla Crème Brulée Insert
1/2 cup heavy cream (35% fat content)
1/2 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp Natural Vanilla Essence
- Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks (but do not beat until white)
- Mix milk, heavy cream and vanilla essence. Pour it over the sugar/yolk mixture. Mix well.
- Wipe with a very wet cloth and then cover your baking mold (whatever shape is going to fit on the inside of your Yule log/cake) with parchment paper. Pour the cream into the mold and bake it in a water bath, at 150°C for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center.
- Let cool and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up and facilitate the final assembly.
Element #4 - Ginger Glass Cookie
50g butter, diced
3Tbsp Golden Syrup (Sugar cane syrup)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1tsp ground ginger
- Melt butter with the golden syrup over low heat.
- In a bow, combine confectioner's sugar, all-purpose flour and ground ginger.
- Add the buttery-syrup to the sugar-flour-ginger mix, and combine well, unti there are no lumps. Chill it for about 25min. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven at 180°C (350°F) and grease well parchment paper for one cooke sheet.
- After chilled, you should be able to better shape the dough. Make some balls and spread them over the parchment paper.
- Bake it for 6 or 7 minutes, or until golden. allow it to cool, and it should become hard and crispy.
Element #5 - White Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream (35% fat content)
150g white chocolate, finely chopped
- Make a caramel: Using the dry method, melt the sugar by spreading it in an even layer in a small sauce pan with high sides. Heat over medium-high heat, watching it carefully as the sugar begins to melt. Never stir the mixture. As the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan occasionally to allow the sugar to melt evenly. Cook to dark amber color.
- While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until almost boiling. Pour cream into the caramel and stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter and boil.
- Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate. Wait 30 seconds and stir until smooth.[/ALIGN]
Element #6 - Milk Chocolate Icing
1/2 Tbsp powdered gelatin
120g milk chocolate, finely chopped
30g butter, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream (35 % fat content)
1 2/3 Tbsp thick corn syrup
- Soften the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
- Bring the cream and glucose syrup to a boil and then, add the gelatin.
- In a bowl, mix milk chocolate and butter.
- Pour the cream-gelatine mixture over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until smooth.
- Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well (it is starting to gelify), use immediately.