Monday, December 29, 2008

French Yule Log



It’s the moment we wait for every month: the Daring Bakers’ Challenge! This December my Christmas wish came early when I learned that we would be making a holiday yule log. It was more than I dared hope, since I knew that the DBs made a yule log last year, but my joy quickly turned to anxiety when I learned that we wouldn’t be making the rolled-up cake log with which I was most familiar, but rather an entrements or cream dessert in the French style consisting of SIX separate components: almond dacquoise biscuit, chocolate mousse, crème brulee, dark chocolate ganache, praline crisp, and chocolate icing. Recipes for each graciously contributed by Flore at Florilege Gourmand.
A classic in French cinema.

The challenge hosts, Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux assured us that the log wasn’t nearly as difficult or time consuming as it appeared. To add another ladle of guilt, daring Hilda is six months pregnant and claimed to put the whole thing together in a day and a half. That meant that I, being of sound mind and empty uterus, should be able to whip it together over a weekend.

Except it took more like a week. Plus the week beforehand assembling all the ingredients and debating what kind of pan to use. Next time around I might cut some corners, like using rice cereal for the praline crisp instead of making crepes from scratch, or using Nutella instead of making my own praline paste. There was also a solid five or six hours spent standing at the kitchen counter and whimpering, but if pressed, I could probably pare that down to two and a half.

Champagne Juleps, anyone?

But enough whining, let’s talk about taste. The weekend before Christmas, my dude and I threw a little cocktail party to wish everyone safe travels, so he mixed champagne juleps and I served the Log. Holy Showstoppers, Batman, it was a hit. The layers were all right where they were supposed to be, and the $7 snowflake sprinkles added just the right amount of drama. I was so proud. It was like watching my little baby win Miss Grand National Star Grand Supreme.

There are dozens of potential flavor variations for this recipe, so I'm not even going to begin to catalog them all here. For that, I'll leave you in the very capable hands of Miss Hilda, who has posted an excellent rundown, including tips from David Leibovitz and Daring Baker Fairy Tartlette. Of course, if anyone has any questions they'd like answered from the amateur's perspective, I'm happy to field them.


9 comments:

Jessie said...

I can personally testify for the true awesomeness that was this log. It was creamy and rich while somehow also being crispy and lite! What can I really say except remembering it now is making me very hungry.

sarah said...

I concur that your yule log was the kind of dessert that makes you look at all other desserts with a bit of disdain, just for not being it. You know?

Francijn Brouwer said...

Happy new year to you and congratulations on completing the challenge! It looks very nice!

Eric said...

nommm, nommm, nommnomnom

yeah, it really didn't last long, did it? Amazing. And I wouldn't skimp on the praline or anything else - it was so good!

Katie said...

I would have never dreamed creme brulee could have been improved upon until I tasted Kat's Yule Log. As it so happens, if you freeze it and combine it with layer upon layer of chocolatey delights and hours of love ,it is the food of angels and kings.

Hilly said...

I was lucky enough to taste this delightful yule log. I don't think I've had this holiday treat since I was a young child. Yay for Kat and her daring baking!

sizzler said...

This blew my mind right off the face of my head.

hewins said...

This was the best multi-layer yule log I've ever had! It was delicious!

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