Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Daring Bakers: December

yule log

Daring Bakers December, the challenge of all challenges! A French Yule log, or a Buche de Noel, with a recipe spanning 12 pages. I was biting my nails as I read through the instructions for the multi-component dessert, with the realisation that I better keep a weekend free sometime in December – a difficult feat, as I’m sure you’re aware! This is probably the most labour intensive dessert I’ve ever made, but it was slightly easier to split up the elements and complete the whole process over a few days – the long weekend helped, certainly!

The December challenge consisted of
- A dacquoise biscuit
- A crème brulee insert
- A feuillette (crisp) insert
- Mousse
- A ganache insert
- Icing

I stuck to a chocolate flavoured Yule log – a favourite with everyone around here – with a vanilla crème brulee and a white chocolate and coconut crisp insert. As I was making it, I was amazed how good each of the elements tasted individually, and though I was still nervous about my ability to pull the whole thing off, I knew that no matter how ugly it may turn out to be, it would still be delicious. The white chocolate and coconut crisp was especially tasty, and the off-cuts were devoured in a matter of seconds!

I ran into slight problems when my crème brulee insert wasn’t frozen enough to cut, and sort of collapsed slightly. I had the mousse ready to go, and was running short on time so I refroze the crème brulee for a while longer and did the best I could to assemble it. In some cross-sections, the crème brulee has all but disappeared! I also found that the icing didn’t quite cover the whole log nicely, but made some rather interesting decorative drips down the sides.

All in all, it was a very interesting and definitely challenging experience with ups and downs. But it is incredibly delicious, and I think it was worth the time and effort. I’m not going to post the recipe because it is so long, but for more Yule log goodness, check out the Daring Bakers Blog Roll!

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.

13 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, I think you're one of the few who felt it was truly worth the time and effort - I'm impressed, since I don't tend to have enough patience for multi-part desserts :) Beautiful job!

Sara said...

This looks really yummy! Very beautiful. :)

vibi said...

Well even if I disagree about all this work being worth it, my mother thought otherwise... but then again, she's not the one who slaved over it! LOL
Nevertheless, the results you got are pretty amazing! Bravo, Lisa!

Claire said...

Great job! That tree is cute, too. And as to decorative drips...I like those! :-)

Lisa said...

Engineer Baker, I really spread the challenge out over a couple of days so I wasn't stressed until I went to assemble it. Thanks :)

Sara, it was delicious but oh so rich!

Vibi, mine is no where near as pretty as some I've seen but I liked the experience of putting so many elements together. thank you!

Claire, my sister made the tree decoration :) thanks!

jillian said...

It looks beautiful! It was a long challenge!

Amanda said...

You are so brave to have done this challenge! I opted out after getting a panic attack reading the directions...

Dawn said...

wow that does look very labor intensive....but you always manage to make them come out perfectly. I love these rich desserts, my hips don't though. lol

Y said...

Lisa, I'm with you - I thought the components by themselves, tasted great, so I knew the end result would be worth the effort too. Snacking was a major drawback to this challenge! :D

Lorraine E said...

YAY you did it Lisa! That's brilliant :) I think most of us had some sort of setback so you're definitely not alone. Congratulations, it looks brilliant. Happy 2009! :D

Gretchen Noelle said...

This was definitely an amazing challenge. You did a beautiful job on it!

Lisa said...

Jillian, it certainly was a long challenge. Definitely best split up over a few days though!

Amanda, haha there was definitely some nail biting but I'm glad I went through with it!

Dawn, after all that baking I only got one tiny slice and my family ate the rest haha. Probably just as well...

Y, I know what you mean, the coconut rice bubble crisp was my favourite bit I think :)

Lorraine, thanks! I hope you have a wonderful year too. Hope we can catch up again soon!

Gretchen, thank you! Quite a challenge indeed but a good one.

Emma said...

It turned out so well, well done.

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