This month's Daring Bakers challenge was a challenge, to say the least. I had wanted to tackle a French yule log last year - the more commonly known sponge cake and buttercream variety - and failed miserably. When I saw that this month's challenge was going to be a different type of yule log full of different layers, I was excited. Something challenging and Christmas-y all in one. Yay!
The yule log I made is comprised of six different components:
1) Almond Dacquoise Biscuit
2) Chocolate Mousse
3) Chocolate Ganache Insert
4) Praline (Crisp) Insert
5) Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee Insert
6) Dark Chocolate Icing
I managed to make each and every element. Other than the cream brulee, that didn't want to set up no matter how long I kept it in the oven, the remaining elements turned out as they were supposed to. And beyond that, they tasted great! Some elements I was able to make ahead of time, like the biscuit, while others had to be made just before I assembled the whole thing.
Unfortunately, I thought that I could make the chocolate mousse component ahead of time and pop it in the fridge. Nowhere in the instructions did it say that you couldn't do this. Unfortunately, the chocolate mousse is the most import component! The mousse fills the gaps and envelops the crispy layers. Because my mousse had been sitting in the fridge for an hour or two, it was just too firm. So, when I unmolded the whole "log" after having it sit in the fridge overnight, it was quite apparent that things did not go as planned and the mousse had not spread out to become flush with the sides of the mold. It looked like some sort of crazy geological science project showing the layers of the Earth. Not exactly the look I was going for.
In any event, the log (or chunks of Earth) tasted phenomenal! It may have been one of the ugliest things I have ever made, but it tasted great and was almost like an ice cream cake. Who knew?
So, am I glad I did the challenge? Yes. Do I have plans to try it again next year? Probably not!
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