Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another year...another log!

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.

The Daring Bakers decided to welcome in this holiday season with another traditional French yule log. This version of the yule log was a multi-step, mousse based version. Instead of the buttercream and genoise cake of last year, this year saw a more traditionally European style dessert. Each version is a wonderful addition to any holiday table and I'm not sure I can pick my favourite. Each had its wow factors.
Last year's log was an almond genoise rolled around a buttercream filling and topped with more mocha and rum flavoured buttercream. The decoration was a rustic and somewhat realistic looking log decorated with almond paste mushrooms. The Italian meringue buttercream was wonderfully silky, subtle and the perfect complement to the airy cake.

This year's log has a dacquoise base and I used a hazelnut version. It made a very light and airy base for the dessert. Then there are layers of chocolate mousse, creme brulee insert, praline feuillette for crunch and chocolate ganache. The whole log is then covered in the most decadent chocolate icing which I ate, in large part, right out of the bowl! The finished dessert is frozen for stability and then when brought back at room temperature for 1/2 hour or so. It tastes wonderfully decadent with each layer bringing its own flavour profile to the table. On the whole it may be a little more work than the buttercream version given the various components that need to be assembled. But many of the layers can be made in advance so the work could be spread out over two days. I also had fun creating a chocolate clay poinsettia for decoration.
Thanks to Hilda and Marion for a wonderful recipe. A big thanks also to my photographer Jason who has, by taking photos each month, by default taken on the monthly DB challenge with me. He patiently listens to my vision for the pictures and how I see the dessert being photographed and then does his own thing! The good thing is that his vision always results in a great shot and I'm very grateful for the time and effort he puts in to taking the pictures, editing, sizing them and sending them to me. A big shout out to Shelly as well who never begrudges the time this process takes. Christmas is the perfect time to count your blessings. We've been so happy this year to find such good friends across the backyard fence which now has a section removed and a well worn (and snowplowed!) path between our back doors.
Happy Holidays everyone!

30 comments:

bonobocakes said...

I do also love your chocolate poinsettia. I love working with clay chocolate, or did you paint it on leaves and allow it to dry? Either way, gorgeous! Your photo's are wonderful also, I would have never thought of using a photographer to take the challenge pictures. Good idea. Happy Holidays!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your log looks beautiful and picture perfect! Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

Jo said...

Your log looks fantastic and I love the decorations you had added to it. Great job.

teafactory said...

mmm....looks sooo delicious!

Hilda said...

Great job Kelly! and you were done so early too. It looks like it was delicious and I'm glad the recipe worked out for you (particularly the icing since it seemed to give so many people problems). Happy New Year!

Kelly said...

Thanks all for the nice comments. Being part of the Daring Bakers is such a wonderful experience - both in the challenging recipes and the great blogs you discover that belong to fellow members.

Bonobocakes, I made the poinsetta using clay chocolate. I basically followed instructions meant for gumpaste at cakecentral.com. I found that's a great site for cake decorating ideas.

Chris said...

Looks wonderful! And I am a huge fan of cake central...I am on the site often. :)

Candice said...

Wow, great photos!

Happy Holidays!

Gfron1 said...

Perfect! Great job on that log.

Elle said...

Beautiful and elegant Yule Log. The chocolate clay flower is spectacular! You are lucky to have a photographer who captured not only the dessert but the spirit of the season. Happy New Year (soon)!

NQN said...

You log and the chocolate leaves look lovely! What a brilliant idea! Wish I'd thought of that :)

Sara said...

so pretty--i love the decoration on top!

Nikita's Mom said...

those poinsettias look great! wonderful job!

Claire said...

I love your chocolate poinsettia! Great job.

Tartelette said...

Wonderful job on the Yule Log! Although I had fun last year, this one was tastier and lighter (not in calories though!!).

Love how you decorated your log and the hole red/black set up! Yeah for Jason!

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

What a fantastic job! So elegant!

Olga said...

So pretty! Love the chocolate decoration on the top!

Renee said...

Your log looks wonderful. Great job.

silverrock said...

Your yule-log looks splendid and so elegant. I can simply taste the chocolatey goodness right now! Congrats on this month's challenge... keep up the amazing bakes!

momoftwins said...

I love the decorations on the log.Great job!

pinkstripes said...

Wow! Your yule log looks perfect. I love it!

Amy said...

This looks fantastic - Jason does a beautiful job with the photos but when it comes down to it, he has beautiful materials to work with. Great job on this challenge.

Amy

madcapcupcake said...

Your log looks beautiful - I love the presentation, gorgeous!!

Jude said...

So beautiful... I'll need to learn how to make that poinsettia chocolate thingy. So perfect for the holidays :)

Jenny said...

What kind of chocolate clay recipe did you use, it is so beautiful and adds a lot to your log which also looks perfect.

linda said...

Love your decoration, very pretty! Your log looks just perfect!

breadchick said...

Lovely job on the challenge this month and how wonderful to share by splitting the baking and photo duties.

Namratha said...

Very pretty and its perfecT!! :)

Madam Chow said...

Beautiful buche, lovely photography, and the poinsettia decoration is perfect!

Cakelaw said...

Your log looks so beautiful! The chocolate poinsettia on top is exquisite.