Update: Check my 2011 Bûche de Noël entry here
I was originally going to try making a traditional yule log which is a roulade with buttercream icing. However, after some research, I found out that most pastry chefs these days doing a modern rendition of Bûche de Noël which consists of multi-layer components. The one I made consisted of silky chocolate mousse, lemon crème brûlée, crispy chocolate praline, almond dacquoise, and topped with chocolate Glaçage.
(Recipe courtesy of Flore of Florilege Gourmand, Saffron and Blueberry)
*****Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New year!*****
80g almond meal
50g confectioner’s sugar
2Tbsp/15g all-purpose flour
100g / ~100ml about 3 medium egg whites
4 Tbsp / 50g granulated sugar
1. 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.
2. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff.
3. Pour the almond meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula.
4. 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 1/3 inches (8mm).
5. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 15 minutes (depends on your oven), until golden. Let cool and cut to the desired shape.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
2.5 sheets gelatin
3 Tbsp / 40g granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp (10g) glucose or thick corn syrup
50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
175g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content) / whipping cream
1. Soften the gelatin in cold water.
2. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white). Cook the sugar, glucose syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F (118°C). If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature.
Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should become thick and foamy.
3. In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
4. Whip the remainder of the cream (320g) until stiff.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatin, mixing well. Let the gelatin and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of WHIPPED cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe. Add in the rest of the WHIPPED cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.
Praliné Feuilleté au Chocolat / Crispy Chocolate Praline Layer
35g milk chocolate, chopped
9g unsalted butter, room temp
60g lace crepes(gavottes) or rice krispies or corn flakes or Special K / pailleté feuilletine
1. Melt the milk chocolate and butter in a double boiler.
2. Add the praline and the coarsely crushed gavottes / pailleté feuilletine. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate.
3. Spread a 1.5- by 13-inch layer between two sheets of wax paper. Refrigerate until hard.
Lemon Crème Brûlée Insert
1/2 cup (115g) heavy cream (35% fat content)
½ cup (115g) whole milk
4 medium-sized (72g) egg yolks
2 Tbsp / 25g granulated sugar
Zest of half a lemon
Lemon Juice ( half a lemon )
1. Heat the milk, cream and lemon zest, and lemon juice to just boiling.
2. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks (but do not beat until white). Pour the milk over the sugar/yolk mixture. Mix well.
3. 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 at 210°F (100°C) for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center.
Dark Chocolate Glaze / chocolate Glaçage
4g or 2 sheets gelatin
¼ cup (60g) heavy cream (35 % fat content) or whipping cream
2.1 oz (5 Tbsp / 60g) granulated sugar
30g unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Soften the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
2. Boil the rest of the ingredients and cook an additional 3 minutes after boiling.
3. Add gelatin to the chocolate mixture. Mix well.
4. 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.
Assemble the Bûche de Noël
1. Pipe one third of the Mousse component into the mold.
2. Take the Creme Brulee Insert out of the freezer at the last minute and set on top of the mousse. Press down gently to slightly ensconce it in the mousse.
3. Pipe second third of the Mousse component around and on top of the Creme Brulee Insert.
4. Cut the crispy chocolate praline Insert to a size slightly smaller than your mold so that it can be surrounded by mousse. Lay it on top of the mousse you just piped into the mold.
5. Pipe the last third of the Mousse component on top of the Praline Insert.
6. Close with the almond dacquoise
7. Freeze until the next day
8. Next day : pour the chocolate glaze on top of the Bûche de Noël
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