31 December 2008

Daring Bakers do Xmas a la France

Well it's that time of the month, the big reveal. I was terrified that I would miss another month, after my caramel failure last month, but fortunately I got my act together the last few days and pulled it off. I warn you now, this is one long post :D

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

I haven't quite figured out how to put url's into names, so here's the links for all three :

Hilda : http://saffronandblueberry.blogspot.com/
Marion : http://ilenfautpeupour.canalblog.com/
Flore : http://plaisirgourmand.perso.cegetel.net/

The log itself comprises of 6 elements, namely a mousse, a creme brulee, a feuillete crisp, a ganache, a dacquoise biscuit and an icing. Each element was relatively simple, though the task itself is best done over a few days.

Decisions, decisions - this month we had a lot of freedom when it came to flavour choices and I thought long and hard about it. I decided upon a raspberry mousse, a vanilla creme brulee, a coconut and white chocolate feuillete crisp, a white chocolate ganache, a coconut dacquoise biscuit and finally a white chocolate icing.

Oh no! - I ran into a few problems, if I'd started earlier in the month instead of waiting until the 27th I might have had time to redo it. Anyway, here are the things that got me...

Creme Brulee - it took FOREVER to set, I had to adjust the heat twice and it was in the oven about twice as long as was given in the recipe.

Mousse - my mousse was ridiculously sloppy before it went in the fridge, I admit I did panic somewhat, however after going back to the fridge an hour later it had already firmed up nicely.

Feuillete - I discovered too late that the "rice crispies" I had purchased were far from the branded puff rice I was expecting and so left them out, leaving my "crisp" layer less than crispy

Dacquoise biscuit - I found this to be very sticky and hard to cut into the pieces I wanted, even after the assembly of the log

Ganache - my sugar and cream mix was less mixed than I'd have liked, with a lump of hard sugar left in the pot

Icing - I think I got my measurements wrong on this as my icing was taking sooo long to get to a point where it would adaquately coat my log, and I got too impatient to wait for it to set properly

Assembly - Aside from the icing, this went off without a hitch

The order I made them in was as follows :

Day 1 : Creme brulee, then mousse
Day 2 : Feuillete, biscuit, ganache, assembled and frozen overnight
Day 3 : Icing

Element #1 - Vanilla Creme Brulee

Ingredients :

1/2 cup double cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method :

01. Beat sugar and egg yolks until mixed.

02. Heat milk, cream and vanilla until just boiling.

03. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 hour.

04. Whisk cream mix and egg mix.

05. Wet a tin, cover in greaseproof paper and pour in mix.

06. Bake at 100 degrees Celsius for 1 hour, until firm at sides and slightly wobbly in the middle.

07. Cool and freeze overnight.

Element #2 - Raspberry Mousse

Ingredients :

2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cornflour
1/3 cup double cream
200g raspberry puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
36ml water
2 1/4 tsp gelatin
3 egg whites

Method :

01. Beat egg yolks and cornflour until white and fluffy.

02. Beat egg whites until foamy.

03. Heat cream.

04. Add a little of the cream into the egg yolk mix and beat.

05. Add egg mix into cream and beat until smooth.

06. Add the puree little by little, beating all the time, until all puree is used.

07. Cool to lukewarm.

08. Heat the sugar and water to soft ball stage.

09. Beat slowly into egg whites.

10. Soften gelatin, then melt in 1 tsp water. Pour into a bowl.

11. Whisk in raspberry cream.

11. Blend in the meringue mix.

12. Refrigerate until needed.

Element #3 - Coconut Feuillete Crisp

Ingredients :

100g white chocolate
1/3 cup coconut
25g butter
60g crushed rice crispies

Method :

01. Bake coconut for 5 - 10 mins at 190 degrees Celsius until golden.

02. Melt chocolate and butter.

03. Add coconut to melted chocolate.

04. Add in crushed rice crispies.

05. Spread the mix between two sheets of greaseproof paper and freeze until ready to use.

Element #4 - Coconut Dacquoise Biscuit

Ingredients :

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp ground almonds
2/3 cup coconut
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
3 egg whites
4 tbsp granulated sugar

Method :

01. Weigh out almonds, coconut and sugar .

02. Add granulated sugar to egg whites.

03. Blend dry ingredients.

04. Whisk egg whites and sugar.

05. Add dry to egg whites.

06. Mix gently.

08. Pipe into desired shape on a sheet of greased greaseproof paper.

09. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius until golden brown (about 15 mins).

Element #5 - White Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients :

4 tbsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup - 1 tbsp double cream
135g white chocolate

Method :

01. Heat cream until boiling, heat sugar until a dark amber.

02. Add cream to sugar and stir.

03. Pour mix over chocolate.

04. Leave for 30 seconds.

05. Stir until smooth.

06. Leave at room temperature until ready to assemble log.

Element #6 - White Chocolate Icing

Ingredients :

1/2 tbsp gelatin
100g white chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
1 2/3 tbsp glucose

Method :

01. Add glucose and milk to a pan and heat until boiling.

02. Add butter to chocolate.

03. Melt gelatin with milk and glucose.

04. Pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth.

05. Wait for it to get to a point where it coats the back of a spoon.

Assembly of Log

01. Biscuit

02. Mousse

03. Creme brulee

04. Mousse

05. Feuillete

06. Mousse

07. Ganache

07. Biscuit

08. Freeze overnight

09. Icing