December Daring Bakers Challenge!

And WHAT a challenge it was! 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.

This is probaby not what you’re thinking of when you think of a yule log (some sort of log-shaped cake with marzipan mushrooms [which the Daring Bakers did last year]) – this is a proper Buche de Noel – a frozen layered dessert!

Six layers, to be precise – dacquoise, creme brulee, vanilla mousse, white chocolate feuillete, white chocolate ganache, and white chocolate icing. Whew! Quite a handful, especially in light of all the other holiday baking I’ve been attempting, but somehow I managed to get it done just in the nick of time.

I forgot to place it in the fridge for a while before attempting to slice it and, as could be expected, the almond bark that I’d used over the white chocolate icing (because it didn’t end up coating as well as could be hoped) pretty much shattered, hence the missing picture of a slice. But my layers actually turned out pretty well, I think.

Two questions, though, for any other Daring Bakers who happen to be wandering by:

  1. I don’t think I understood why the first step of the ganache had us make a caramel – my ganache insert ended up being pretty much just caramel with no hint of the white chocolate. It’s quite nice, but just not what I was expecting.
  2. I always thought you weren’t supposed to boil cream (or else it would curdle), so I didn’t even though the instructions repeatedly had us bring it to a boil. Have I just been laboring under an urban myth all these years and it really is okay to boil cream?

Click on the Daring Bakers logo to see all the other (more beautifully decorated, I’m sure) Yule Logs!

11 thoughts on “December Daring Bakers Challenge!

  1. I thought the cream would curdle too if brought to a hard boil.

    I brought the cream to a low simmer. The surface forms a skin, shimmers, and ripples. Maybe there was a mistranslation or the idea didn’t come across from French to English?

  2. Pingback: Meh. « My blank page

  3. Nicely done! I’m glad you were able to get around to it. And yes cream can be boiled for the reasons Cynthia points out, although often when a recipe says to bring cream to a boil it may mean only to a simmer as Beans and Caviar points out, but it really is a function of what you’re going to do with it after you’ve heated it. In this instance because the cream required had so much fat in it and was then mixed with sugar you could bring it to a full boil which basically means as soon as it visibly bubbles and ripples. As for the ganache, the caramel was simply a function of it being Flore’s recipe, that happens to be how she likes to make her basic ganache by starting with a caramel.

  4. Beautifully even layers! I was wondering about the caramel based ganache as well but then couldn’t care less once I tasted it, it was my favorite part. I loved how chewy it was.

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