Sunday, December 28, 2008

December's Daring Baker

OH MY GOOD GRACIOUS that is my first response at seeing this recipe for the Dec daring bakers. 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 truly a show stopper of a dessert that I was eager to start. Here is why I panicked a wee bit -

THE CHALLENGE RULE is that you MUST MAKE ALL 6 of these elements for the log:

1) Dacquoise Biscuit

2) Mousse

3) Ganache Insert

4) Praline (Crisp) Insert

5) Crème Brule Insert

6) Icing

I told hubby I was scared and he said “That is why it is daring bakers and not the wussy bakers that whine”. I love my supportive family. He did get me worked up to do it and I love that he thinks I can do or make anything<3.>

Ok so let’s do this thing!
Wait put the brakes on!!! Momma Dearest had her hip replaced last month and was doing so great but now it appears she has an infection in the joint!!!! NOT GOOD is an understatement. So I was thinking that I would be unable to do the challenge as I spent most of this month at her house which is about an hour and a half away. I know you are thinking why didn’t I make this at her house and then everyone could enjoy?
1. Momma won’t eat “real” butter
2. Momma watches New Daddies diet like a hawk and if you sneak him treats you risk her stink eye (not fun)
3. Momma doesn’t like any food not from a can. Why are you spending money on that?
4. Momma doesn’t like messes even during cooking and if you leave 7 crumbs on the counter she will haul her hiney out of bed and crawl to wipe the counter down. This recipe is elaborate and I know the kitchen gets dirty between steps.
5. Momma would not enjoy the process and ask often 1. Am I done and 2.did I wipe the counter yet?
6. I enjoy my sanity.
So that is a very sad story and I was sad not to try it as I truly wanted the challenge but momma is getting better and the due date is only a coupla days away so I decided to do it at the last minute and just try.

Layer 1-thank goodness for my industrial kitchen aid mixer hubby got me it whipped the whites to perfection in less than a min! I was WAY too cheap to pay 13 bucks for a tiny bag of almond meal so I bought whole almonds and ground them to powder. I added the confectioners’ sugar and made a very fine powder that looked like the store’s almond meal. I set that aside for later.
Layer 4- I did them out of order as I was doing it over two days cramming it in. This was a bigger job then I thought this simple layer would be as I needed to make the praline to be used as one of the ingredients. I have never made praline before so I hope I did it right.
Layer 5- easy peasy thank goodness an easy one!! I did slightly over boil the milk but it didn’t affect the taste so I used it as is, had it burned I would have started again.
So I am more than halfway done and I will be ready to assemble tonight!!!!!!! I am so excited that I got this far with no calamities I haven’t even had a fire or burned myself (a daily occurrence)
Layer 2-I bought the gelatin for the harder version but I decided to do the simpler Chantilly version just because I am running out of time! I think I made a massive mistake as it seems…..chunkieish. I think it broke? I have heard of this but in my making a million buttercreams I haven’t had this happen.
So all the layers are done except the final icing layer and I must say I am glad it is done!!!! It is in the freezer to await tomorrow or if I can’t sleep I can demold it about 1 am and it should be frozen and ready to finish. I feel like a drum roll is in order as this is one of the most complicated things I have ever tried and I am curious if I was a success or failure.

YAHOOOOOOOOOO it looks good!!!! I am so relived and ok it actually tastes good! I am glad I did it but I doubt that this will be something I make often as it was quite labor intensive but it was very good and the hubby and kids loved it.

On a side note I have no clue what a Yule log is. I assume it has something to do with fireplaces from the cold? But that is just a guess. I may not know the point of a log but I know that it is very delicious.

Oh did you notice my creme brulee layer is 2 textured? The top is creamy and the bottom is ....darkerish. I have no idea why that happened as it looked PERFECT before I put it in freezer. I wonder if I put it in the freezer before it was cool enough? I am eager to see everybody's blogs to see if I am the only one with this problem.


Chris said...

Looks great! I didn't make this challenge, so I can't help you on the 2-textured. Well done!

MaybeKathy said...

The Yule Log comes from ancient Pagan customs involving trees. The tradition evolved into one where the special log is burned to ward off evil demons and spirits that are so common during the dark winter months. In some customs, a log is only burnt partially one year and then used to start the fire the next year. Oh, and everyone involved in gets beer, wine, ale, mead, etc. as a reward for participating :-)

luv 2 cook said...

OH MY Maybe! that is NOT what I thought at all!!

Claire said...

Looks great! Glad that your family liked it.

Tartelette said...

Love your husband's DB spirit and your perseverance in doing it! IT paid off! Well done!

Mrs Ergül said...

I hope you find out the reason for the 2-textured creme brulee. Nonetheless, it is a great attempt!

Hilda said...

I love that your husband said that back to you, that's true DB spirit! I'm so glad you were able to give this a whirl. Remember that you can always make other desserts with less layers but using some of the things you learned here. At least that's one benefit of doing this long recipe. ;) Glad you enjoyed the taste though. Happy New Year!

Olga said...

Love your first reaction to the challenge...mine is not very appropriate to write down :)

silverrock said...

that yule-log looks spectacular... and if you didn't tell anyone that the creme brulee wasn't suppose to be 2-layers, then they'd probably think that you did it on purpose you amazing baker you :P Congrats on this month's challenge :)Keep up the great bakes

Amy said...

Your DH cracks me up...

Wish I could help with the texture of the brulee, mine was one texture - runny. And after it froze it would not soften up to save my life. But c'est la vie - next time I guess!

Great job,


Anonymous said...

I bet it was delicious! Great job on a challenging challenge! :)

Candace said...

Looks fabulous! Nice job on the challenge!

breadchick said...

Love your husband's phrase about the "wussy bakers who whine"!

Well done on your challenge. My creme brulee became 2 tone too but that didn't seem to effect the taste.