Sunday, December 28, 2008

Buche du NOEL!

The Daring Bakers' Challenge this month was quite the experience. I decided to make it for my family when I went home for Christmas. Turns out, I had the perfect opportunity to make it...I was left alone for an entire day while my parents went to a wedding and brother went to see the Rockettes with his girlfriend. 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. Though the end result of this challenge was very pretty, I don't think I'd make it again. The combination of elements just wasn't fantastic enough to do all that work. Let's go element by element.

The Daquoise: I made a pecan version. I think this was very similar to the cake that we used in the opera cake. For some reason, I really like this kind of cake, though this one was a bit sticky. In the whole of the dessert, I think it added more to texture than taste as the chocolate overwhelmed it's delicate taste. Very simple and quick to make.

Ganache insert: I made a cinnamon version; however, I don't feel that you could really appreciate the cinnamon taste. I almost burned it because my sugar wasn't cooking evenly. This ended up pretty good and strong flavored. I enjoyed the thickness of the texture.

Crisp insert: OH MY! I almost burned my house down (literally) trying to make this. I decided to do the coconut version, so I placed my coconut in the toaster oven to toast. When the timer went off, I returned to the kitchen to smoke. I thought, "Man! I burned the coconut," which I did. However, when I opened the toaster door the coconut burst into flames. I just stood there trying to figure out WHAT to do. The flames didn't get any smaller when I tried to blow it out and the flames were soon lapping at the cabinet above the toaster. AHHH! I went to get the fire extinguisher (which I REALLY didn't want to use b/c it makes a big mess). PROBLEM...I couldn't figure out how to use it! So, by this time the flames were a bit smaller; I decided to just grab the pan by the corner (with a pot holder) and take it to the sink...fire doused! All that to say...this crisp was pretty boring! No praline, no coconut, just chocolate and rice cereal. I must say, however, that the crunch added a lot to the finished product while at the same time making it difficult to cut! I bet my mom liked this element because of the added crunch! :-)

Creme Brulee insert: What can I say...this took SO long to cook. I put it in the water bath as suggested but it never cooked in this. When I finally took it out it cooked pretty quickly. Overall, it took about 2 hours just to cook! Then it had to cool, etc. Additionally, when frozen, it got an icy texture. I did a coffee version, which when taste alone did taste of coffee; however, with all the other flavors going on, didn't really add much. Another curious thing with this element was what it did after frozen. As you can see, it pretty much covered the entire area of my log. However, when I cut into it, it had shrunk! Since when do things SHRINK when they freeze? Apparently, creme brulee does!

Mousse: I did a white chocolate version. This was my favorite part! I could have just eaten this alone. It was SO good. Wonderful just chilled as well as frozen. Mmmm!

Glaze: I had to cook this twice. For some reason, I have a hard time getting my glazes to be thick enough. The first version would have just rolled off the log leaving ugliness. So, I started over and paid a little more attention ending in what I consider success! This was probably the most challenging DB event I've done yet! Thanks to our hostesses for pushing me to do something I would not have done otherwise. To see more results, visit the blogs listed here. The recipe is posted on Hilda's site.

74 comments:

Sara said...

This looks beautiful! I agree that the delicate taste of the dacquoise got a little lost in the final product. I will have to try a pecan version sometime--it looks amazing!

Gfron1 said...

A lot of folks had trouble with that glaze. Try it again on other things because it really is a great finish once you've got the hang of it. Your finished log looks really great.

Elle said...

You did the glaze twice! I'm impressed. My brulee shrank a bit, too. Your Buche de Noel looks beautiful! The coconut story will be something to remember for years! Glad it all went well in the end! Great job!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great log! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

HangryPants said...

That does look extremely challenging - great work!

Nikita's Mom said...

I've had the same problem with my glaze. But your log ended looking wonderful! Great job!

Gretchen Noelle said...

This was definitely a challenging month and you did a great job. I did think long and hard about a coffee version, I hope it tasted delicious all together!

Mary said...

I know fire is no laughing matter but your coconut bursting into flames story cracked me up :) Glad it all worked out though.

Jo said...

I found this month's challenge is really a "challenge". Great job on your log cake and have a great new year.

Nichole said...

Great job! I had trouble with the icing, too, but I didn't make it over again. I just went with the ugly!

Jaime said...

your glaze turned out so much better than mine did! the white chocolate mousse sounds wonderful :) great job! though i agree, not really worth making again :P

Katrina said...

Does look like a tough challenge and a lot of work. Good job!

Hey, I'm glad you just got the new scale for Christmas, as your name was one of the four chosen by my boys, but not the final name picked! ;) Happy weighing, I really like my scale.

Amy said...

Nice job! The white chocolate mousse looks scrumptious!

Amy

Laurie said...

I had issues with my glaze too.....I can't believe all the trouble you went thru for this yule log! My gosh!

Passionate About Baking said...

Yes the glaze was a bit fiddly, but I love how you got it all together. Well done on the challenge; the buche is very pretty!

Linda said...

I love the way you blogged the challenge - with a description of each part! Very nice! Yes, I had the same problem with the creme brulee taking over two hours to set! Something was wrong with that recipe in that respect, I'm sure.

Anyway, yours looks very yummy. I love the story about the coconut! I'm really glad it ended in such a good way. Would have hate to have had the fire department called over this challenge.

Jenn said...

I always remember PASS for a fire extinguisher (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep) :)

I agree, not sure it was worth the work.

Elra said...

No worry dear, lots of member having difficulties with this challenge. I couldn't figure out why the créme brulèe it melted so rapidly, luckily I was able to take a few good shot before I had to put the log back in the freezer. That is why I promise myself not to make this log with the crème brulée next time.

I'm glad that you finished your challenge, and that is two thumbs up!
Cheers,
Elra

Mrs Ergül said...

what great flavours you have there!

Lorraine E said...

Your experience with the coconut would frighten me and I'd probably pack up my tools and give it up. Good on you for persevering after it. That looks wonderful!

Dharm said...

Your log looks great. I'd agree that I dont know if I'd make this again as its a lot of work. Still, it was a superb dessert!

awoz said...

It sound so tasty, all this different falvours.
I had a little trouble to with my creme bruké, I had to turn the height higher so it would finally cook...

Hilda said...

What a trooper. Marion and I picked this and I think if I'd gone through what you did I would have given up halfway through. But kudos to you for sticking with it, even if it didn't end up being to your liking, in the true DB spirit. Have a Happy New Year!

Esther said...

Looks great. I think you have to accept that some elements get a bit lost. I would consider dropping the creme brulle if I did it again as it was difficult to notice it taste wise and I had trouble with it cooking then it defrosted slower than the rest.

love dacquoise though cos it is easy to do gluten free having very little flour in it.

Renee said...

Great job! I had to make a double batch of the glaze. My first batch didn't cover the log! It was finicky!

minisuperbias said...

isn't the white chocolate mousse wonderful! lovely log!

silverrock said...

Beautiful yule-log! I love all the pretty layers! Congrats on this month's challenge and keep up the great bakes!

Olga said...

I'm impressed you had the time to take photos of each step!

Rysheda said...

Your log looks great! I think when it comes to certain desserts and challenges, it challenges the tasters to come out of their comfort zones as well. My mommy only ate a half a slice and hasn't touched it since :-) Great job! Happy New Year.

chef_d said...

It was very entertaining reading your experience making this one. Your slice looks tasty!

Hannah said...

Oh, that coffee creme brulee insert sounds delicious! Congrats on the fantastic end result. :)

Ally said...

Your log looks fabulous! Good for you for sticking with it!

pinkstripes said...

Your yule log looks great!

I can't believe the coconut caught on fire. How scarY!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I bet I would have loved your white chocolate version! It's very pretty!

BakingLikeBetty said...

It's beautiful!! Merry Christmas! I agree one of the more challenging DB challenges yet!

BakingLikeBetty said...

It's beautiful!! Merry Christmas! I agree one of the more challenging DB challenges yet!

Annie said...

I have never made one before... it is beautiful! I have to admit it is a lot of work though. Well at least you can say you've made one now!!!

madcapcupcake said...

Your log looks delicious!! I love the white chocolate mousse :)

Lisa said...

Nicely done! Crazy challenge, wasn't it? :)

BC said...

I'm so glad you didn't burn the house down! There must be something in the air because I burnt three batches of coconut in my toaster oven... but no flames.

newlyweds said...

My brulee took over 2 hours also, wierd. Looks great. And What a challenge!!!

Esi said...

I'm so glad you didn't burn down your kitchen in the coconut fiasco!! It was challenging, but a good learning experience.

Barbara Bakes said...

Sorry about the fire - that's scary! Your log looks delicious though!

Jude said...

Good thing you were left for an entire day to make this. I'm sure everyone appreciated the effort.

Suzana said...

Challenging indeed! You did great, and your buche looks lovely. :)

Kelly said...

Great job! I had to laugh at your toaster oven fire (once I read that you and the house were ok). I had a similar experience once when cooking a hamburger patty. Although my first instinct was to call my sister to ask what to do rather than picking up the fire extinguisher lol!

Andreas said...

Great post. :)

Quick excursion into smart-ass mode:
Most things contract, when they freeze. Exception: water. As very many things used in the kitchen contain water, one is led to mistake the exception for the norm.

Happy New Year!

Candace said...

Looks great! Glad you didn't burn down the kitchen... coconut is finicky that way!

Y said...

Wow what an adventure you had with making this! Didn't realise it was even possible for coconut to burst into flames!

Chahira Daoud said...

your log looks awsome and your choice of flavors are amazing , next time I will try it!
Great job and wish you a very happy new year!

cathy said...

Claire, what a great combination of ideas!! the pecan with white chocolate mousse and the coffee and would-be-coconut... yum. it looks sensational. :)

cathy said...

PS the glaze took me 3 goes and it was still too ugly to put in the photos!! haha!

Peabody said...

I am so impressed that you even had time to do this! Go Claire! Job well done.

Holly said...

Your white chocolate mousse looks delicious!

Jenny said...

Talk about adding excitement to the challenge?
Good end result, and glad to hear it was well received (as it should be!)

Natalie... said...

Mmm what a lovely job, definately was my most challenging challenge yet!! You pulled it off though! Well done.

jillian said...

Wow a coconut emergency! Mine toasted much faster than I thought too! It looks great!

Laura Rebecca said...

Yum! It looks like you did a terrific job.

breadchick said...

I loved the dacquoise the most too.
Your log is lovely.

Claire, you asked about the cookie jar behind my log. That is actually my mother's cookie jar as I made this month's challenge at my folk's house. That cookie jar was a Christmas present many years ago from my brother's two oldest children as a special Christmas cookie jar reserved for cookies for the grand kids.

Thanks for stopping by The Sour Dough and commenting.

Christine said...

Hey Claire

I think it's great that you took the time to visit and comment on so many blogs, so I'm returning the favor!

I can totally see the coconut thing happening. Mine turned black pretty fast. I'm sure it was scary, but your story cracked me up!

Your log looks yummy!

Faery said...

A lot of work but the result is beautiful and it looks so so yummy
Happy New Year!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Despite your challenges, you overcame them and produced a fabulous looking buche! Glad to kept trying - it looks well worth it. Happy New Year!

lilmizlynn said...

Your yule log looks great and yummy!! I love the way you describe on each element. I also had problems with my creme brulee but didnt make a 2nd try. They melt faster.. :(
btw, thank you for stopping by my blog. :)

Lynn

Lisa said...

Well done!I love the cute plate you photographed your final slice on :-)

Ivana said...

A great Yule log! Fantastic!!

linda said...

Great job, except on the coconut ;) I bet is was a scary experience. Love the choice of the flavours you used.

Libby said...

Yes, the dacquoise was one of my favorite parts, but got lost- I wonder if there are other recipes for dacquoise? What else could I use it in?

Madam Chow said...

You had me laughing so hard, I almost started to cry. I thought I had problems, but the coconut bursting into flames takes the cake - or should I say buche?

Carly said...

Your yule log looks fab! The white chocolate mouse looks amazing! And I am very glad you didn't burn your house down, you gotta watch out for that coconut!

Audax Artifex said...

Good to see that you really tried with this recipe. The final results are worth it. Happy NY to you and your family and friends. Thanks for the comments on my blog

Sandy Smith said...

Wow ~ great job! And what a hair-raising experience with that coconut conflagration. I think I might have hung up my apron at that point! :)

Your vanilla mousse looks and sounds delicious.

Vera said...

Your log looks wonderful! Happy New Year!

Leanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leanne said...

Yum yours looks tasty! I wish I'd done a white mousse-- the dark one was very rich. And I couldn't taste the cinnamon in my ganache either!