Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My First Daring Bakers Challenge!

A French Yule Log

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.

Whew, what a project! The log had six elements, made from scratch, with some of the scratches also made from scratch. :o) I am not a huge connoisseur of heavy desserts like this, but it was definitely impressive, and I enjoyed making all of it (read: I only swore at it a little and did not drop it in transit).

My favorite element was the Praline Feuillete, which is the third layer from the bottom. It is made of milk chocolate, praline paste, and gavottes. I made the praline paste out of almonds, and it turned out lovely, as displayed on this spoon:

Gavottes are lace crepes, which require a lot of spreading and watching the oven carefully. But they were worth it in the end.

The decor of my log was minimal at best. But by Christmas Eve morning (my last day at home before going to my future in-laws'), I was out of time, out of chocolate, and out of ideas anyhow. Next challenge I would like to bring it old school. I have been so impressed by the veteran bakers in this group! I think I will learn a lot from them.

My photos aren't the best for this (sweaty log, anyone?); I took them at night because that was when the log was going to be eaten and slicing it early would have been weird to me. Next time I will definitely take the photos in the daytime... which lately in Scotland has been in short supply, but I'll see what I can do, wink!

Thank you, Hilda and Marion! It was a challenge o' fun.