Sunday, December 28, 2008

Raspberry French Yule Log

Time for the monthly Daring Bakers challenge. This month's challenge was brought to us by Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. They've chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilège Gourmand.

There are six elements to this dessert, each of which can be adapted to your personal preferences. I made an almond Dacquoise Biscuit as the bottom portion, topped with carmelized white chocolate ganache. The two inserts are a plain praline crisp and vanilla creme brulee, all surrounded by raspberry and vanilla mousse. Topping all of it is a simple almond royal icing. I wanted to stay away from stronger flavors, like the typical dark chocolates that come with this dessert, simply due to the fact that so many other treats during the holiday season rely on these same flavors. I wanted to make something that would be a bit lighter, and would have a nice fruity taste added to it as well.


Almond Dacquoise Biscuit:
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon almond meal
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 large egg whites
4 tablespoons granulated sugar

If you want to make homemade almond meal, simply blanch some almonds, remove their skins, and bake in a 350ºF oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant, then process roughly. Set aside any excess meal, then add to the processor the confectioner's sugar and flour, along with the almond meal, and process until just combined. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and slowly add the granulated sugar. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form. Pour almond mix on top and fold together. Pour onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and smooth out until 1/3-inch thick. Bake in the 350ºF oven 15 minutes, or until golden. Cut to desired shape (I cut three 5-inch circles).

Carmelized White Chocolate Ganache:
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
6 ounces white chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream

Heat sugar in a pot over medium heat, swirling occassionally to ensure it doesn't burn. Do not stir with a spoon - it will introduce air. Continue heating until dark amber color is reached (easier to see in aluminium). In the meantime, bring the cream to a boil. Remove caramel sugar from heat and, while at arm's length, pour cream into sugar. Add white chocolate and submerge all pieces with a wooden spoon. Wait 30 seconds, then stir together until combined. Pour a small amount onto each dacquoise biscuit, then cool in refrigerator until set.

Raspberry Vanilla Mousse:
1 2/3 cup heavy cream, divided
2/3 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup raspberry puree

Combine 2/3 cup heavy cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cornstarch, and beat until no lumps are present. Add the dairy mix and raspberry puree, then stir until combined. Move into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until thickened. Move to a refrigerator to cool. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, whip the remaining cup of heavy cream, adding sugar and vanilla as necessary to flavor it. Fold together the raspberry and creme mixes with a rubber spatula - do not over-stir, it will collapse.

Praline Crisp:
1/3 cup whole milk
2/3 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Heat milk and butter together until melted. Add flour and mix until the mixture comes together. Add egg, sugar, and oil. Mix together, then spread thinly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for a few minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Vanilla Creme Brulee Insert:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 210ºF. Whisk together sugar and egg yolks just to combine. Add dairy and vanilla. Strain and pour evenly into three creme brulee dishes. Place dishes into baking sheet with high sides, and add boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 1 hour, or until the center is soft but the sides are set. Remove from the oven and cool in the refrigerator, covering with plastic wrap if you want to avoid skin from forming.

Almond royal icing:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Begin whisking the egg whites in a stand mixer on medium speed, and add powdered sugar slowly. Continue adding until the mixture thickens to a consistency that resembles softened whipped cream. Add the milk and almond extract, then beat to combine.

Remove the almond dacqouise biscuit with ganache from the refrigerator. Scoop a little mousse on top and spread with praline insert, leaving it in place after the mousse has been spread. Add some more mousse on top, then spoon on some creme brulee. Place into the freezer for an hour to ensure it sets, then top with more mousse, forming the final shape of the dessert. Again, place into the freezer to set. Top with icing (go lightly, it's fairly strong) and freeze before serving. Cut with a hot knife to go through it cleanly.

Raspberry French Yule Log

A lighter-than-average-flavored French Yule Log

See Raspberry French Yule Log on Key Ingredient.


Mrs Ergül said...

wow! the white frosting is so apt for this season!

Nikita's Mom said...

i love that icing! and the raspberry vanilla mousse...yes..perfect!!! excellent job!

Jo said...

Great job on your yule log and the white icing goes very well with the Christmas holidays.

Sara said...

Mmmm, this looks really delicious! I love your combination of flavors...the raspberry-vanilla mousse sounds particularly yummy.

Hilda said...

Of course I was waiting for you to do some sort of vanilla version. It sounds delish and looks great. I hope you have a Happy New Year!

Claire said...

Yum...that looks just divine!

Engineer Baker said...

So pretty! And while I can't condone the lack of chocolate, I'm sure it was quite tasty :)

Renee said...

Raspberry vanilla mousse sounds delicious. Your log looks fantastic.

silverrock said...

Your yule-log/bombe looks lovely! I can simply taste the raspberry-vanilla mousse right now! Great job on this month's challenge, can't wait to see what you cook up next month!

minisuperbias said...

what a fabulous combo of flavors!

vibi said...

Superb, Garrett!
I love the free-form feel your log has... and the combination of flavores must have been divine!

Anonymous said...

Raspberry vanilla mousse and caramelized white frosting sounds delicious. Great job!

Amy said...

What a beautiful dessert! It is so appropriate for this time of year. Great job,


Jennifer said... beautiful!

Ally said...

Wonderful, I love your flavor combinations, especially the raspberry!

Laura Rebecca said...

Mmmm, delicious! What a wonderful spin on this month's challenge!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job, love the round shape!!

Maggie said...

This looks like such a great flavor combination! I really like how thick your layer of caramel white chocolate ganache is, that was my favorite component in my log. Happy New Year!

breadchick said...

Love the flavor combinations you picked for your challenge

Rysheda said...

Great log or circular figure :-) I am glad to see someone else used raspberry. I did mine for the creme brulee layer. Great challenge.

morgana said...

Mmmm. It looks so yummy... Congrats!