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.
Their announcement started with the words: the gauntlet is thrown.
You can say that again! I was really eh impressed by the length of the recipe(s) given. Although both lovely ladies ensured us that once we had chosen our flavourings, following the steps in completing the challenge was fairly easy I wasn't convinced. I mean this is December. Right in the middle of all celebrations, cooking and entertaining we were supposed to make an 18 page recipe?
Of course they were right. And I waited until the last possible moment to discover that. Yesterday afternoon I took my first step. My husband warned me to not play with caramel that late at night, so this morning I finished up adding the last layer, and making the icing. Once I broke up the recipes in steps to take (and please go over to Hilda/Marion for the simplified recipe) and organised my kitchen/thinking, it all went smooth from there.
Naaa, you wouldn't believe that would you?
- Not understanding to line the creme brulee mold resulting in a set brulee which wouldn't come out in one piece? I froze it, dipped the underside in hot water, shook and there it was. Phew!
- Steeped the cream-milk mixture with lime zest.... it would have been so wise to strain it. Believe it would. Beginners mistake!
- Made a nice white chocolate praliné, it firmed up as it should. Then Mrs Clumsy stepped in and almost dropped it while transferring it to the fridge.... grabbing and crushing it in the process. Jigsaw praline in my Bûche.
My flavours and the order of the steps I took:
a) White chocolate cornflakes praliné (nice and crunchy, better than I expected)
b) lime and vanilla flavoured créme brulée (very smooth and silky, great flavour!)
c) Milk chocolate mousse (mmm, not entirely sure about this one, a bit too sweet)
d) Hazelnut-Lime dacquoise (I loved this one!)
e) Lightly salted Caramel ganache insert (caramel! How can this not be good?)
f) Bittersweet chocolate icing (Eeek! I must have done something wrong. Not good.)
The one thing I played with was the Ganache insert which was supposed to be more about chocolate with a caramel accent. I reversed it. Making some more caramel, using slightly less cream and adding just 50 grams of chocolate for firmness and a bit of extra flavour. I wanted oozing caramel in this one!! (Left over stuff is excellent in coffee!)
When having completed yet another DB challenge I go over the steps and think about what I learned and if it was worth it. The problem for me is that I'm not much of a sweet person. I'll pick a nice baguette with cheese or paté or whole rye chicken sandwich over any dessert almost any time. Choose a cheese dessert instead of chocolate mousse. The whole Daring Baker's exercise for me is about mastering (and sometimes failing) a technique, trying to get "behind the scene" and figure out how it's done. I loved to learn how to make a mirror cake, how to make excellent caramel sauce, créme Anglaise, or buttercream and genoise, and get my hands in some magic dough. I will never forget the mindboggling bagels either!
This one for me was about learning how to make a velvety smooth créme brulée and this dacquoise was an eye-opener! Thanks to Hilda and Marion for yet another challenge!
Can't tell you how it tasted, I sliced and photographed (badly!) while still fully frozen and my tastebuds are not exactly in tiptop shape at the moment. Hope to get better pics tomorrow when it's going to be served. Advil here I come!