December's Daring Bakers Challenge was a Yule Log but not the familiar American confection - jelly roll style cake layered with whipped cream and/or mousse then rolled up and covered with ganache-but a French super refined version with 5 or so layers or "inserts" as the recipe called them. Unlike last February's French challenge, baguette with its 3 ingredients and many steps, this challenge had many steps, many ingredients, and required the full usage of all kitchen equipment but most importantly this challenge required superior concentration. At a few times I needed my kids' karate sensei's adage - "practice a mind of patience."
This was quite a challenge from making sense of the 18 pages of directions, formulating a plan and then executing the plan over several days. I tried like heck to start and finish in a day but the glazing did have to wait a day. I did experience some frustration with this recipe with the small amounts and my heavy duty KA mixer (50g of egg yolks did not whisk up nicely and I had to redo it with my handheld with my carpal tunnel aching hand) Also, my candy thermometer did not even touch the minuscule amount of syrup so I had to tip the pan to get a temperature reading! I never heard of gavottes and being a crepe lover I was interested in making them - they add a different texture and flavor to the praline insert which I made the praline for all 2 tablespoons of it. The creme brulee was DElicious. I have never had creme brulee so it was a pleasant surprise! The mousse and gelatin gave me some issues - I never achieve a smooth texture (I believe I had the same issue with the mirror cake) and there is a feel of what I think is the gelatin on the palate - not in an awful way but enough to notice it.
All in all, this recipe was a Challenge and if you want to impress your friends or family, make it.
The frustrations and surprises that come with trying new recipes keeps me coming back to try the new Daring Bakers' challenges every month. And the mess comes with whatever you do!
A big thank-you to Hilda and Marion for this Challenge! Find the recipe here.
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