Sunday, December 28, 2008

Elegant French Buche de Noel

December challenge absolutely required daring and on.

Frozen French Yule Log

Once again the Daring Bakers have gone to the brink with an over the top dessert for the holidays. Last year it was the cake and buttercream Yule Log, this year it is the very elegant frozen French Yule Log or Buche de Noel.

A frozen Yule Log very reminiscent of an ice cream cake, only often it’s not made of ice cream but rather frozen mousse of some sort. In French this is called an entremets which is sometimes loosely translated in English as simply a cream dessert. This also means that this recipe is not holiday-specific, it is also just a scrumptious dessert recipe. I suspect, after making this dessert, that most French women purchase their frozen Yule Logs for the holidays, but I am very glad that Hilda and Marion chose it for the December challenge and that I made the time to create my own version, full of chocolate and coffee flavors.

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. If you find that you enjoy these type of desserts, check out Florilege Gourmand for many more gorgeous entremets.

These Daring Baker challenges each month are usually each a learning experience.

With six required parts, many flavor choices to make, and the amount of organization required a lot was indeed learned making this Yule Log!

I also learned that Sweetie doesn’t know not to interrupt my concentration as I’m piping chocolate mousse over the coffee crème brulee’ just before piping more mousse and laying in the white chocolate buttercrunch crisp layer. Then I learned that sincere apologies are needed after I yelled at him for interrupting me, followed by a great deal of thought about the relative importance of doing the challenge. Even though it turned out to be his all time favorite of the Daring Baker challenges, making it with all of the other stressed of Christmas time might not have been wise.

The good news is that I kept the learning experience going by identifying more stressors and dealing with some of them. So it was actually a good thing that the challenge was made and the mousse was interrupted. Ha hah! Still, sorry Sweetie!

The photo above shows all of the layers and how my slices looked for serving.

Chocolate was the main flavor of my buche, with (first element) dark chocolate icing (I used the milk chocolate recipe but used dark chocolate…don’t care for the cocoa version), (second element) dark chocolate ganache, (third element) almond dacquoise and extra almond dacquoise for décor (photo below shows dacquoise being spread before being baked),

(fourth element) a luscious coffee crème brulee’ (simmered some coffee in the heavy cream, then used a fine tea strainer to strain out the coffee grounds. This was my favortie part of the challenge. Photo below.

The next layer was (fifth element) a crisp made using crush cereal,

white chocolate and pulverized buttercrunch candy. If I were to make this again, I would break up the crisp layer because it was too hard to cut…maybe not enough cereal?

The dark chocolate mousse (sixth element) was the most difficult element for me but it was fun to see what the syrup did with the whisk on my KA…almost like cotton candy.

That worried me, but it ended up blending in fine and the mousse was quite delicious.

I decorated the top with dacquoise stars and chocolate covered coffee beans. It made a great dessert for a holiday dinner with friends.

Thank you Hilda & Marion and Flore, too. Happy Holidays all you Daring Baker type people!

Check out the hundreds and hundreds of variations of this gorgeous dessert through the
Daring Baker Blogroll.

You can go to Hilda’s blog, Saffron and Blueberries for the full recipe. Marion will be posting closer to the New Year.


  1. Anonymous12:17 PM

    I love your decorations. Your log and layers look perfect. Coffee creme brulee sounds delicious.

  2. lessons AND baking lessons, what more can you ask for!? :-) Looks great! I love that you made the crisp in white chocolate. Beautiful decorations!!! Glad you hubby liked dad said "Not the most impressive challenge." Oh well! I kind of agreed but didn't really want to hear it! My mom liked it though. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  3. Coffee and chocolate is such a wonderful combination. I'm glad you worked through the stresses of the challenge to come up with such a beautiful looking log. Happy holidays!

  4. Very, very pretty, Elle!
    What nice results you got, especially with the cut... WOW!

  5. Wow! That is a serious amount of layers! Well done.

  6. Your log looks fabulous! I love the flavours you chose and i wish I had been smart enough to line my creme brulee with foil instead of parchment paper that didnt quite contain the brulee!! LOL!
    Blessed Christmas to you and yours!

  7. Coffee creme brulee? That is my favorite part too!! Great job with the challenge, your log looks wonderful!

  8. lovely flavor combination! i enjoyed this challenge a lot.
    Wishing you and your family a happy new year!

  9. You mean yelling at your spouse while they interupt your baking is NOT NORMAL???? Oh dear.... :-)

    Actually, mine learned better awhile ago, so it is no longer necessary.

    You are making me look forward to mine, still in process right now.

  10. Your Yule Log looks fantastic! I love the coffee beans.

  11. Your log looks wonderful. I love the sound of combining coffee, chocolate and almond - yum.

  12. Anonymous2:18 PM

    I can't believe the amount of work that went into this recipe! Looks like you did a great job.

  13. Elle, another inspiring and gorgeous creation. Funny how those life lessons sneak up on us, huh? May you have a very happy New Year,


  14. Heehee...sometimes I also yell at my hubbie if he interrupts me while I'm concentrating on a baking task. But I always make it up to him with the dessert. Great job on your log and happy new year!

  15. Definitely a mind-boggling challenge with many many learning points. Love yr flavour combinations!

  16. You patient woman you...yours turned out fabulous. I do have to say I am glad I missed this one...oh too much time. :)

  17. a lot of organization, but a delicious end result. yours is elegant, indeed! happy new year!

  18. Sweetie interruptions or not, the piping looks fantastic.

    And my mom's mixer whisk looked just like yours and had me all worried too!

    Next month, let's hope we can return to the land of St. Honore with a bit of savory shall we!

  19. Mmm.. chocolate and coffee. Delicious!

  20. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Your layers all look so smooth and even- Great work on this challenge!

  21. Every time I do that sugar syrup thing in the KA I'm fascinated with the effects ;)
    Coffee . . . wonderful creme brulee!
    This time of year seems to bring out all kinds of stresses but it would seem we both stepped up to them very well thank you.
    Yours is beautiful.

  22. Sweeties just don't seem to understand how much concentration this really takes.

  23. Anonymous10:21 AM

    Great step-by-step photos! Yes, the pate a bombe was difficult for me, too, and my cereal layer had too much cereal, but the whole thing tasted amazing. I really like the coffee/chocolate flavor combo that you chose.

  24. Your log looks perfect! Great job!