Sunday, December 28, 2008

Help! I ate my Christmas tree and I blame the Daring Bakers for it!

Hello people celebrating holidays! I hope you're all having wonderful moments and meals during this special time of the year. My Christmas was nice and sunny, cold and warm, with family, with friends, with a lot of food and even more text messages!

This year we had 2 Christmas trees: One to light up and decorate our dinning room and another one to... well... eat!

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 for the December Daring Bakers' Challenge: a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

They asked for a log I know, but I decided to do the whole tree!

I've been eating a lot of peanut butter and chocolate stuff that I brought back from the States and I'm not tired yet of that wonderful combo! I really love Peanut Butter Cups and I'm almost thankful that I can't get them here. I also really enjoyed the Peanut Butter M&ms that I got and I can't forget a wonderful chocolate & peanut butter chips cookie I bought at Levain Bakery.

So from all the "christmasy" flavours I could have chosen for this I was faithfull to my pb&choc love.

This dessert has 6 elements:
  1. Dacquoise Biscuit
  2. Mousse
  3. Ganache Insert
  4. Crisp Insert
  5. Creme Bruleé Insert
  6. Icing

Peanut Dacquoise Biscuit:

  • 2.8 oz (3/4cup + 1Tbsp / 80g) ground roasted peanuts
  • 1.75 oz (1/2 cup / 50g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 2Tbsp (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 3.5oz (100g / 100ml) about 3 medium egg whites
  • 1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar

Finely mix the peanut meal and the confectioner's sugar. Sift the flour into the mix. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff. Pour the peanut meal mixture into the egg whites and blend delicately with a spatula. Grease a piece of parchment paper and line your baking pan with it. Spread the batter on a piece of parchment paper to an area slightly larger than your desired shape and to a height of 1/3 inches (8mm). Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Let cool and cut to the desired shape.

Milk Chocolate Mousse:

  • 2.5 sheets gelatine or 5g / 1 + 1/4 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 1.5 oz (3 Tbsp / 40g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp (10g) glucose or thick corn syrup
  • 0.5 oz (15g) water
  • 50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
  • 6.2 oz (175g) milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

Soften the gelatine in cold water. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white), cook the sugar, glucose syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F /118°C). If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature. Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should become thick and foamy.

In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Whip the remainder of the cream until stiff. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatine, mixing well. Let the gelatine and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of whipped cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe. Add in the rest of the whipped cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.

Dark Chocolate – Peanut Butter Ganache Insert:

  • 1.75 oz (4 Tbsp / 50g) granulated sugar
  • 4.5oz (2/3 cup – 1 Tbsp/ 135g) heavy cream
  • 5 oz (135g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3Tbsp + 1/2tsp (45g) unsalted butter softened
  • 2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter

Make a caramel: Using the dry method, melt the sugar by spreading it in an even layer in a small saucepan with high sides. Heat over medium-high heat, watching it carefully as the sugar begins to melt. Never stir the mixture. As the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan occasionally to allow the sugar to melt evenly. Cook to dark amber colour (for most of you that means darker than last month’s challenge). While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until boiling. Pour cream into the caramel and stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter and boil. Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate and peanut butter. Wait 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Add the softened butter and whip hard and fast (if you have a plunging mixer use it). The chocolate should be smooth and shiny.

Peanut Butter – Milk Chocolate Feuilletine Crisp Insert:

  • 3.5 oz (100g) milk chocolate
  • 60 gr / 4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 2.1oz (60g) lace crepes (gavottes- feuilletine)

Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler. Add the coarsely crushed lace crepes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate. Spread between two sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.

Peanut Butter Crème Brulée Insert:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (115g) whole milk
  • 4 medium-sized (72g) egg yolks
  • 0.75 oz (2 Tbsp / 25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 60 gr/ 4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

Heat the milk, cream, and peanut butter to just boiling. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks (but do not beat until white). Pour the milk over the sugar/yolk mixture. Mix well. Wipe with a very wet cloth and then cover your baking with parchment paper. Pour the cream into the mould and bake at 210°F (100°C) for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center. Let cool and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up and facilitate the final assembly.

White Chocolate Icing

  • 1.5 gelatine sheets or 3g / 1/2Tbsp powdered gelatine
  • 3.5 oz (100g) white chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (90 g) whole milk
  • 1 2/3 Tbsp (30g) glucose or thick corn syrup
  • 1/ 4 tsp green food colouring

Red fondant circles and yellow starsSoften the gelatine in cold water for 15 minutes. Coarsely chop the chocolate and butter together. Bring the milk and glucose syrup to a boil. Add the gelatine. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until smooth and add the food colouring. Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well, use immediately.

How To Assemble your French Yule Log as a Christmas Tree:

I’ve used ice cream glass cups, that have a slightly cone shape that I thought it would look like Christmas trees when inverted.

  • Line your moulds with foil and then plastic wrap.
  • Pipe one third of the Mousse component into the mould.
  • Take the Creme Bruleé Insert out of the freezer at the last minute and set on top of the mousse. Press down gently to slightly ensconce it in the mousse.
  • Pipe second third of the Mousse component around and on top of the Creme Brulee Insert.
  • Cut the Praline/Crisp Insert to a size slightly smaller than your mold so that it can be surrounded by mousse. Lay it on top of the mousse you just piped into the mold.
  • Pipe the last third of the Mousse component on top of the Praline Insert.
  • Freeze for a few hours to set. Take out of the freezer.
  • Pipe the Ganache Insert onto the frozen mousse leaving a slight edge so that ganache doesn’t seep out when you set the Dacquoise on top.
  • Close with the Dacquoise.
  • Freeze until the next day.
  • Unmold the cake/log/whatever and set on a wire rack over a shallow pan.
  • Cover the cake with the icing and decorate with the foundat cirles to resemble Christmas balls and yellow stars on top.
  • Let set. Return to the freezer.
  • Transfer to the refrigerator no longer than ½ hour before serving as it may start to melt quickly depending on the elements you chose.

I bet you would have eaten your Christmas tree as well, wouldn't you?!

You can check all the other Yule Logs here.

Have a wonderful 2009 wonderful people!

91 comments:

Sara said...

Wow, this is so pretty! What a great idea for how to assemble it. I also LOVE your ideas for the flavor combinations...despite how much work it was, I almost feel like making it again to make it chocolate-peanut butter! ;)

VeggieGirl said...

Sooo glad that your Christmas went well; and hooray for a lovely DBC treat!!

Claire said...

Oh, my! That sounds delicious! I agree with you about the peanut butter/chocolate combo...it's my favorite way to eat chocolate. I bet a peanut butter mousse would ahve been good too! Looks wonderful!

Engineer Baker said...

Oh wonderful - there's really nothing better than PB and chocolate. Love the little christmas trees :)

Sugar Chef said...

What a fun presentation, and peanut butter and chocolate yum!! Good job.

Reeni said...

You never cease to amaze me with your gorgeous and delicious creations! I love it! I would of ate my tree too, how could you not?

(( K@Y )) said...

If it's that tree, sure I love to have a bite...hehe

rainbowbrown said...

Very cool. It is rather pretty.

Bob said...

Uhm, wow. That looks amazing! I would like some now, please. Happy Holidays! :)

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge and love the Christmas tree version. Have a great new year.

Laurie said...

Peanut butter ganache? I think I love you ;)

Bridgett said...

That is almost too pretty to eat! Looks wonderful.

Heather said...

oh my gosh! that is so freakin adorable! i love it!! i think it looks like the tastiest christmas tree ever :)

RecipeGirl said...

It's darling... and delicious looking for sure! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Katrina said...

Once again, awesome, yum and too funny, Rita! Ate the whole tree. Love it. After all the holidays baking and eat, I do feel like I ate a whole tree. Sigh! Breath. Exercise......
More cookies! ;)
Yum to the pb/choc, too!

Sharon said...

Wow! What a gorgeously decadent dessert. Chocolate peanut butter is a flavor combination that's underappreciated around the world. I'm glad you enjoy it!

cookemila said...

por fin has vuelto..mira que mira tu blog todos los dias...supongo que estaras de vacaciones de navidad...quien pudiera me ha encantado tu arbol de navidad...ahora mismo me comia hasta las raices...feliz año y feliz reto

noble pig said...

Well yours is definitely the most original! This is such an amazing dessert, I would love to try it someday.

HoneyB said...

Looks awesome Rita!

Mrs Ergül said...

nice pastel colours you have there!

Aparna said...

So we all made logs and you made a whole tree? Wow!
The tree does look cute. This must be the most unusual yule cake I've seen. I can see you are in love with the chocolate peanut butter combo. :)

Best Wishes for the festive season a Happy New Year.

Yasmeen said...

very pretty,love the layers of peanutty flavors:)

Nichole said...

It's so cute! The peanut butter-chocolate combination is always a winner.

Hilda said...

PB&C huh, I love me some PB&C although I can't have any right now. What an original shape, it looks great. Glad you enjoyed this challenge. Have a Happy New Year!

Passionate About Baking said...

A PB & C buche...good for you CC!!Looks fabulous. I loved the challenge too...it was the most delicious thing I've ever made!!

Mar said...

Wow! a recipe very good, and delicius, I hope you understand me, my english is not good.
I whish you a great New Year!!!
Un beso

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Gorgeous. I like the idea of an edible tree. You're not a woman who does things on a small scale, are you? They ask for a log, you give them a tree. I think I wnat to be on your gift list in the future. ;-)

I'm a big peanut butter and chocolate freak too. I don't know if I could live without PB cups.

Olga said...

I think you should win the award for creativity! What a cute idea :)

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks so difficult! Wow!

Renee said...

Very nice edible tree!! Gorgeous!

silverrock said...

the only thing better than peanut butter and chocolate has got to be your creative decoration! I think you should win prizes for the cutest yule-log and the cutest christmas tree ever!

Ingrid said...

Great idea making it into a tree.

Happy 2009!
~ingrid

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a pretty log with perfect layers! Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

Lorraine E said...

Very creative buche Rita!! I like the pale green colour, it reminds me of a Swedish princess cake! PB and choc is a delicious combo too :D

pinkstripes said...

Wow! Peanut butter and chocolate is always a winner. I love your yule tree!

Juliet said...

Totally amazing (as always)! Looks tasty too!! :)

Amy said...

Such a great idea, how appropriate! Super job on this challenge,

AMy

Jenny said...

How cute Rita! I love that it is in the shape of a tree, it looks beautifully delish!

Ally said...

How original! I love it! The flavors are fabulous, fantastic job!

Hannah said...

Huh, what a unique construction! I really love the shape, it's so cute!

kellypea said...

Very festive job on this challenge -- the flavor combo is so creative. And welcome back, too!

Jaime said...

i love your yule tree! what a cute idea...and i love pb&choc too :)

Noor said...

OMG this looks amazing looks and taste, yumm I want some :). Cookie where is it that you live? I really need to get started on my daring bakers challenge now that I am settled. I hope you had a good trip, talk to you soon...

Sara said...

This looks great, I love the christmas tree decor!

Liz said...

What a cute idea, making it a tree shape! I also love the PB&C flavor combination, I'm sure it tasted fabulous!

bonobocakes said...

Your trees are SO CUTE! What a fabulous idea! I must become more creative with my future challenges!

Merry Christmas!

Suzana said...

Original como sempre! Adorei a árvore e considerando que cá em casa não houve uma (é a árvore ou o gato), comia esta sem pensar duas vezes!

Bj grande e óptimas entradas ;)

bakinginoregon said...

Your 'tree' looks wonderful. Great job as usual.

Jude said...

Love your twist on all of your posts, DB or not :)

mesa para 4 said...

bem que trabalheira deliciosa...perfeito...desejo-te um EXCELENTE 2009!!!

Prudy said...

Wow! Wow! Wow!
I love it. That's one that would make the young and old smile. Your trip to the US sounds like it was a ton of fun. Welcome back!

Maggie said...

The tree shape is a great idea and it's so cute! The peanut butter creme brulee sounds really delicious, my husband would have loved it.

Lynn said...

I think your combination sounds lovely. I wish I would have used peanut butter. I wasn't too adventurous, after reading your post, I now know I made a mistake. Your yule tree looks amazing.

Emily said...

You always do such a lovely job, Rita, with the Daring Bakers challenge.
This looks absolutely scrumptious. Is it just me or is peanut butter hotter than ever?

Y said...

I love the tree! Your take on DB challenges are always so unique :D

Maria said...

Love the christmas trees! Amazing work here!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Omygosh! Those are adorable!! I love chocolate and pb together. What a great idea to incorporate them together in this!

Madeleine said...

Muy buena idea hacerlos como arbolitos navideños!!! te quedaron super lindos!

Feliz año nuevo! :)

Cakespy said...

I simply adore it!

Big Boys Oven said...

that log looks spectacular and awesome delicious!

madcapcupcake said...

Ok, this is too awesome...peanut butter and chocolate? and the decoration ROCKS!!

Peabody said...

How cool is that! You made it into a tree, what a clever idea.
Have a happy and healthy 2009!

mybricole said...

Peanut butter and Chocolate LOVE IT!!

Yasmeen said...

Have a wonderful and healthy new year:)

Usha said...

Wow this is amazing, looks fantastic....Happy new year :-)

Colloquial Cook said...

Oh dear, Rita, you are cute and crazy. I think you rocked the DB this month.

Elle said...

Not only a clever and beautiful tree shape, but milk chocolate and peanuts...a classic flavor duo. Super! Love the way you delicately decorated the tree, too.

Laura Rebecca said...

Mmm, delicious AND creative! Nice work and happy new year!

Kevin said...

Nice looking yule log!

Happy new year!

Jeanine said...

Love the Christmas tree! :) Looks delicious! Happy New Year!

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love your Christmas tree !! Happy new year ! Baci

linda said...

Creative idea to do a Christmas tree! Love the flavour you used.
Happy New Year!

breadchick said...

Very pretty and wonderful idea for the log.

Ann said...

I swear, if I lived near you and begged you to be my friend...I wonder if I'd be the size of a mansion.

As usual, these are darling and brilliant.

Libby said...

The peanut was a true inspiration- I like how you made something fancy very accessible.

Sophie said...

One can never have too many Christmas trees :D, especially the cute edible ones! Hope you have a great new year!

Madam Chow said...

That turned out so pretty, and how can you go wrong with peanut butter?

Lore said...

If my Christmas tree would've been made with all these goodies I would've hide it from others in a safe place=my tummy. Happy New Year to you and your family!!!

The Cherub's Craft Blog said...

Wow how cute if your tree :) Lovely work. My DH would love your version, he adores PB & C

Vera said...

Rita, what a lovely idea! Your tree looks amazing! Happy New Year!

Jess said...

The trees are SO CUTE!! I love that idea, and your peanut butter and chocolate flavor! YUM!! I bet that was sooooo tasty!

Zesty Cook said...

WOW - I am drooling. It sounds delicious.

zesty

gine said...

such a great idea :-) ... yummy!! looks so delicious!!!

Cakebrain said...

Wow! that's impressive! So many elements and so yummy too!

Cristine said...

Oh my! How creative!

Tartelette said...

Very fun! Love your take on the challenges everytime!

Happy New Year!

Cakelaw said...

Gorgeous! And a novel presentation of this Yule Log.

Laurel said...

Absolutely adorable! PB and chocolate are an excellent combo for the buche!!

morgana said...

¡¡ Qué bueno !! Te quedó precioso y por dentro tiene una pinta estupenda... Para mí ha sido todo un reto esta vez, había tantas cosas por hacer...

Un besazo muy fuerte y ¡¡ FELIZ AÑO !!

Colette said...

That's BEAUTIFUL. Spounds delicious, too!!!

A said...

Your Christmas tree must have been well-made for it to be eaten all up right away.