Here we are at the end of another month, which means another Daring Bakers challenge.
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.
Now, before I start showing you pictures or talking about what I did, let me tell you first that I have utterly failed this challenge. Really. Think of a way I could mess things up, and I did it. The planning: first fail. You see, I didn’t actually read the recipe until December 26, at which point I and everyone I know had been stuffed so full of sweets and rich food that I wondered whether I could really eat or find anyone else to consume SIX layers of richness ( mousse, praline, ganache, dacquoise, creme brulee, icing). This is not the fault of the recipe, which is decadent, and produces a gorgeous final product, as you’ll see on all the non-failure Daring Bakers’ blogs. If I’d started thinking about this earlier, I’d have had a wonderful dessert to wow the family at Christmas dinner. After Christmas, however, no one wanted to even hear me talk about six layers of chocolate. So… I cheated. I made only the dacquoise, mango mousse, and a chocolate sauce to pour over the top. I layered the mousse and the dacquoise in little cups, and that’s all. So I guess I made 3/6 elements, which technically isn’t failure. That’s fifty percent!
Next failure was my dacquoise. It has almond meal mixed with beaten egg whites and a touch of flour. This combination makes a thin, chewy biscuit. But, um… my thin chewy biscuit tastes a little bit like cumin. Oh dear. My almond flour, of which I had just exactly enough (this made me happy, as I didn’t want to trudge through the snow to the supermarket), was stored in a not-airtight container in a mess of a drawer that has a bit of everything in it, including, unfortunately, a very fragrant bag of cumin. So, housekeeping failure=cumin dacquoise.
Next, my mango mousse. I was drawn to this alternative offering in the recipe because I thought it would be a good alternative to chocolate. Problem is, I didn’t have nice mango, so I substituted some canned mango in syrup that was nearly completely flavourless. This wasn’t exactly my fault, as I just couldn’t find anything else that would do. So my mango mousse turned out super sweet with very little mango flavour (or colour… I used some food colouring, but that didn’t really help either). I added a bit of lime juice to the mousse to up the tang, which made it turn out… well, honestly, it was disgusting. Carlo took one bite and said “I can’t eat this.” And fortunately for him, I agreed.
My chocolate sauce, on the other hand, was fine. I used the chocolate icing recipe provided and just didn’t include the gelatin. It was, as you can expect, rich and unctuous, the way chocolate sauce should be.
That’s my not-a-yule-log epic. Failure in planning, preparation, storage, and commitment. Final product: inedible. I highly recommend you check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll if you want to see what the challenge was supposed to be. Me, I’m going to hide my head in shame and plan to do better next time. Please check the above links if you’d like the recipe.