Sunday, December 28, 2008

French Yule Log

Most often, Erica and I struggle to come up with time to bake - as the name of this blog implies, we're both law students and time where both of us are available to spend extended time in the kitchen is often hard to come by.

We though this month was going to be the same - with studying and finals and far-flung locales for the holiday, it initially seemed like we were going to be taking another month off. I was, in the end, able to convince my brother to stick around the Bay Area for an extra day before heading down to our parents house, and a yule log was made...

Contrary to appearances, this is not a mess on the floor, but the beginning of a delicious Praline Crisp insert. We took the easy way out this time, and used rice krispies instead of the lace, and just ground up some hazelnuts instead of making the full Praline, but the short-cuts worked and the crisp was delicious.

Usually, I would say that Erica and I are pretty precise bakers - we plot out the steps in advance and plan how much time everything is going to take. This felt different - maybe it was the mulled cider, the Christmas movies or the fact that we had just finished finals, but the yule log was surprisingly ad hoc. Aside from the creme brule (which, by the way, was not BRULE at all, much to Erica's disappointment), we mostly made one piece (such as the dacquoise biscuit above or the mousse below) as we felt like it.

Assembly wasn't quite the most beautiful we've seen. Neither of us owned a yule log mold, and once I got over the fact that we really couldn't roll this one, a bread pan it was.

We had ambitious plans to mold some leaves, but in the end, we just raked a fork across and served it up, semi-frozen.

There was some disagreement as to whether the fully frozen variety was better, but I can't say anyone really complained. Again, another daring baker success!

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