{DB} French Yule Log

I admit that the reason I joined the Daring Bakers was to be challenged month after month with baked goods that I would never dream of tackling on my own. Some months I have felt anxious when seeing the posted recipe wondering how I will ever complete it successfully. Other months, I am confident that with one try, I will achieve success. This month was yet another clear reason I joined Daring Bakers.

As I looked upon the French Yule Log recipe, I felt fear. Six components? Flavor options? A frozen dessert? I was intimidated. Excited but intimidated! Last December, we made a Yule Log and decorated it as a tree trunk. It was composed of a jelly roll and buttercream frosting. In France both the jelly roll and the frozen cream versions are available.

My choices for flavors were based on the fact that I wanted to use passionfruit as a primary flavor since I love how it’s tartness compliments chocolate so nicely. I used passionfruit for the mousse portion and flavored everything else with chocolate. Aesthetically, I liked the contrast of the light mousse and dark layers in between. Challenges are an opportunity to learn new techniques and I certainly was challenged by some new techniques in making the French Yule Log. Creating my own mold for the crème brulee was fun since it made me realize that I have more freedom than I ever realized when it comes to cream desserts. Making the crisp was something new for me to do. It was not difficult, but made me wonder if I could decorate desserts with crisps such as this one. The dacquoise seemed easy enough to make and I would like to try some other Peruvian layer desserts which use the dacquoise as the base. The mousse for me seemed to be the most involved step, as in it really took the most time. I do not own a candy thermometer, but I have heated sugar enough times to know what to look for and how to test it. The caramel base of the ganache gave me just a bit of trouble simply because I was trying to do too many things and the sugar wanted my full attention. It tasted delicious and I would be tempted to make it again as a salted caramel ganache. The concept of the icing was a good one; I just think my execution needs practice. To me, the icing seemed to coat a spoon immediately, yet I did not want the hot icing to melt the log and I wanted the icing to be thick enough to cover the holes created by air bubbles. By the time I got to the end, the icing seemed to clump a bit and I was slightly discouraged by the final coat. I wonder if I were to make it again if I would make two coats of icing so that the second may be a bit smoother?

As for the provided recipe, I was thrilled we were given so many options and notes to help guide us along the way. The part I found frustrating was the ambiguity of amounts the individual recipes would make. I understood that a complete recipe would require a 4 cup mold and since my silicone bread mold is just that, I chose to make a full recipe (even though I didn’t know who would eat it!). Once I got started on the individual recipes, it was obvious that I would not be using all I had made of each component and felt as though I was wasting ingredients. Now that I have made it, I would be able to more easily conceptualize the form and amounts needed if I were to make it again. I included timing notes as well as some notes regarding the amounts actually used for a four cup mold but left the recipes in the entirety.


Adapted from Flore of Florilège Gourmand


Chocolate Crème Brulée Insert


  • 2/3 cup of whole milk
  • 2/3 cup of heavy cream (35% fat content)
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 medium-sized egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar


  1. Heat the milk and cream in a small saucepan to just boiling. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir to thoroughly dissolve.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. Temper the eggs with the milk mixture, and then add the eggs back to the saucepan, mixing well.
  3. Pour the chocolate cream into the mold (I created my own foil form but the problem was that it floated in the water bath.) and the mold into a water bath and bake at 250F (which is as low as my oven goes) for about 1 hour or until firm on the edges and slightly wobbly in the center.
  4. Let cool and put in the freezer overnight to firm up and facilitate the final assembly.


I used just more than half for the Yule log and baked the rest in small Pyrex dishes. I would definitely make this recipe again; it was delicious on its own!!


Chocolate Crisp Insert


  • 100 grams of dark chocolate
  • 25 grams of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of manjar blanco (Yes, I know I still owe you the recipe for this!)
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened corn flakes, coarsely crushed


  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the manjar blanco and the corn flakes. Mix quickly to thoroughly coat with the chocolate.
  3. Spread between two sheets of wax paper to a size slightly larger than your desired shape. Refrigerate until hard.


I used one third for the Yule log and the rest is still in the fridge.


Chocolate Almond Dacquoise


  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of almond meal
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar


  1. 1. Sift together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar and flour. Sprinkle in almond meal; stir to combine.
  2. Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold the almond meal mixture into the egg whites.
  4. Grease (mmm...just saw this!) 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).
  5. Bake at 350F for approximately 15 minutes (depends on your oven), until golden.
  6. Let cool and cut to the desired shape.


I used one third for the Yule log although I felt that the layer should have been thicken. The added cocoa powder thickened the mixture and made it difficult to spread and impossible to even out. Baking time was difficult since instructions include baking until browned. Ha!


Passionfruit Mousse


  • 2 medium-sized egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup of whipping cream
  • 7 ounces of passionfruit puree
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 2 teaspoons of powdered gelatin
  • 3 egg whites


  1. Beat the egg yolks with the cornstarch about five minutes or until thick, white and fluffy.
  2. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan and once hot, pour a small amount over the egg yolks while whisking vigorously. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the rest of the cream in the saucepan. Add the passionfruit puree and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens considerably, at least 3-5 minutes. Let cool to lukewarm temperature.
  3. Make an Italian Meringue: Cook the sugar and water on medium heat until temperature reaches 244F (soft ball stage).
  4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Pour the sugar syrup into the whites in a thin stream while continuing to beat vigorously. Beat for 5 minutes or until cool to the touch. The meringue should be thick and glossy.
  5. Soften the gelatin in 1 tablespoon of cold water and melt in the microwave 15 seconds. Put the melted gelatin in a mixing bowl and, while whisking vigorously, pour the lukewarm passionfruit cream over the gelatin. Carefully blend the Italian meringue into the passionfruit mixture.


I used all of this for the Yule log and it was definitely the most involved step. Turns out, I really don't like the sponge texture.











1. Mousse – Pipe one third of the Mousse component into the mold. Tap mold gently on countertop to get rid of air bubbles. (Unfortunately I did not see this until afterwards!)
2. Crème Brulee Insert – Take the Crème Brulee 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.
3. Mousse – Pipe second third of the Mousse component around and on top of the Crème Brulee Insert. Tap mold gently on countertop to get rid of air bubbles.
4. Crisp Insert – Cut the 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.
5. Mousse – Pipe the last third of the Mousse component on top of the Crisp Insert. Tap mold gently on countertop to get rid of air bubbles.
6. Freeze for about 8 hours (all day) to set.









Dark Chocolate Ganache


  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 135g of dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 50g of salted butter softened


  1. 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 color.
  2. While the sugar is melting, heat the cream until boiling (can add a spice to infuse here). Pour cream into the caramel and stir thoroughly. Be very careful as it may splatter and boil.
  3. Pour the hot caramel-milk mixture over the dark chocolate. Wait 30 seconds and stir until smooth.
  4. Add the softened butter and whip hard and fast. The chocolate should be smooth and shiny.


I made half the recipe for the Yule log and it was a perfect amount.


7. Ganache – Pipe the Ganache onto the frozen mousse leaving a slight edge so that ganache doesn’t seep out.
8. Dacquoise – Place the Dacquoise on top and press down gently to seal.
9. Freeze until the next day.


Dark Chocolate Icing


  • 1/2 tablespoon of powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream (35 % fat content)
  • 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Soften the gelatin in 1 tablespoon of cold water for 15 minutes.
  2. Add cream, sugar, water & cocoa powder to a small saucepan. Heat to boiling and cook an additional 3 minutes. Heat gelatin in the microwave for 15 seconds and add to the chocolate mixture. Mix well.
  3. Let cool while checking the texture regularly. As soon as the mixture is smooth and coats a spoon well (it is starting to gel), use immediately.


I made the entire recipe for the Yule log and felt it was just a bit short.



10. Unmold the log and set on a wire rack over a shallow pan. Cover the cake with the icing and allow it to set. Return to the freezer. Transfer to the refrigerator no longer than 30 minutes before serving.


French Yule Log is being served up for the December 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.

Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

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72 Responses

  1. Sara says:

    very pretty! nice job.

  2. Elra says:

    Hi Gretchen, I was feeling the same way when I check out the announcement, I thought “deng” that was long and tiring reading those lists. I just log out, and back when I calmed down. Then realize that each elements of the cake/log was pretty familiar recipe. Now I am drroling here, passion fruit mousse? that is so divine, dear!. It’s hard to get passion fruit here, especially now. Well done, and chocolate dacquoise sounds absolutely delicious.Cheers,Elra

  3. PheMom says:

    This one is still in my files to try someday, I just couldn’t get a break to try making much of anything this month. Yours looks awesome!

  4. Jacque says:

    Way to go! It sounds and loooks wonderful.

  5. bonobocakes says:

    I love that you made your own mold. I wish I had thought of that, as yours does look more appealing. I also am very impressed with your contrast of colors and flavors, stepping out side of the box. Great Job! Happy Holidays!

  6. Sugar Chef says:

    Really nice job and great flavor combo. Glad you conquered your fears and went for it.

  7. Lori says:

    I just LOVE passion fruit.I make passion fruit curd all the time.It looks great. Its funny how a lot of us go from petrified to – oh this isnt so bad- to creation. Very rewarding.

  8. Suzana says:

    Oh Gretchen, I’m now imagining the passionfruit with the dark chocolate… YAM! This was indeed a challenge to put together, and you did great!Hope you had a lovely Christmas, and Happy New Year! 🙂

  9. Jasmine says:

    Congratulations, your log looks lovely! I love the round shape and the flavors you chose. Your so lucky to have access to tropical fruits such as passionfruit. I had the chance to taste it when I was in Peru last april, and it was such a delight. Wish I could taste you desert!

  10. rainbowbrown says:

    This one sure was a challenge wasn’t it? Yours came together beautifully.

  11. awoz says:

    Must have tasted devine!! A passion fruit mousse is an excellent and original choice:)Beautifully done!

  12. cookemila says:

    Grectchen Me ha encantado la combinacion de frutas exoticas con el chocolate…tefelicito por el reto y por el año nuevo.Besos grandes desde españa

  13. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Such a beautiful log! Really well done!Cheers and Happy New Year!Rosa

  14. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Such a beautiful log! Really well done!Cheers and Happy New Year!Rosa

  15. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Such a beautiful log! Really well done!Cheers and Happy New Year!Rosa

  16. sunita says:

    I love your log, Gretchen,love the colour of the mousse too.Wishing you a very happy new year 🙂

  17. Sarah says:

    sounds so tasty with the passionfruit and chocolate. great job!

  18. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    Once again I’m in awe of the DB challenge and how beautiful your yule log looks! happy new year, Gretchen!

  19. Claire says:

    Looks great! You know…I just realized that, though I personally didn’t have a candy thermometer, my mom does, which is where I was making this; yet I still made it without using that. Oh well! 🙂

  20. Passionate About Baking says:

    OOOOh Gretchen, how beautiful.Did I say I love the passion fruit you use so beautifully & so often. WOW!! Lovely combination to luxurious effect! Have a wonderful new year my dear, filled with joy, fun & laughter! Much love Deeba

  21. Jaime says:

    mmmmm i’ll take some passionfruit mousse by itself please! 🙂 your log is beautifully assembled – great job!

  22. vibi says:

    BRAVO, Gretchen Noelle!What a nice yule log you’ve completed! The shape is amazing! …and what to say about the flavor choices! WOW!

  23. Hannah says:

    Wow, passion fruit- now that’s an exotic yule log! Sounds (and looks) wonderful. 🙂

  24. Di says:

    Your yule log looks delicious. I’ve never tried passionfruit with chocolate–I’ll have to keep that combo in mind for something in the future.

  25. RecipeGirl says:

    It certainly turned out beautiful! I was intimidated this month and thus shied away from the challenge 🙁 I need to be more adventurous!

  26. Chez US says:

    GREAT job! I love the passionfruit addition, great idea. I would have never thought to put it with chocolate. I have some in the freezer will have to come up with something to use it with.

  27. Ethan says:

    Well done. I agree, this is exactly why I joined the daring bakers. I love the challenge and the excuse/motivation to try something new.

  28. Jennifer says:

    Your creation is breathtaking! Happy New Year!

  29. Mary says:

    Your yule log looks great. I’ve never tried passionfruit with chocolate, but I’m bookmarking your mousse recipe to try in the future.

  30. Aparna says:

    Very unusual flavours and a lovely log.I almost opted out when I saw the challenge and it took me 4 days before I went back to take a second look! :)Best wishes for the festive season and a Happy New Year.

  31. Baking Soda says:

    Passion fruit! I love the tartness and it sets off the chocolate beautifully, great thinking Gretchen. (Oh my…I still have to start. Today.)

  32. Aran says:

    great combo gretchen!

  33. Rysheda says:

    Your log is beautiful! I would have never thought to put passsionfruit with chocolate. It looks absolutely yummy, however. Great Challenge. Happy New Year.

  34. Hilda says:

    Wonderful log! and you’re so lucky that you could use passion fruit. I think I would have made a lychee mousse if I could have actually. The shape of your log is perfect and it looked to me like you did the icing like that on purpose to make it look more like a log, so it’s all good in the end. I’m very glad you enjoyed making this. Have a Happy New Year!

  35. Yasmeen says:

    Love the Passionfruit Mousse,perfectly done:)

  36. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Sara – Thanks!Elra – It did seem so overwhelming, but I am glad I did it and learned that it wasn’t too bad.Holly – I hope you get to it soon, it was delicious!!Jacque – Thanks!Bonobocakes – Thanks, I enjoyed how it looked (and tasted!)Sugar Chef – Thanks!Lori – Passionfruit is really one of my favorite flavors!Suzana – It was delicious!Jasmine – Thanks! I am very lucky, I am glad you visited Peru!Rainbowbrown – This was a challenge, but totally worth it!Awoz – It was delicious!!Cookemilia – Muchisimas gracias!Rosa – Thanks!Sunita – Thanks, I am pleased with the colors as well.Lyida – Thanks so much!Claire – Good job for making it without the thermometer!Deeba – Thanks! Passionfruit is one of my favorite flavors!Jaime – I would have loved it, except it got too gelatiny. I want to make mousse without the gelatin. Mmmm…Vibi – Thanks! I am pleased with the mold I used!Hannah – The great thing is passionfruit is not too exotic here!Di – Oh! You must try the passionfruit chocolate combo…it is delicious!Lori – I am shocked! You? Intimidated? I cannot fathom that!!!Chez US – Thanks, it is perfect with chocolate since it is so tart.Ethan – The challenges are certainly motivation to try new things!Jennifer – Thanks!Mary – Passionfruit is perfect with chocolate. This mousse recipe turned out for the log, but I wouldn’t enjoy it much on its own.Aparna – Glad you faced your fears and made the log!Karen – Too funny, hope your baking goes well!!Aran – Thanks!Rysheda – Thank you. It is the perfect flavor combination!Hilda – Thanks so much. Again, wonderful challenge!Yasmeen – Thanks!

  37. Shelly Hattan says:

    Thanks for posting a photo of your mold. I just had no idea how you were able to get the log out or put all your layers in. Now I get it! Beautiful, BTW.

  38. Engineer Baker says:

    What a beautiful job! I totally can’t see any clumping on the icing, so don’t worry about that 🙂 Love the use of passionfruit (if only I could find that in Wisconsin…)

  39. oonsky says:

    Awwww such an awesome and delicious log! really love passion fruits but they’re not available here in NC. Well done!

  40. pinkstripes says:

    Passionfruit mousse sounds delicious. Great job!

  41. minisuperbias says:

    Oooh, your passion fruit mousee sounds amazing!

  42. Clumbsy Cookie says:

    I love how your passion fruit mousse looks like! It’s gorgeous!

  43. Dayna says:

    Stunning! It looks and sounds amazing!Your phase by phase photos would have certainly come in handy a week ago!Happiest 2009 Gretchen!

  44. Elle says:

    The passionfruit chocolate combination is really beautiful…bet it tasted great, too. Love the step by step photos and tips, too. Great job!

  45. Erin says:

    This looks fabulous! I love the shape.

  46. Liz says:

    Oh man, passionfruit is my new favorite flavor! I’ve been making a passionfruit curd that I love–I can only imagine how awesome your mousse was! And I agree, it looks beautiful to have the light-colored mousse and the darker chocolate components. Lovely work!

  47. ostwestwind says:

    You did it and you liked it!Best wishes for 2009!Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  48. Jude says:

    Ooh passionfruit.. I think I’ll have to bookmark that mousse recipe yup yup.

  49. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    I love that you always look at the glass as half-full, Gretchen. I didn’t have nearly as positive an attitude about this challenge as you did. Your Buche turned out beautifully! I love the passionfruit mousse. I’ll bet it went wonderfully with the chocolate. I must try that.

  50. Spike says:

    that looks beautiful!

  51. gail says:

    Wow, congratulations on making your own mold for the log! I really like your choice of passionfruit, and I especially appreciate your commentary and the notes you included with each component.

  52. Y says:

    It looks great! Love the idea of using passionfruit – I especially love it with milk chocolate 🙂

  53. Katrina says:

    The yule log looks GREAT! (See, that’s better and harder than the cheesecake, so not everything is a failure!) GREAT JOB! It’s very nice looking.

  54. Barbara Bakes says:

    Beautiful log! I love the pictures of the steps. Especially the caramel!

  55. Bex says:

    oh wow, I love passion fruit! Great flavor choice.

  56. Tartelette says:

    Beautiful job Gretchen! The mango mousse turned out perfect!

  57. My Sweet & Saucy says:

    Love your flavor choices…sounds amazingly delicious!

  58. Maggie says:

    Beautiful job! I think a salted caramel ganche sounds like a great idea. The ganache was my favorite part and I’m looking a reason to make it again.

  59. Shari@Whisk: a food blog says:

    This DB challenge was tricky and caused me some sleepless nights just thinking about it! I love how you shared what you learned by doing it, and I know making it again will be that much simpler. And again, passionfruit! Yum… Happy New Year, Gretchen!

  60. breadchick says:

    Wow Gretchen!! That log looks fantastic.

  61. Faery says:

    Oh que bello te quedó este tronco, además se ve muy delicioso y las fotos están espectaculares.

  62. Lisa magicsprinkles says:

    Glad you worked through the fear – your yule is way cool! Happy New Year!

  63. Kevin says:

    Your yule log looks really good!

  64. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Love the shine you got on your icing!(sigh) challenge here was an understatement. This one gave new meaning to being organized.

  65. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Shelly – Thanks! The silicone loaf worked wonders. I created a foil mold for the brulee part.Engineer Baker – Thanks! Passionfruit in WI, now there's a challenge!Oonsky – Thanks! Too bad!Pinkstripes – It was tasty!Minisuperbias – Thanks, it was yummy!Clumbsy Cookie – Thanks, I love the orange color of passionfruit.Dayna – Thanks! Sorry I couldn't post earlier!Elle – It is a tasty combo too!Erin – Thanks, me too!Liz – Love passionfruit curd. Yum! I thought about making some to decorate with but I tired out!Ulrike – Yes, it was tasty!Jude – I hope to post a passionfruit mousse that would be more edible on its own, this turned awfully spongelike.Susan – Thanks, I don't think of myself as overly positive, so that is funny! I did love the challenge part of the challenge though!Spike – Thanks!Gail – Thanks, glad the extra notes help.Y – Passionfruit and chocolate seem especially delicious together.Katrina – Thanks! Yes, I was much happier with the log rather than the cheesecake!Barbara – Thanks!Bex – It tasted wonderful with this log!Helen – Thanks!Sweet & Saucy – Thanks! I adore passionfruit!Maggie – Now to see where to use a salted caramel ganache!Shari – I think the second time around would be a piece of cake. And of course, passionfruit!Mary – Thanks!Faery – Muchas gracias! Es muy rico, todavia me queda un partecito!Lisa – Thanks!Kevin – Thanks!Tanna – The shine was before I threw it back in the freezer. Once it was frozen it all seemed to dull. I kind of like the organizing before part. Weird, huh?

  66. Madam Chow says:

    It turned out lovely, Gretchen. Like you, I’m crazy about passion fruit (I added some to the TWD cheesecake, as you did), and I really like how you incorporated it into the Yule Log.

  67. Natalie... says:

    Mmmmm delicious!! Looks wonderful.

  68. Meryl says:

    Your log looks great! I had a little trouble with the amounts also–I almost didn’t have enough mousse.

  69. Renee says:

    Your log looks awesome! I love the shape.

  70. sallykd says:

    Gretchen…Yours looks good too! So delish!

  71. gina says:

    Thank you for the encouraging comment. One thing I found when I tasted mine was that the ganache overpowered the beautiful creme brulee. I’m assuming that’s because I used the dark chocolate ganache with a regular creme brulee. I see you used the chocolate creme brulee, do you think it turned out better?

  72. Joanna says:

    yours came out so beautiful!! i was absolutely terrified about this challenge!! i didn’t even know where to begin.nice job!!

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