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Before starting this Chestnut Yule Log recipe, organise all the necessary ingredients for the crème brûlée insert.
For the crème brûlée insert: Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and place them in a saucepan together with the milk and whipping cream. Bring to a boil.
Place the egg yolks in a bowl. Adad the castor sugar and blanch with a whisk.
When the milk and cream start boiling...
... pour over the blanched preparation and combine with a whisk.
Transfer the preparation into the saucepan used to boil the milk...
... and cook 'à la nappe' (i.e. until the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). The temperature shouldn't exceed 85°C. Keep stirring with a rubber spatula and monitor the temperature with a digital probe thermometer.
Pass the cream through a fine sieve.
Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water and strain.
Add the gelatine to the hot cream...
... and combine with a whisk until the gelatine has dissolved completely.
Pour the preparation into the cavities of a mini yule log insert mould.
Quantities listed here will make 2 inserts.
Unwrap the candied chestnuts...
... crumble into coarse chunks...
... and bury them inside the crème brûlée inserts...
... evenly spread. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer.
For the chocolate biscuit: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Place the whole eggs and egg yolks in the stand mixer recipient. Add the castor sugar.
Place the recipient over a bain-marie and whisk the preparation until the temperature reaches 40/45°C.
Place the recipient in the mixer and beat until cooled down completely.
The preparation should double in volume and become pale. When the preparation is at room temperature, stop the mixer and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with 40 grams of sugar. Beat until you get a smooth meringue.
Add the meringue to the fluffy preparation. Combine gently. Add the flour and cocoa powder, sifted together beforehand. Combine gently with a rubber spatula.
Pour the preparation into a Flexipan Entremets baking mat 33.5 x 33.5cm and spread the surface...
... to create an even layer.
Bake in a fan-assisted oven preheated at 180°C (gas 4) on the middle rack...
... for 12 to 15 minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool. Don't release the biscuit from the mould before the preparation cools down.
For the light chestnut cream:Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Soak the gelatine sheets in a big bowl filled with cold water.
Pour the water and sugar in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil and cook the sugar until the temperature reaches 121°C. I recommend using a thermometer.
When the gelatine is soft...
... squeeze in your hands to strain.
Add the soft gelatin to the cooked sugar.
Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
Pour the cooked sugar over the beaten egg whites...
... and beat until cooled down completely.
In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream (35% fat)...
... to obtain a whipped cream.
Beat the chestnut paste in the stand mixer with the flat beater until smooth and homogeneous.
At this stage, you should have three preparations: meringue, whipped cream and chestnut paste.
Using a rubber spatula, combine the three different preparations until homogeneous. Transfer the preparation in a piping bag. The use of a nozzle is not necessary.
Place the Silikomart silicone quilted mould kit... ... and arrange the quilted silicone mat inside the white mould, with the printed side facing up. Pipe chestnut mousse inside the cavity...
... and cover the whole surface of the mat.
Spread the chestnut cream over the printed mat with a small cranked spatula to get rid of air bubbles.
Remove the crème brûlée insert from the freezer and cut it to a length of 35cm.
Gently lift the insert...
... and arrange it in the centre of the log with the rounded side facing down.
Press gently so the insert sticks to the cream.
Cut a strip of biscuit to a length of 35 cm and a width of 4 cm.
Arrange the biscuit over the crème brûlée insert.
Fill the mould with the rest of the chestnut cream.
Even the surface with a cranked spatula.
Crumb the candied chestnuts and scatter evenly over the chestnut cream.
Spread the chestnut pieces evenly.
Cut another strip of biscuit to a length of 35 cm and a width of 8 cm.
Arrange the biscuit strip over the chestnut cream (cooked side facing up).
Press gently so the biscuit sticks to the cream.
Cover with cling film and place in the freezer.
Up to this stage, this recipe can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer. On the day, take the log out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge for at least 4 or 6 hours.
For the finish: Take the log out of the freezer. Remove the cling film and release the log from the mould onto a yule log cake board.
Remove the silicone relief mat...
IMPORTANT: To ensure good results, make sure the log is frozen when you detach the silicone mat.
The quilted pattern should now be printed on the surface of the log.
Place the log on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Spray the surface of the log with a velvet coat, from a distance of 30 cm.
The log should be coated with a thin, regular layer.
You can decorate the log with any elements of your choice. If you want to reproduce the decorations shown in the photo, arrange a few silver pearls in the quilted cavities with small tongs.
Prepare the dark chocolate curls. It is best to prepare these in advance...
... and apply some gold colouring powder with a brush. Carefully a dark chocolate curl on the surface of the log.
Important: The use of transfer sheets is delicate and it is essential that your log is really cold to ensure good results.