Before starting this Chocolate & Crème Brûlée Yule Log recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
For the chocolate biscuit: Whisk the whole eggs and stand mixer over a bain-marie.
When the preparation is hot, continue beating in the stand mixer.
Add the sifted...
... followed by the cocoa powder, sifted as well...
... and combine with a rubber spatula.
... spread the preparation with a cranked spatula on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake at 180°C (gas 4)...
... for approximately 15 minutes.
When cooked, remove from the oven.
Flip the biscuit onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Gently lift the paper stuck on the biscuit. Leave to cool.
For the crème brûlée insert:Clarify the eggs, then pour the castor sugar over the egg yolks.
Blanch the ingredients using a whisk.
Add the whipping cream...
... and the Grand-Marnier.
Pour the preparation in the cavities of a Flexipan with mini log shapes.
Bake at 120°C (gas 1/2)...
... for 45 minutes.
When cooked, leave to cool and place in the freezer.
The following day: For the chocolate filling: Melt the dark chocolate couverture in a small saucepan or over a bain-marie.
Cook the sugar and water until the mixture reaches 120°C. I recommend using a digital thermometer.
When the sugar is at 100°C, start beating the egg whites until firm peaks form. When the sugar is at 120°C, slowly pour the cooked sugar over the beaten egg whites.
Beat until cooled down completely.
Add the melted chocolate...
... and fold gently with a rubber spatula...
... until the preparation has a homogeneous consistency.
Line a yule log mould (length 35cm) with cling film.
Fill halfway up with chocolate filling.
Remove the frozen crème brûlée inserts from the freezer and release them gently from the mould.
Line them up lengthwise to form one long insert.
Cover with the rest of the chocolate filling. Even the surface.
Cover with a rectangle of Joconde Biscuit, cut to the dimensions of the mould.
Brush the biscuit with syrup.
Return the log to the freezer.
For the chocolate icing: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Make a syrup with the castor sugar and water.
When the sugar is melted and the preparation first comes to a boil, pour it over the cocoa powder.
Combine well with a whisk.
Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for a few minutes.
Bring the cream to a boil, then add the drained gelatine.
Combine well with a whisk until completely dissolved.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate preparation.
... and combine with a whisk...
... until the icing has a homogeneous consistency.
Stir the icing regularly to make it cool down.
To speed up the cooling process, you can place the bowl in a bigger recipient filled with cold water.
Ideally, the icing should get down to a temperature of 20-25°C.
For the icing: Take the log out of the freezer.
Flip the mould onto a cooling rack, which has been placed on a deep baking tray.
Remove the cling film.
When the chocolate icing is at 20 or 25°C, glaze the log to coat the whole surface.
The icing should be poured in one stroke.
Let the icing excess drip off in the tray. You can collect the excess and reserve it for a later use. Reserve in the fridge.
For the while chocolate holly leaves: Using a brush, spread some white chocolate on real holly leaves, on one side only. Let the chocolate set, then repeat the operation to make thick leaves.
Let the chocolate set again.
When the chocolate is hard, gently detach it from each leaf.
The result should be a white holly leaf, as shown in the photo.
Repeat the same operation until you make the desired number of shapes.
Apply some gold colouring spray on the white chocolate leaves for a more festive effect. Set aside.
For the decorated tips: On an acetate sheet, spread a thin layer of tempered dark chocolate, using a palette knife.
Use the appropriate decorating comb to give the chocolate a wood pattern. Simply slide the comb on the chocolate, while giving it a few of twists. Let the chocolate to set.
Spread a thin layer of tempered of white chocolate on top. Let set.
When hard, flip the acetate sheet onto a baking sheet and detach gently by lifting. The chocolate should be glossy. Using a stainless steel ring (diameter 8cm), with the edges slightly heated with a blowtorch, cut 2 chocolate discs.
Gently lift one disc...
... then cut the bottom 1/3 to create a flat base. Repeat the same operation with the second disc. Set aside.
For the finish: Remove the log from the fridge and transfer onto a baking sheet.
Gently sprinkle with gold flakes...
... over the whole surface of the log. At this stage, you can cut the log if you wish to serve it in smaller portions.
For this recipe, I cut a small portion and served it in a porcelain rectangular dish. Arrange a few white chocolate holly leaves, as well as a few red currants to imitate red holly berries.