Method for Dark Chocolate, Praline & Tonka Yule Log:
Before starting this Dark Chocolate, Praline and Tonka Yule Log recipe, organise the necessary ingredients for the cocoa biscuit.
Place the whole eggs and egg yolks into the stand mixer recipient...
... add the castor sugar...
... and beat for 5 minutes.
Place the egg whites in a separate bowl.
Beat the egg whites until foamy, then add 70 grams of sugar in several batches. Stop the beater when the whites are beaten but still soft (they should not be too firm).
Add half of the beaten egg whites to the egg and sugar mix (it is best to add the egg whites in two batches for best results)...
... and combine with a whisk.
Add the rest of the egg whites...
... and combine with the whisk.
Using a fine sieve, sift the flour and cocoa powder over the preparation...
... and combine gently with a whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
Line a swiss roll tin with a sheet of greaseproof paper cut to the right dimensions. Grease the tin with oil spray so the baking parchment sticks to it.
Grease the surface of the greaseproof paper slightly.
Pour the cocoa biscuit batter over the baking sheet. The consistency should be foamy.
Spread with a metallic cranked spatula over the whole surface to create an even layer. Bake in a fan-assisted oven at 200°C (gas 6) for 10 minutes.
For the Tonka crème brûlée insert: Prepare all ingredients.
Hydrate the gelatine powder with 23 grams of water. Combine and set aside.
Pour the cream in a saucepan and place on the stove.
Remove the cooked biscuit from the oven and set aside to cool at room temperature.
Place the Zéphyr white chocolate pistoles in a bowl.
Place the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
Using a Microplane Classic zester, grate the tonka bean directly over the cream. The quantity of tonka used depends on the quality of the bean. It is important to taste the preparation.
When the cream comes to a boil, pour it over the egg yolks and combine with a whisk.
Transfer the preparation into the saucepan used to boil the cream...
... and cook over medium heat up to 82°C, like custard.
Pour the cream over the white chocolate through a fine sieve.
Let the chocolate melt in the hot cream for a few seconds, without stirring.
Combine with a whisk to emulsify the chocolate and the cream...
... until smooth.
Add the gelatine (melted in the microwave beforehand) to the preparation and combine well.
Let the preparation cool down a little, then fill the mini yule log insert mould (leave a gap of 0.5cm on top) and store in the freezer. I recommend using funnel dispenser for a clean operation. This insert can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer. You can easily get organised to prepare this yule log over
Wrap with cling film and store in the freezer.
For the crunchy almond praline: Prepare all the ingredients.
Pour the melted milk chocolate in a mixing bowl.
Add the almond praline paste...
... pailleté feuilletine flakes...
... and combine all the ingredients.
Add the slivered almonds (roast them beforehand then let cool down at room temperature).
Combine until homogeneous. At this stage, the crunchy almond praline is ready to use.
Pour the crunchy biscuit over the cold cocoa biscuit...
... and spread with a cranked spatula.
Spread the crunchy praline to a thin layer over the whole surface of the biscuit.
Wrap with cling film and store in the freezer. You can make this preparation in advance and store in the freezer, like the crème brûlée insert, for an easier organisation on Christmas day.
For the dark chocolate mousse: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
In a saucepan, place the whole milk, castor sugar and glucose syrup.
Bring to a boil.
In the meantime, beat the whipping cream until you obtain a whipped cream.
Pour the boiling mix (milk, sugar and glucose) over the Mexique dark chocolate, melted beforehand.
Combine with a whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
When the chocolate preparation cools down to 45°C, incorporate the whipped cream with a whisk.
Add the whipped cream in two or three batches.
Arrange the snowflake silicone mat over a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Transfer the dark chocolate mousse into a piping bag. The use of a nozzle is not necessary.
Pipe three laces of chocolate mousse on the silicone mat...
... and spread with a cranked spatula to fill all the cavities inside the mat and get rid of air bubbles.
Even the surface with the spatula.
Place the silicone mat at the bottom of a plastic yule log mould, making sure it is well centred.
This is what the result should be like.
Take the cocoa biscuit out of the freezer...
... and cut it in strips, to a width of 7 cm...
... using a knife and a graduated ruler.
Pipe two or three laces of dark chocolate mousse at the bottom of the yule log mould.
Arrange the crème brûlée insert (rounded side facing down) over the chocolate mousse and bury gently.
Fill the rest of the yule log mould with dark chocolate mousse, piping it into a thick lace. Leave a gap on top for the biscuit.
Using a small palette knife, create a volcano shape so that the mousse goes up the sides a little.
Place a biscuit strip on top, making sure the side with the crunchy almond praline is facing down. The biscuit should be cut to the exact dimensions of the mould.
Press gently on the biscuit so it comes right up to the rim of the mould and sticks to the mousse. The chocolate mousse might come up the sides a little.
Wrap the yule log mould with cling film and place in the freezer. Up to this stage, this recipe can be made in advance.
Take the frozen log out of the freezer and release it from the mould. Remove the silicone mat carefully. The pattern should now be printed on the surface of the log.
Arrange the log on a rack, placed on top of a deep tray in order to collect the icing excess.
For the icing, we followed the coloured glossy icing, except we used dark chocolate instead of white chocolate and no colouring. Refrigerate the icing for 24 hours. The icing should be used at a temperature of 30°C. Take the icing out of the fridge and set aside until it is at room temperature, then mix with a hand blender until smooth. Make sure there are no air bubbles.
Pour the icing in one stroke, starting from one end of the log...
... to the other end. The icing should coat the whole surface of the log. Ideally, someone can help you for this operation to check whether you're not leaving any gaps in the icing.
Tap the rack on your workbench so the excess icing drips off into the tray. The icing should set almost instantly in contact with the frozen cake.
Using a cranked spatula on each end, carefully rotate the yule log over the rack to get rid of any strings of icing.
Transfer the log gently on a yule log cake board.
Prepare the chocolate decorations. For the chocolate sticks, fill a large baking tray with cocoa powder to a thickness of 1 cm. Temper Mexique dark chocolate and transfer into a piping bag.. Pipe laces of tempered dark chocolate directly into the cocoa powder. Leave to crystallize then cover the sticks with cocoa powder. This is what the result should be like.
Remove the excess cocoa powder with a pastry brush.
Place chocolate discs (or chocolate seals with the pattern of your choice) on the chocolate sticks. Use a drop of tempered chocolate to stick the chocolate discs.
Use two chocolate discs for each stick.
Arrange the powder-coated chocolate sticks carefully over the surface of the log.
Store the yule log in the fridge until defrosted completely. This should take 3 to 4 hours.
Place a few pieces of gold leaf on the surface of the log before serving. Enjoy this delicious dessert and have a sweet Christmas!
Roast the slivered almonds in an oven preheated at 150°C for 10 or 15 minutes.