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Before starting this Chocolate and Passion Fruit Christmas Log recipe, make sure you have organised the necessary ingredients for the hazelnut biscuit base.
In the stand mixer, using the flat beater, combine the hazelnut paste, icing sugar, egg yolks and whole eggs. Mix until homogeneous and smooth.
Combine the egg whites with 23 grams of sugar. Then beat the ingredients...
... until stiff peaks form.
Add the hazelnut paste, and combine with the egg whites in a vertical motion...
... using a rubber spatula.
Add a small amount of preparation to the Mycryo cocoa butter, which has been melted beforehand.
This will facilitate the incorporation and prevent the melted cocoa butter from staying at the bottom of the bowl.
Add the cocoa butter to the rest of the hazelnut preparation and combine until homogeneous.
Sift the potato starch...
... and add to the preparation. Combine.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, then place a cake frame on top. Pour the preparation into the frame.
You do not need to grease the frame or baking parchment.
Using a cranked spatula, even the surface of the biscuit to create a regular thickness.
Bake at 180°C (gas 4) for 10 minutes.
For the crunchy hazelnut biscuit: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Place the candied orange cubes in a bowl.
Add the crêpe dentelle flakes...
... and the hazelnuts, crushed coarsely beforehand.
Combine these 3 ingredients.
Add the milk chocolate, which has been melted beforehand...
... and the praline.
Combine until homogeneous. The biscuit will bring a delicious crunch to the log. I am very fond of having different textures in one dessert.
Even though it is mixed with chocolate, the crêpe dentelle flakes will remain perfectly crispy. When cooked, cut one strip of the hazelnut biscuit base to a width of 5cm. Spread the crunchy preparation on top, without tamping too much.
Set aside in the fridge.
For the passion fruit mousse insert: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
In a saucepan, bring the passion fruit purée to a boil.
In a separate bowl, combine the castor sugar and crème pâtissière powder. This will avoid lumps.
Away from the heat, add the powder mix to the hot passion fruit purée.
Combine well with a whisk.
Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and homogeneous.
Add the Mycryo cocoa butter to the hot cream...
... and add the white chocolate pistoles.
Whisk until the chocolate is totally melted and incorporated.
INFO: In this particular case, we're using the Mycryo cocoa butter as a gelling agent to ensure the passion fruit mousse keeps its consistency. Another benefit of using Mycryo cocoa butter, instead of gelatine or agar-agar for example, is that it melts at body temperature. While eating, you will taste the fruit first, then the cocoa butter will melt and release a sweet flavour.
When the passion fruit preparation reaches 25°C, add the Italian meringue...
... and the whipped cream.
Combine gently with a whisk.
Using a piping bag, pipe the mousse in a yule log insert mould (length 50cm).
Gently tap the mould on a flat surface to knock out any air bubbles. Place a strip of biscuit, cut to a width of 3cm. Optional: coat the biscuit with a layer of chocolate to prevent it from absorbing too much moisture. Reserve in the freezer.
For the milk chocolate mousse: Heat the milk...
... and pour over the milk chocolate pistoles.
Let the chocolate melt for a couple of minutes...
... then whisk vigorously, in motions going from the centre towards the edges of the bowl...
... until completely melted and homogeneous.
When the chocolate reaches 35°C, pour it over the whipped cream...
... and combine gently with a whisk...
... making sure the preparation does not collapse.
Assembling the cake: Scoop the chocolate mousse into a piping bag.
In a yule log tin lined with a sheet of acetate, pipe some chocolate mousse at the bottom.
Using a palette knife, create a volcano shape so that the mousse goes all the way up the rim. This also helps to get rid of any air bubbles and to create a smooth, regular surface.
Arrange the frozen passion fruit insert in the centre of the log...
... and cover with the rest of chocolate mousse.
Cover with the strip of biscuit reserved in the fridge, with the crunchy hazelnut topping facing down. Even the edges. Reserve in the freezer. Up to this stage, this recipe can be prepared in advance. On the day, you will need to take it out of the freezer and coat it with icing.
Release the log from the mould, then transfer onto a cooling rack. Gently remove the acetate sheet. It should come off easily. For this recipe, we cut the log in half to serve two smaller ones. We can clearly distinguish the different components.
For the finish: Coat the log with the Gianduja icing (preferably made one day ahead). Start pouring the icing on one end...
... and work slowly towards the other end. By coming into contact with the frozen log, the icing will set immediately.
Given the perfect round shape of the log, this operation should be easy.
Gently tap the rack to let the icing excess drip off.
Gently lift the log, using a cranked spatula, and transfer onto a slate or a serving plate.
Decorate each end with a square of wrinkled dark chocolate...
... and arrange small chocolate squares and yellow macarons (as a reference to the colour of the passion fruit mousse). Needless to say, these decorations are simply a suggestion. Don't hesitate to customise the log with the decorations of your choice!
Let the cake defrost slowly in the fridge for 2 or 3 hours before serving. This dessert should be served cold, but not frozen. Enjoy this delicious dessert and have a sweet Christmas!
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