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Before starting this Opera Yule Log recipe, organise the necessary ingredients for the almond biscuit.
In the stand mixer recipient, place the marzipan cut into chunks.
Beat a low speed until you get a crumbly consistency.
Combine the whole eggs and egg yolks together (they should be at room temperature).
When the marzipan has turned into crumbs...
... add the egg mix...
... and beat at high speed until doubled in volume.
After beating for a few minutes, the preparation should be pale and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites.
Add half of the sugar at the start.
Beat at medium speed.
When the egg whites have a foamy consistency, add the rest of the sugar and beat until stiff.
Sift the flour over a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Add the meringue to the fluffy preparation.
... and add the sifted flour.
Fold gently with a rubber spatula.
The preparation should be smooth and homogeneous, without lumps. Transfer into a Flexipan Entremets baking mat 33.5 x 33.5 cm.
Spread the preparation over the whole surface to an even thickness.
Bake in a fan-assisted oven at 180°C (gas 4) for 15 minutes.
The biscuit is cooked when golden and slightly puffed.
Remove the biscuit from the oven and let cool. The quantities listed above allow you to make two logs (each log serves 6). If you're only making one log, you can store the other half of the biscuit in the freezer for several weeks (wrap it well in cling film so it doesn't absorb smells from other foods in the freezer).
For the coffee syrup: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Soften the gelatine sheets in cold water.
Pour the water and sugar in a saucepan. Important: Always pour the water prior to the sugar to avoid clusters of sugar at the bottom of the saucepan.
Bring to a boil until the sugar is completely melted.
Strain the gelatine...
... on a clean cloth to extract as much water as possible.
Add the gelatin sheets to the caramel.
Add the Trablit coffee extract. The amount of colouring varies according to the desired flavour intensity.
Combine well, then let cool at room temperature.
For the chocolate ganache: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Cook the cream over medium heat.
When the cream is about to start boiling, remove from the heat. Pour half of the cream over the dark chocolate pistoles.
Mix the preparation with a Bamix hand blender.
Add the rest of the cream...
... and mix again with the hand blender.
Pour the preparation into a large dish so it cools down quickly. Refrigerate for a faster cooling.
For the coffee crème au beurre: In a saucepan, pour the water...
... and castor sugar.
Cook the sugar over medium heat until the temperature reaches 121°C.
Pour the egg yolks in the stand mixer bowl.
When the sugar reaches 118°C, take away from the heat. The sugar will continue cooking and will get to 121°C in a few minutes. Pour the cooked sugar over the egg yolks while beating at medium speed. Beat until cooled down completely. The preparation should be pale and fluffy.
Make sure the cream is cold before you add the soft butter. Your crème au beurre is ready.
Add the Trablit coffee extract. The amount of colouring varies according to the desired flavour intensity. Add one tablespoon of coffee extract first, then add more if needed.
Transfer the butter cream into a bowl...
... and refrigerate until firm.
When the biscuit is cold, release from the mould onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Flip the biscuit and trim the surface to remove the crust, using a knife with a thin blade. You should only remove about 1mm from the surface.
Using a pastry brush, steep the biscuit with cold coffee syrup.
Remove the ganache from the fridge and spread over the biscuit. You won't need all the ganache as the layer should be really thin.
Spread into a regular layer over the whole surface using a cranked spatula.
Leave to set for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the crème au beurre from the fridge and spread over the chocolate ganache. You won't need all the cream as the layer should be really thin.
Spread with a cranked spatula into a regular layer.
Start rolling the biscuit, using the greaseproof paper to help you lift the biscuit. Create a tight roll until you get a sausage shape.
Wrap the rolled biscuit in the greaseproof paper.
Wrap the roll with cling film, trying to make the roll a little tighter and without air bubbles. Refrigerate for a few hours (preferably overnight).
For the chocolate icing: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar to make a syrup.
When the sugar is melted and the preparation first comes to a boil, pour it over the cocoa powder...
... and combine with a whisk.
Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for a few minutes. In the meantime, bring the cream to a boil...
... and add the strained gelatin.
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.
The icing should go down to 28/30°C before use. When at the right temperature, pour the icing into a deep and narrow recipient and mix with a hand blender. Set aside.
Remove the log from the fridge and remove the cling film and greaseproof paper. Trim both ends of the log...
... and cut to the desired length. Transfer the log on a rack which has been placed on top of a deep tray in order to collect the icing excess.
Pour the icing in one stroke, from one end of the log to the other, making sure to coat the whole surface.
Refrigerate until the icing has set. You can use the excess icing to apply a second coat of icing.
Combine a little clear mirror glaze and gold colouring powder. Transfer into a decorating cone and create lines (in a random pattern) across the surface of the log. You can stick some caramelised cocoa nibs at the base of the log. Refrigerate. Stick wrinkled chocolate decorated tips at both ends of the log. With the tip of a knife, finish by placing a small piece of gold leaf on the surface for a festive touch. Reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.