Before starting this Exotic Fruit Yule Log recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
In a saucepan, combine the castor sugar with 50cl of water...
... the lemon zest, finely grated...
... the lemon juice...
... and the vanilla pod, split in two lengthwise.
Bring to a gentle boil, stirring with a spatula until the sugar has completely dissolved. Continue cooking over medium heat for 8 minutes until syrupy.
Peel the pineapple...
... the mango and kiwi fruits, and cut into small pieces. Reserve 3 or 4 slices of kiwi fruit. Peel the mandarin oranges and cut into segments. Reserve a few segments for the finish.
Steep the fruits into the syrup and poach for 5 minutes.
Transfer the fruits and syrup into a bowl which has been placed into a bigger bowl filled with water and ice. Let cool.
Stone the dates and cut into small pieces. Strain the fruits out of the syrup.
Take the ice cream and sorbet out of the freezer. In a bowl, gently combine the vanilla ice cream and mango/passion fruit sorbet. If they are too hard, you can combine them in a stand mixer, with the flat beater accessory. This operation should be very brief to prevent the ice cream from melting.
Add the poached fruits...
... followed the dates pieces and the pistachios. Combine.
Pour the preparation into a yule log mould. For an easier release, I recommend lining the mould with a sheet of greaseproof paper or cling film.
Even the surface with a cranked spatula.
Add a strip génoise sponge cake that has been cut to the same dimensions as the mould. Wrap with cling film. Reserve in the freezer.
For the finish: Remove the cling film.
Lay the log flat on a serving plate or on a yule log cake board and remove gently from the mould. If you have one, use a blow torch to slightly heat up the sides of the mould.
Reserve in the freezer.
For the chocolate decorations: Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie at a temperature of 40°C.
When the chocolate has melted, remove the recipient from the bain-marie. Let the chocolate cool down to 35°C, stirring at regular intervals. To monitor the temperature, I recommend using a digital or laser thermometer.
Add the Mycryo cocoa butter; for this recipe, we used 5g for 500g of dark couverture chocolate. The use of a digital kitchen scale is important for this operation.
Using a rubber spatula, combine the Mycryo butter with the melted chocolate at a temperature of 35°C. The use of Mycryo cocoa butter ensures better results: the chocolate is properly set, is shiny, breaks in a neat pattern, melts in the mouth and easily comes away from the mould.
Once the chocolate reaches 33-34°C, it is said to be 'tempered'. This tempering technique, using Mycryo cocoa butter, is easy and straightforward.
Pour the tempered chocolate on a sheet of acetate film, which has been cut to the same dimensions as the inside of the yule log mould (diameter 8cm).
Using a cranked spatula, spread the chocolate...
... into a thin, regular layer. The whole acetate sheet should be covered with chocolate.
Using a decorating comb with a serrated edge (wide dents)...
... draw parallel lines in the chocolate. This operation should be performed just before the crystallization.
Place the acetate sheet inside the yule log to give the chocolate a round shape. Let crystallize. Set aside.
For the finish: Heat the blade of a knife and level the top of the yule log into a flat surface. The point is not to remove too much of the preparation, but rather to make a stable surface to place the final decorations.
Pipe a lace of meringue on the flat surface.
Gently arrange the reserved fresh fruits on the meringue. For this recipe, I started placing the mandarin oranges...
... followed by the other fruits overlapping one another, making sure to mix up all different colours.
Slide the acetate sheet out of the mould...
... and gently remove the chocolate, taking extra precautions not to break the chocolate arches.
Gently place the chocolate on top of the fresh fruits in order to create a sort of cage. Reserve in the freezer until ready to serve. The finishing stage should not be performed too much in advance, as the fresh fruits would be frozen.