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Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Christmas Log Cake

Some associations work well. Milk chocolate and passion fruit is a great example. And this Christmas log is a delight. It became very famous in France with the great French pastry chef Pierre Hermé and his desserts named Mogador. 

Pierre Hermé was elected as world best pastry chef in 2016 by "World's 50 Best Restauants" award. His most famous Mogador dessert is his macaroons. He also created a whole collection, with a christmas log, chocolate drinks, sweet truffle ... Pierre Hermé describes this dessert as the "perfect balance between the sweetness of milk chocolate and the acidity of the passion fruit", highlighting aromas.
As always his recipes are very tough. Therefore, I propose his milk chocolate and passion fruit Mogador Yule log Christmas cake, somewhat adapted or made easier. And also explained so that each step can be understood and simple to make.


First a few information:

  • The most important is to have an overview of the main steps to be handled. To understand what have to be done and when. See the “Main steps” section in the recipe.
  • There are a lot of passion fruit in the chef’s recipe. As passion fruits may be expensive I propose to replace (for the syrup more than for the ganache) by passion fruit juice (ideally 100% or with the highest percentage of fruit as possible). Depending on the juice you will find, you may have to reduce a bit the amount of sugar.
  • For the Biscuit Roll, refer to the recipe explained step by step in photo in the cooking basics category here. It might help (for its preparation and for the rolling part)
  • As you won’t use all egg yolks, why not preparing French cannelés (recipe here)? if you don’t have the proper molds, never mind, just use small individual molds you have.
  • If you are used to your own dark chocolate icing, the one you often prepare for your cakes, just use it instead of mine.
  • If the origin and the story of Christmas log interests you, read this: Origin and history of the Christmas yule log.

 

RECIPE

Quantity : 12 shares

INGREDIENTS

Biscuit Roll
9 eggs (9 egg yolks and 5 egg whites)
130 gr sugar (2 separates measures of 80 and 50 gr)
85 gr flour

Milk chocolate and passion fruit ganache
180 ml passion fruit juice (or 9 to 18 passion fruits depending on their size and maturity)
350 gr milk chocolate
70 gr unsalted butter at room temperature

Passion Fruit Syrup
105 gr water
115 gr sugar
105 ml passion fruit juice (about 5 to 10 passion fruits according to their size and maturity) 

Dark chocolate icing
200 gr dark chocolate
25 cl cream
10 gr icing sugar (optional)

If needed, refer to the Conversion and Measures article here

MAIN STEPS

3 preparations (1/ganache 2/biscuit that will be rolled 3/ syrup) have to be prepared then cooled down for about 1:30. Then the cake is assembled (syrup then ganache spread on the biscuit, then biscuit rolled). It then has to rest at least for 6 hours before adding toppings. Therefore it’s best to be done the previous day or started early morning for dinner.

Steps more detailed as I said I think it’s important to fully understand each step then the recipe will be very easy.

  1. Make the milk chocolate and passion fruit ganache. Let it rest for 1h to 1h30.
  2. Make the biscuit, bake it and then roll it in a fabric and let it cool down.
  3. Make the syrup. Let it cool down.
  4. 1 hour to 1 hour ½ later, start constructing the log: soak biscuit with syrup then spread a layer of ganache (with about ¾ of the quantity) and roll the log. Keep for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Finally cover the log with the remaining ganache. Prepare the dark chocolate icing. Cover log with the topping. Let the chocolate cool down and decorate before serving.

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the milk chocolate and passion fruit ganache:
Cube butter. Over a bowl covered with a drainer, cut passion fruits in 2, scrape to get as much juice as possible, discarding pits.
Chop milk chocolate and semi-melt in the microwave or ideally in the bain-marie double boiler. Half way only as we don’t need it to be completely melted at this stage.
In a saucepan, heat passion fruit juice. As soon as it boils, pour the juice over the half-melted milk chocolate while stirring in 3 time, 1/3 of the juice each time. Gently stir with a whisk from the center outwards. Then add diced butter and gently combine making again circle from the center of the bowl outwards until butter is completely melted. The preparation must be homogeneous and smooth with a glossy aspect. Cover (ideally with plastic wrap touching the ganache so that no air touches it) and leave to refrigerate for 1h to 1h30.

Biscuit roll for yule log christmas cakePrepare the biscuit:
This part is detailed step by step in photos with additional information and tips here.
Preheat your oven to 230°C (446°F). Prepare the different ingredients and sift flour. Beat the 9 egg yolks with 80 gr sugar until creamy yellow. Then the 5 egg whites with 50 gr of sugar until stiff. Add egg yolks mixture into egg whites. Gently fold. Finally add flour and combine. Spread evenly on a tray covered with parchment paper (ideal size: a rectangle measuring 30 x 40 cm and at least 1 centimeter thick). Bake for 5 to 6 minutes until light golden brown. Unmold and roll the biscuit. Refer to step by step demonstration, it may help. I propose to roll the log lengthwise in order to have many thin slices. You may, however, decide to roll the log in the other side. It will then be shorter and thicker. Ideally leave it rolled in a fabric and let it cool down.

Prepare the syrup:
In a saucepan, boil water and sugar. As soon as it boils, stop the heat. Set aside in a non-hot container and add passion fruit juice as soon as the water-sugar syrup is lukewarm. Let it completely cool down at room temperature before using it.

Start constructing the log:
Unroll biscuit and place biscuit on a plate.
Start by soaking the biscuit with syrup. Evenly spread syrup over the whole of the biscuit.
Then cover with the ganache, keeping 1/4 of ganache that will be used at the end. Spread evenly the 3/4 of the ganache on the biscuit soaked with syrup, taking care to leave 1 cm on each edge of the two lengths without ganache. Roll the log, wrap it in plastic wrap (or use the same fabric) and let it rest for 6 hours in the refrigerator.

Finish the cake:
Use the remaining milk chocolate ganache by applying a thin layer on the outside, all around of the log (each end included). Make it as neat as possible with the utensil you think is most suitable. Bakers often use plastic strips that have the shape of the log. I use the plastic strips found in men’s shirt collars when you buy them. Neither too soft nor too rigid they are perfect. If not, make it as equal as possible with a spatula.

The last step is the black chocolate icing:
Heat the cream. Meanwhile, crush chocolate and measure the icing sugar. When the cream is hot (before it boils however) pour hot cream in chocolate and icing sugar in 3 portions jus as we did for the ganache, 1/3rd each time, gently whisking from the center outwards until chocolate is completely melted and preparation is smooth and glossy. Let it rest a few minutes to firm before spreading on the log.
Place the log on a rack (ideally a pastry rack, otherwise the rack of your oven). Pace aluminum foil or baking paper underneath. Pour icing so that it coats the whole log.

When icing is set, decorate. The chef Pierre Hermé has half-macaroons at each end and some here and there on the log. Just do what you find pretty, using what you have.


Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Christmas Log CakeMilk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Christmas Log CakeMilk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Christmas Log Cake

 

 

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