Wednesday, 26 December 2012


It's Christmas. I was invited to a potluck Christmas lunch and it took me no time to come up with the idea of baking a yule log, or Bûche de Noël, as the French would call it. I've never made a yule log before seeing as I only started baking in February this year so this was my very first opportunity to bake for Christmas!

As with most things that we see on cooking videos, the demonstrators ALWAYS make it seem so easy. Or perhaps it could've been had I not gone for a complicated french recipe that incorporates crème de marron (or chestnut cream) in the filling. That was partly because a french mate of mine told me it's traditional for the yule logs in France to be made with that. 

The bad news was, I couldn't find chestnut cream in any of the local supermarkets near where I live. The best I could do was to purchase some fresh chestnuts. Yes, I wanted to make the chestnut cream myself from scratch. Long story short, it was a disaster. I couldn't tell what went wrong. The chestnut cream tasted starchy and bland, perhaps it's because I boiled it in water prior to peeling? Maybe I should've roasted it instead to keep the flavours? As I have recently gone on a trip abroad I was keen to keep the costs down so I bought just slightly more cream than I needed for the entire recipe on Christmas eve. 

Guess what I ended up running out of it due to my failed chestnut cream, which was supposed to be used in place of cream in anything that requires it in my recipe. I desperately used the bland chestnut cream (which after cooling down had become rock solid and not in the least bit resembling the cream that it was supposed to be a substitute for), added some water, dissolve it patiently and used it for my ganache anyway. 

To my absolute surprise, the whole thing came together in the end. Yes the génoise sponge cracked and stuff but with all that smearing with ganache no one could tease out the imperfection. What about the taste? Let's just say it's not my best chocolate bake, although everyone (as expected) said it was good and was certainly impressed by how it looked. A few asked for seconds. 

The whole yule log was devoured at the end of the lunch but I have to admit there were 11 of us in total. 

                                                               Meringue Mushrooms

So all in all, an interesting experience. With one more ticked off my to-bake list I've added another to it, i.e; the crème de marron. I'm determined to produce a batch of chestnut cream that's packed full of chestnuty flavour. Especially whilst the leftover chestnuts are still in store (and hopefully sold at reduced prices) This time I'm going to roast it instead. 

Wish me luck.


  1. Great looking log...thought I would get out my book on fungi to help with identification, but I think I would have to name a new one: Kong Meringuegii

    Happy New Year xx

    1. Well I certainly didn't expect to have a new species of mushroom named after me when I was whisking that meringue. :D

      Anyway I'm now on a mission to bake a sourdough baguette that matches the one I tasted in a restaurant earlier this year. You should give it a go too! I never knew bread could taste so good that I wouldn't mind eating it on its own.

      Hope you had a lovely Christmas and happy new year to you too!!


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