French Yule Log–A Daring Baker Challenge

yuleThis month’s challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.  They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

I love being a Daring Baker…usually. But when I saw all 19 pages of this month’s recipe, I was a wee bit intimidated! Currently, I’m gluten, dairy, egg, corn, and soy free, and more recently, I’ve had to avoid sugar and grains, too. Given my limitations, sometimes I just make something for DH or friends, but I was doing so much cooking for other people I wanted something for ME.

Once I started thinking about it, it did seem (sort of) doable. The required elements are:hazcake
1) Dacquoise Biscuit
2) Mousse
3) Ganache Insert
4) Praline (Crisp) Insert
5) Creme Brulee Insert
6) Icing

I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the creme brulee without dairy, eggs, soy or sugar, so I confess, I left it out. I know it was required…but with all of my limitations, 5 out of 6 ain’t bad. Everything else was there, at least in spirit.


I must say, I had pretty low expectations. I’d been fighting a bug most of December, and it got pushed off till the last minute. And yet, everything turned out beautifully, and I would definitely do it again, or parts of it.  It ended up tasting a lot like ice cream cake, and it traveled down beautifully in a cooler.  All I would have done differently is leaving layers to freeze longer so that the layers had a lot more differentiation.  I would have made more chocolate icing, too!  I brought it along with me to NC, and way underestimated the amount of chocolate I’d need.  Since the stores were closed, I just drizzled the icing on rather than making a cohesive coating.


Since I had so little time and no clue of what I was doing, I don’t have recipes.  I did write down the dacquoise recipe (picture above) but (by itself) it wasn’t very good.  The mousse is a mix of young coconut, hazelnut, cocoa powder, agave, cinnamon, pineapple and chia whipped in my Vitamix.  I almost chickened out on the crisp insert, then reminded myself that I am a DARING baker and made a hazelnut meal/agave/chia/mesquite crispy cracker-ich layer.  The ganache (picture above on right) was baker’s chocolate with thick hazelnut cream and vegetable glycerine, and the icing was baker’s chocolate, glycerine and almond oil.

So it just goes to show how nice it is to go out on a limb, be daring and try something new!  I’m so glad that most of the DB challenges have been do-able, especially considering the number of restrictions I have.   I would like to play with the veganized agar frosting version in the future, and plan to make this into a faux ice cream cake next time.  Thanks so much to our brave leaders, and bring on the next one, baby!

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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14 Responses to French Yule Log–A Daring Baker Challenge

  1. Ricki says:

    Cheryl, you are just amazing! Your DARING spirit is just fantastic, and so inspirational. It’s so motivating to see what you can come up with, still within all your dietary limitations–and turning out such a delectable product! Would love to share a piece of that goodie. 🙂 Congrats on a fabulous challenge.

  2. Ricki, you’re a sweetheart. Come visit me and you can share to your tummy’s content.

    VG–thanks a bunch!

  3. Lauren says:

    That looks so fabulous! And you did it with all of those restrictions, wow. The hazelnut meal/agave/chia/mesquite cracker sounds good. Do you have a recipe to share for it?

  4. Jude says:

    Yeah the recipe was definitely a bit too much at first. I had to read it several times over before thinking it was doable.

  5. Wowee wow wow. You are my hero! I am absolutely amazed at your talent. I hope to participate in the DB challenges in 2009 — I was a bit intimidated to start with the French Yule Log 🙂 I’d like to ease into it – ha ha.

  6. Erik Harris says:

    I’ve never had a yule log before. I grew up thinking that a yule log was something you tossed in the fireplace at Christmas. This was delicious, and made a great dessert by any standard. It tasted a bit like a really good ice cream cake. Of the _dessert_ type foods that Cheryl has made that she can eat, this is among the best, if not the best.

    As Cheryl briefly mentioned, not only did she make this, but she transported it 400 miles to North Carolina (and back – we were only there about 48 hours, so there was some left) to share with my family after Christmas dinner. No one was acutely aware that the dessert was a “specialty” food (they know Cheryl has dietary limitations, but I don’t think any of them appreciate just how much has to be done to get around them), and all of them really enjoyed it.

  7. Lynn says:

    I cannot believe you even attempted this recipe with all the limitations. It is truly amazing how well you can bake. I am impressed. Well done.

  8. Shellyfish says:

    At first glance I thought the recipe looked crazy, but when I broke it down it was much easier – then again, I wasn’t up against as many limitations. I think that it’s all about the spirit of the challenge and being daring! You rule!

  9. Lauren:
    I did 1/2 cup hazel meal, 1/2 tsp mesquite, 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon agave. it was a little too gummy, but it hardened as it cooled. I still need to experiment with it!

    You’re sweet! and the point of DB is being a little over your head, I think.

    Flattery will get you anywhere, baby.

    Thanks for your kind words!

    Shelly and Jude:
    I agree, it looked insane until you broke it down into more manageable chunks. But what fun!

  10. Natalie says:

    Wow well done!! You certainly are a great Daring Baker!

  11. Debyi says:

    Huge props to you on making this with all of your restrictions. I don’t know how I would make some of these without soy. Go Daring Baker Go!

  12. Oh. My. Goodness. I wanna eat that right now. You are totally my Daring Baker hero!
    Thanks, Cheryl!!

  13. Sheltie Girl says:

    You did a wonderful job on your yule log!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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