There are two essentials at Christmas: “All I want for Christmas is you” by Mariah Carey, and the log, served for dessert on New Year’s Eve. As famous as it is, its origins date back to 1870 (we are talking about the log, not Mariah Carey!) The custom was to burn a large log of blessed wood in the hearth, during Christmas Eve, to keep warm and protect against bad luck. It is to pay homage to this symbol linked to the winter solstice that the chocolate log was born. If its authorship remains unclear, we know that it was created in the 19th century, and that its popularity exploded in the early 1950s. In certain regions, the log has even managed to supplant certain Christmas cakes on the tables, which have therefore fallen into disuse. For several years, chefs have liked to revisit it, and even emancipate themselves from its initial appearance. This year, we are thinking of that, in the shape of a sled, by Matthieu Carlin, pastry chef of Crillon or that of Nicolas Guercio of Lutetia, inspired by the slippers at the foot of the tree.
The taste of traditions
Jeffrey Cagnes opts for tradition and summons in us childhood memories, those of a family gathered around a festive table, drunk waiting for the sweet note that punctuates the meal. With his babka-style dark chocolate log, the former Stohrer pastry chef promises us a joyful and resolutely delicious celebration!
The chocolate log by Jeffrey Cagnes
Chocolate whipped ganache
100 g whipping cream with 35% fat (1)
100 g of 70% dark chocolate
210 g whipping cream with 35% fat (2)
The chocolate rolled biscuit
40 g egg yolks
70 g of icing sugar
60 g egg whites
20 g caster sugar
100g of flour
20 g cocoa powder
A few caramelized almonds and hazelnuts
For the chocolate rolled biscuit
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In the mixer bowl fitted with a whisk, whisk the egg yolks, eggs and icing sugar until you obtain a homogeneous zabaglione.
At the same time, beat the egg whites and caster sugar with a mixer (high speed) until the whites are very stiff.
Gently incorporate them into the egg-sugar mixture using a spatula.
Mix together the flour and cocoa powder and pour it all over the mixture. With a spatula, spread the mixture onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper, and be careful not to drop the biscuit.
Bake at 200°C for 7 to 8 minutes. The cookie should be lightly colored on top.
Once out of the oven, roll it hot in the parchment paper so as not to break the biscuit. Reserve.
For the chocolate ganache
For the whipped ganache, heat the cream (1) in a saucepan. When it first boils, remove it from the heat.
Pour the chocolate cut into pieces into a mixing bowl and add the hot cream. Mix with a spatula to obtain a silky texture.
In the bowl of a food processor, put the cream (2) and stir it with a mixer. Whip it by hand to control the end of the cream assembly.
Place the ganache quickly on a work surface, so that it cools slightly. Add the whipped cream to the ganache and mix.
Film on contact, reserve 12 hours in the refrigerator.
At the same time, prepare a praline, with 300 g of sugar for 300 g of dried fruit which you mix before inserting everything into a piping bag.
Assembly and finishing
Place the cookie on the work surface.
Spread the praline using the piping bag, in thin strips over the entire surface. Pour two thirds of the ganache into the center, before spreading gently with a spatula.
Add some caramelized almonds and walnuts, and a touch of fleur de sel.
Gently roll the filled biscuit in the parchment paper.
Leave to rest for 1 hour.
Then make strips of whipped ganache using the bag fitted with a Saint-Honoré nozzle.
Generously sprinkle the cake with cocoa powder, add some caramelized almonds and hazelnuts.
You can, if you wish, arrange some gold leaves.
Refrigerate before serving.