She who dares bakes...Chocolate Log

In my first year at secondary school we made a Yule Chocolate Log in our home economics class. This involved a shop-bought Swiss roll, lots of chocolate buttercream and a fork to create a bark effect in the icing. Classy. This month's DB chocolate log challenge is in a different league. More mahogany than cheap knotted pine.
The log comprises of six different components. Well, nine really, once you add the blood, sweat and tears required to make it. Yes, it is a labour intensive little branch. By the time I got to the creme caramel (around 10:30pm last night) the kitchen was in chaos, I was covered in chocolate and Mr AB was suggesting that, once covered in icing, no one would know how many layers my log did or didn't contain. He's a sneaky one.

In the end I ignored my inner cheat (and Mr AB) and managed to make all of the layers for the log:

1. First the almond sponge layer:

2. Then the chocolate mousse is piped onto the sponge (and into my mouth):

3. Next, the scrambled egg, I mean, creme caramel:

4. Scrambled egg? What scrambled egg?

5. Well, it was a bit light on the chocolate until I added the milk chocolate crunch layer:

6. More mousse (slightly thinner layer given how much went into my mouth at step 2), chocolate ganache and then the final sponge layer to hide the gluttony below:

7. Finally, the icing and a bit of New Year's Eve bling:

The end result is rich, Bill Gates rich. But nothing is going to incentivise you to start a new year's health regime more than a log-induced heart attack. The different layers are delicious. I especially enjoyed the crunchy texture* which breaks up the soft mousse and, although I was initially sceptical about including creme caramel in the middle of a cake, it does work. However, and maybe it's just my January austerity kicking in too soon, there is something slightly perverse about this cake. I mean, do you really need six layers in a chocolate log? Now that's a philosophical question to pnder before the clock strikes twelve...
A very happy 2009 to you all.
* I used amaretto biscuits to add the crunch. Delicious!

This 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. A special thank you to Tartlette for her helpful additions, although she did make me want to cry when I say how perfect her log looked. Booooo.



I'm so sorry but I just don't feel festive. I really wish I did, but I don't. I have been trying, I promise. This weekend I made gingerbread, listened to carols (on loop) and watched Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street (complete with lisping little girl) and It's a Wonderful Life. In a Church. With Candles. You know that when Jimmy Stewart can't make you feel Christmassy that you may as introduce yourself as Scrooge. Bah Humbug.

So, no pictures of mince pies, no pictures of the gingerbread (even though it looked lovely) and definitely no pictures of the mulled wine with its cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks. I just feel a bit mneugh.

I'm going to stop before I ruin everyone's festive buzz. But, believe me, just because I can't make myself feel 'ho ho ho' doesn't mean I don't wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a FANTASTIC, SUCCESSFUL and VERY HAPPY 2009.

Well, at least I decorated the tree...