Recipes

Chestnut Yule Log

Chestnut Yule Log / Bûche Aux Marrons - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Bûche Aux Marrons Glacés* (Candied Chestnut Yule Log) Recipe.
The French refer to chestnuts as châtaigne or marron. A marron glacé is a confection; candied in sugar syrup and glazed – originating in southern France and northern Italy. Marrons glacés are an ingredient in many desserts and are also a pure delicacy on their own. The earliest known records of a recipe for marron glacés were written during the XVI century by an Italian cook that worked for Charles Emmanuel I. Towards the end of 19th century, Lyon was suffering from the collapse of the textile market, notably silk. In the midst of this crisis, Clément Faugier, a bridge and roadworks engineer, was looking for a way to boost the regional economy. In 1882 in Ardèche, with the help of a local confectioner, they created the first factory to produce marrons glacés.

*Marrons glacés, chestnut paste and cream can be found online easily.

Joconde Biscuit (Almond Sponge Cake) Makes two 18x13-inch (46x33cm) baking trays or a large 21x15-inch.

Meringue
3 ea. (90g) egg whites, at room temp
1g cream of tartar or a few drops of lemon juice (this stabilizes the meringue)
3 Tbsp (30g) granulated sugar.

Almond Mixture
1.1 cups (125g) almond or hazelnut meal
0.9 cups (125g) confectioner sugar
1/4 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
3 ea. (150g) large eggs
1.5 Tbsp (20g) unsalted butter, melted.

Method
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites along with cream of tartar and one-third of sugar 1.5 Tbsp (15g) on high speed and whip until stiffness is achieved adding remaining sugar gradually. Transfer meringue to a clean large bowl and set aside. In the same bowl ; no need to clean it, combine the powders with the eggs and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes or until pale yellow. Gently, fold 30% of the meringue into the almond mixture and add remaining meringue. Fold in melted butter but not hot. Spread evenly over a silicone mat or greased parchment paper.

Baking
Preheated oven to 450ºF (230ºC) prior spreading Joconde. Bake for about 7 minutes or less. Do not over bake or it will break. Remove biscuit from oven and slide over countertop. Let cool, flip over and remove the parchment paper or silicone mat. Wrap in plastic film. Refrigerate for a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Chestnut Mousseline (Mousseline aux Marrons) Recipe / Serves 10.
1 cup (250g) milk
1/4 cup (50g) sugar.
3 ea. (60g) egg yolks
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1.5 Tbsp (22g) corn starch.

3g gelatin sheets (optional but useful if kept in freezer for more than a day)
8 Tbsp (125g) butter, cubed.

8 ounces (250g) pate de marron (chestnut paste) (1 Tbsp / 15ml Cognac or orange juice).
0.6 cup (130g) heavy cream; whipped until soft peaks.

8 ounces (250g) Marrons Glacés (Candied Chestnuts)
1/2 cup (125g) Cognac (optional).
Chop two-third of the chestnuts and soak in Cognac for a few hours. This step is optional; marron glacé can be used as is.

Soak gelatin in cold water for about 5 minutes; drain. Bring to a boil milk and sugar. Meanwhile, beat yolks, sugar and starch. Temper yolk mixture with half of the hot milk – return mixture in milk; bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes; whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add gelatin and butter; whisk well until smooth. Transfer onto a wrapped tray; wrap in contact. Let cool and refrigerate. Beat chesnut paste with Cognac. Add 1/4 of the custard first; beat well and add remaining custard – beat well on high speed until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream.

Chestnut Chantilly
1.8 cups (450g) heavy cream, whipped
8 ounces (250g) chestnut cream (creme de marrons).
Fold whipped cream into the chestnut cream.

Assembly (It is recommended to finish the Yule Log a few hours before serving).
Drain candied chestnut pieces. Overlap a few layers of plastic wrap. Place the Joconde biscuit; skin side up. Spread mousseline evenly on the Joconde biscuit. Sprinkle marron pieces all over the mousseline. Roll out from the right or left using the plastic wrap as you go. Tight the log up and freeze for a couple of hours and reshape the log to make it more round. Wrap up tightly and freeze for a day or for up to 3 months. Trim off ends and save. Coat lightly the frozen log with some of the chestnut chantilly. Place trimings to mimic knots. Pipe out chestnut chantilly to cover the log. Garnish with milk chocolate shavings, silver pearls, candied chesnuts and Xmas decorations. Enjoy!

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