Restaurant Colette has concocted a little surprise for you for Christmas 2016; gourmets and foodies, don your toques and aprons, grab those whisks and spatulas – for here is our recipe for – chestnut Log with White Chocolate Mousse and Crunchy Speculoos.
Don’t worry, this temptingly beautiful creation is quite accessible when you follow the steps in our recipe and then chill for a good eight hours in the fridge before serving. Before we start, we should add that our recipe serves 8.
Ready? Then let’s get on with the sponge cake
You’ll need; 2 eggs, 50g self-raising flour, 50g caster sugar, 50g dark chocolate – because it’s a chocolate sponge!
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt the chocolate with the butter, preferably in a bain-marie. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they’re thick, pale and creamy. Add the chocolate and butter mixture, sieve in the flour and fold in the stiffly whisked eggs whites. Spread your mixture evenly on to a sheet of cooking paper and bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, and keeping an eye on your oven, it’s time to make your crispy speculoos. You will need 50g of speculoos paste (available from good delicatessens or stores specialising in French food), 50g of milk chocolate and 50g of crumbled gavotte (these light and crispy Normandy crepes can also be bought from French food suppliers). Once the chocolate is melted in a bain-marie with the speculoos, add the gavottes and it's done!
Your sponge cake is perfect; your crunchy layer is ready. Now it’s time to make the white chocolate mousse. Note, the recipe is in two parts. First take; 90g of crème fraiche, 2 egg yolks, 2 sheets of gelatine (4g), 130g of white chocolate and a vanilla bean (35g). Boil the cream and vanilla and leave aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Add the egg yolks and stir over the heat to 83°C so that the mixture has the consistency of a custard. Add the gelatine and pour over the previously melted chocolate. Mix to obtain a smooth cream and then leave to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the pate a bombe – don’t panic, it’s simply a paste base that helps to make the mousse creamier! Take; 3 egg yolks, 45g of water, 15g of 0% milk powder and 10g of sugar. Mix all ingredients in a bowl over a water bath which has been heated to 70°C. Whisk the mixture well, preferably with a mixer, until it becomes foamy and then incorporate it with the white chocolate mousse. Finally, fold in 195g of whipped cream.
You already deserve some applause but art is always difficult and success is within reach. The chestnut cream is all that remains to be done to complete your masterpiece. You’ll need; 300g of chestnut purée, 140g of water, 100g of sugar, 8 sheets of gelatine and 400g of double cream.
Soften the chestnut purée with the mixer, adding about 70g of water. The mixture should be smooth and even. Bring the remaining water and sugar to the boil, add the softened gelatine and pour the mixture into the still warm chestnut paste. Mix well, lightly whip the double cream and blend in gently with a balloon whisk. It should be light and airy, making a "frrr" sound when you touch it with a discreet finger; perfect!
Last step before assembly, the "mirror black" glaze
90g of water, 110g of sugar, 75g of liquid cream, 15g of cocoa and 2 sheets of gelatine.
Bring the water and sugar to the boil, add the cream and cocoa powder and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatine. Leave to cool. The coating should be very smooth - it’s ready when it clings to the back of a spoon and is no longer transparent
Bravo, everything is ready! Only the assembly left
It is strongly recommended that you purchase a mould such as the nicely named ‘goutierre a buche’ or ‘log gutter’. Choose one that’s 20cm by 8cm.
Line your mould with the chocolate sponge and fill with a third of the chocolate mousse. Gently add a layer of crunchy speculoos - about 5cm wide. Spread the chestnut cream in a smooth layer and leave to chill in the fridge for about 8 hours.
Shortly before serving, cut out a crunchy speculoos band the same size as the mould and then turn the log over on top to unmould it. Apply the glaze topping evenly – smooth, dark and shiny, your log will be as tasty as it’s beautiful. All that remains is for you to enjoy a slice in good company – you certainly deserve it!