Bakers Journal

The yule log reinvented

December 9, 2021
By Chef Nicolas Dutertre

Tips and tricks for using a traditional recipe with a colourful twist

This delightful 5 Colors of Chocolate Roll Cake Yule Logs is available from Photo: courtesy Callebaut and The Chocolate Academy

During the holidays, pastry chefs, bakers and artisans look for new ways to impress with their festive creations and seasonal treats, bringing holiday cheers to homes. 

We’re always excited to see customers celebrating this wonderful time of year with friends and family along with indulgent, decadent recipes. To support chefs in meeting today’s customers’ expectations, a tasty, fun, creative approach is to implement the 5 Colors of Chocolate.

Consumers, in general, love the classics and still want to experience tradition during the holiday celebrations. They want to celebrate with warming wintery flavours, but at the same time, they want to feel the excitement and the celebration through colours!

Based on Innova market insights 44 per cent of North American millennials agree that “chocolate products that have multiple colours and are visually interesting are more premium.”

The future of chocolate is colourful with the 5 Colors of Chocolate! In addition to the traditional dark, milk and white chocolate, Ruby and Gold caramel chocolate flavours have also opened up new delicious opportunities. There’s no better way to keep customers coming back than to reimagine their favourite recipes with a colourful twist.

At the Chocolate Academy North America, coloured chocolate is irresistible to both millennials and generation Z consumers. Whether they see it on social media or in shop windows, this new coloured chocolate trend is bound to expand the already existing popularity of chocolate. 

The 5 Colors of Chocolate allow you to bring an innovative chocolate experience to your store by highlighting your craftsmanship and by surprising customers with cool creations. By being a step ahead, you’ll stand out by offering a unique, yet accessible, assortment of pastries for the holidays, that are on trend for the future generation. By incorporating Ruby and Gold, in addition to the classic chocolate flavours, into your traditional recipes, you set yourself apart from standard products. The offer of different flavours and colours of chocolate is very trendy and easy to achieve.

For a classic recipe with a colourful twist, I’ve revisited one traditional sweet treat for Christmas, the Bûche de Noël, also known as Christmas Yule Log, by implementing the 5 Colors of Chocolate concept. This reimagined treat is a way to inspire other chefs, bakers and artisans to also revisit their classics and put a colourful twist to them.

Here are my professional tips and tricks on how to work with chocolate this holiday season and prepare a successful Yule Log that will delight customers, friends and family during this special occasion.

Tips for a successful Christmas log

  • For large production it is important to increase the base temperature to 45 C before adding the whipped cream. 
  • It is important to protect the logs with plastic wrap before putting them into the freezer to prevent frost from settling on the top.
  • For the glaze, it is important to use a not-too-hot glaze (30-35 C) and especially to glaze the well-frozen logs.
  • To have a nice velvet effect, spray your cocoa butter and chocolate mixture at 40 C on a well-frozen product.
  • It is possible to spray the log with a 50 per cent chocolate and 50 per cent cocoa butter device if you do not want to use a glaze.
  • In order to obtain an optimum tasting, it is advisable to take your log out of the refrigerator at room temperature at least one hour before tasting.
  • Dip your knife blade in hot water to make it easier to cut the yule log. 

General tips and tricks for best results

  • An easy way to make temperate chocolate is to melt it step by step in the microwave in order to reach:
    o 31-32 C for dark
    o 29-30 C for milk
    o 28-29 C for white
    o 28-29 C for Gold
    o 29-30 C for Ruby
  • Make sure not to add water to your chocolate; otherwise, it will harden.
  • Pay attention to the quality of the ingredients to achieve a better result.
  • Pay attention to the temperature of the workplace so as not to heat your preparations too quickly.
  • To get the best flavour from the nuts, it is better to roast them in the oven at 160 C. 

To help prepare for the holiday and special moments, try a trendy Christmas log recipe of different textures and exceptional flavours, the Chocolate, Peanut and Caramel Yule Log, that’s sure to delight customers, friends, and family (see this edition’s Bakers Formula, the Chef Dutertre’s Chocolate, Peanut and Caramel Yule Log). / BJ

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