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Dec 16, 2004 12:27 PM

Buche de Noel from the Cake Bible or other source?

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I plan to make a Buche de Noel for Christmas Eve this year. I found a recipe in the Cake Bible, which looks good. I was wondering whether anyone has used this recipe. Also, I was wondering whether anyone can suggest an alternative source. Thanks.

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  1. No experience w/ the Cake Bible's recipes, but I made a great buche de noel from Saveur's Dec. 99 issue. Did a cursory search on their website (see link), but can't seem to find the recipe. Maybe you'll have better luck or be able to track down the hard copy if you're interested. Recipe is too intricate for me to post here.

    I actually diverged from the recipe by filling my cake roll w/ softened ice cream (kids esp. like this) and forgoing the mushrooms, which are cute but makes the thing more time-consuming than it already is. Good luck!


    1. I made my first Buche de Noel from Julia Child's “The Way to Cook”. Excellent instruction, excellent results. But Rose Beranbaum is to be highly trusted, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GG Mora

        I have also made mine from Julia's "The Way to Cook" - frankly, it always takes more time than I think it will, but it does look beautiful. I definitely recommend making the meringue mushrooms. Saw Nick Maglieri (sp?) on a Sara Moulton show this week, and he made pine cones and holly leaves & berries out of marzipan, but I thought it looked quite artificial, whereas the meringue mushrooms look real. I put my buche on an oval silver platter, add the mushrooms, and at the last minute dust the buche with confectioner's sugar for snow and the mushrooms with cocoa powder for dirt. Then I put confectioner's sugar on the exposed platter. I dip rosemary sprigs and cranberries (using toothpicks) in a sugar syrup and then roll in or sprinkle on granulated sugar - they look frosted - I then put a ring of these around the border of the platter. Really beautiful. You can do the rosemary and cranberries ahead and keep on a cookie tray or something w/ parchment paper.

      2. I made the one from the Cake Bible and it turned out great. There is also a recipe from Cook's Illustrated magazine, probably the holiday issue two years ago for "Bittersweet Chocolate Roulade" which also works well. I prefer a lighter whipped cream filling then a heavy ganache or anything like that, since the whole thing is pretty intense anyhow.

        It does look much cooler with the mushrooms than without -- although the mushrooms fool some people into thinking you actually put real mushrooms on your cake (sigh). I know someone who also makes fake tree fungus out of the meringue by piping a ruffle out of the meringue and then attaching it after baking it. Oh and if you have any rosemary around it looks like pine needles.

        This is one of those desserts that people get really excited about.

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          La Dolce Vita

          I've made the buche de noel from Beranbaum's book. I actually made it as a birthday cake for my daughter. Instead of meringue mushrooms, I put little figurines of Winnie-the-Pooh characters on the log, and decorated it with fresh, edible flowers.

          My husband still tells me it's one of the best-tasting and most beautiful cakes I've made (and I have made a lot of cakes over the years!)

          Also, I plan to make it this Christmas, time permitting. I believe it can be assembled ahead of time and frozen. What a time-saver!

          1. Re: Buche de Noel. Consult Jacques Pepin's many cookbooks. I do remember him making this on a PBS television show . I think this show was co-hosted with Julia Child in a series, "Cooking with Master Chefs"... but I can't be positively sure about this. There was a companion cookbook.