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Buche de Noel from the Cake Bible or other source?

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  • Nancy Dec 16, 2004 12:27 PM
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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!

    Link: http://www.saveur.com

    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.

        1. l
          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.

            1. I made the Cake Bible version last year for one of my kid's French class. He asked for one this year, but requested that it be sweeter than last year's. I think the Cake Bible recipe is nice, but it is definitely not sweet. I have made many of these over the years, but was never quite happy enough with any one recipe that I bothered to save the one I used. Today I used a combination of recipes for the buche de Noel that I have to deliver to the school tomorrow. The cake portion (called a chocolate genoise sheet) was from a recipe I got from the Food Network website (courtesy Nick Malgieri, Perfect Cakes). I used chocolate whipped cream (part of the buche de Noel recipe from allrecipes.com ) for the filling this time - Rose B. uses plain whipped cream. I used the chocolate frosting recipe off the Hersey's powdered cocoa box instead of the ganache that Rose called for. I definitely used the meringue mushroom recipe from the Cake Bible. These things are fabulous. Sift some cocoa powder over and they look incredibly real. I cut a couple of small clippings from the Xmas tree for decoration and sifted powdered sugar over all for the fresh snow effect. I think this buche de Noel is the best I've made. And it's not nearly as difficult as it looks!!

              1. The best I've made is from Tis the Season by Nanette Blanchard. Cake is flourless, filled with whipped cream. It is outstanding.

                1. Ohmigosh!!!! This recipe (also adorn it with the meringue mushrooms in the same book) is unbelievable!!! I'm "almost famous" for making it

                  This is so weird that I saw your question! The recipe suggests a certain icing. By mistake, we used the Sour Cream Ganache(pg 275) and think it's wonderful. (The sour cream gives it a slight "raspberry taste) We use good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of the bittersweet chocolate. We carefully melt them in the microwave, then mix the warm chocolate with room temp sour cream.This ganache is great to work with. It's really fun to make the log, with the "knot", using a fork to make the striations that bark has. We have such happy memories of making and eating this wonderful treat. I wish you and your family the same!

                  My friend and I had a little dessert business, using recipes from The Cake Bible. (The Cheesecake and Chocolate Truffle Torte) I actually called author, Rose Levy Berenbaum with a question once. She was gracious and funny..we also learned that we share the same birthday and birth year)

                  The cake virtually melts in your mouth, the slightly sweet sour cream is a dream. I know you'll enjoy it.