Thanksgiving "Buche de Noel" ... need ideas.
So, I have it in my head to make "Buche de Noel", but for Thanksgiving dinner. I've made one a couple of times in the past for Christmas and, while it's a complete PITA, I love the result. I've used the JC recipe from The Way to Cook. While it's always beautiful, I've not been completely thrilled with the taste, and I would love to not make the Italian meringue icing, which makes it even more of a PITA.
Her recipe calls for:
Orange almond sponge cake batter
Rum imbibing syrup (sprinkled on the cake)
Italian meringue (for the mushrooms, and then combined w/ whipped cream, melted chocoate, etc. for the filling and the frosting)
I think I'd like to use a different cake batter - and have time to test some out before the holiday. Any thoughts for a frosting that might not be so much trouble? (I make a huge mess when I make it.)
And, perhaps more importantly - how to decorate it? With the Christmas one, I put the buche on a silver oval tray, then sprinkle cocoa through a sieve all over the tray. I put the little meringue mushrooms here and there. I dip rosemary sprigs and cranberries in either sugar syrup or egg white, and then dip in sugar, so they look frosted, and make an oval "ring" around the perimeter of the tray. At the last minue I sprinkle on icing sugar through a sieve to mimick snow.
I just bought these cookie cutters:
Some thoughts on making leaves:
Dyed white chocolate
Tuile like cookies drapped over a dowel - maybe "painted" like we did with stained glass cookies when I was a child?
Any and all suggestions welcome to make this Thanksgiving appropriate. FWIW, I'll be making a Tarte Tatin as well.
That might work for the apples - just use a piping bag and then maybe poke down on the top and put some kind of little green stems in.
Edit - and I do like the marzipan idea - I've never worked with it, but seem to recall some Martha Stewart articles about dying it, etc. I also bet that, in a pinch, I might find some seasonally shaped marzipan at Dean & Deluca.
Would you consider the log made from a pumpkin roll? I've eaten them several times but never made one, so I can't offer you a recipe. They're not frosted, so that might present a problem with recreating the bark. Those WS cutters are quite nifty. Maybe you could make a marzipan squirrel and a cluster of acorns to go along with the leaves for your fall theme.
Pastry Chef John Caluda of New Orleans was on an old episode of Great Chefs, Great Cities (youtube url below for the episode). He did a sinful tiramisu buche that is really easy to make. I have remembered the recipe and make it every year at some point during the holidays.