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Are You Hungry for Bûche de Noël?

Gingerbread bûche de Noël

 

 

Yes, is the answer!

Christmas tree outside

Because making bûche de Noël is not for the light of heart. Yes, it’s true, it takes all day to make and the NY Times’ Melissa Clark doesn’t lie. I had that thought as I was closely following Dorie Greenspan’s recipe and techniques for her new Gingerbread bûche de Noël. I would glance up at the clock and see the hours disappear thankfully, it’s the solstice and I’ve got time and more of it! Good thing I didn’t make this yesterday ;0)

Melissa Clark teams up with Dorie Greenspan here in a NY Times video (I wish I would have watched the video before making mine) the link also includes the recipe just incase you would like to try it out too. Or, you can learn more from NPR and their take on the Yule Log.

Caramelized Almonds

Almonds ready to be caramelized

Despite the fact that this recipe takes a bit of time, it has been a great experience and I am happy to report that I was successful and we will be enjoying a lovely Gingerbread bûche de Noël tonight while we celebrate solstice and my father’s belated birthday.

Solstice, Birthday, Noel

Solstice, Birthday, Noel

As I spend more time in the kitchen I am beginning to feel a little more accomplished. I found myself taking pleasure in the fact that I had made the rugelach last month and was confident with rolling the gingerbread cake today. Confident from time spent rolling sushi with friends on warm summer evenings. Each of these tasks are starting to build on each other and it’s feeling good.

Sugared towel ready to roll.

Sugared towel ready to roll.

I needed that good feeling today when I reached the part in the recipe, where I’m making the icing and Dorie mentions I need to use my candy thermometer. “Oh SUGAR” was the last thing I remember and now associate that thermometer with divinity guts and monsters (if you are curious click on monsters and read to catch up, then come back!). Not this time! I was loyal to my pot of sugar and [giggle giggle] guess who walks in while I was stirring this pot of sweets? Remember it’s holiday time so, yes, D2 (daughter #2) and my husband, but that’s not all, my extended family happily arrived as well, complete with arms full of questions and cheer! Determined, I tuned out the cacophony of chatter and eyed my bubbling syrup on the stove. Then, another wave of confidence arrived. I realized I’ve done this before, I’ve made French macaroons and this was the same technique required to make the oh so amazing, melt in your mouth cookies I adore! I’ve got this, I think and proceed to rock the icing sans issues.

Gingerbread bûche de Noël

Gingerbread bûche de Noël

Sprinkling the caramelized almonds on top as the finishing touch was a nice way to complete my project.

I will most likely save this recipe for special occasions or when I have a good amount of time. But I will be making caramelized almonds again and soon. Because they are easy to make and great to have on hand.

Gingerbread bûche de Noël

Success is a good feeling and it’s even sweeter after hard work and previous mistakes.

Tuesdays with Dorie Greenspan and Baking Chez Moi is an open group dedicated to baking through Dorie’s latest books. To see more of the groups experiences with the Gingerbread bûche de Noël click on the link.

 

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

Head Shot RachelleRachelle @ Caramelize Life
Making Life a Little Sweeter through Food, Travel and Community

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rachelle, your log looks perfect! The even icing and those perfectly rolled layers are impressive. I hope you had a wonderful gathering and an even merrier Christmas.

    Like

    December 24, 2014
    • Hi Adriana, thank you! Yes, indeed we had a lovely evening. I didn’t see any leftovers so I will say it was a hit. I wish you a merry Christmas as well.
      ~cheers!

      Like

      December 24, 2014
  2. what a beautiful cake! i know what you mean about the tension and stress of working with hot sugar. i’m glad it worked for you–for me, too:)

    Like

    December 24, 2014
    • Jessica, I’m happy to hear it worked for you too! Oh, after my last sugar mess I had to press on and get it right. Thanks for the kudos, it was a quick turn around to make the cake, it seemed all day and then eat it right away.

      Like

      December 24, 2014
  3. Tricia S #

    Wow- I agree with Adriana – that roll is utterly perfect. It is like a text book log roll !! How gorgeous. All of your photos are just lovely. The one with the single green candle struck me as a perfect holiday shot. Yes, between this recipe, the rugelach and macarons, you are doing quite some baking. Great job !!

    Like

    December 24, 2014
    • Tricia, thank you! I had to laugh when I was reaching for the mini birthday candles and my husband, E.A( his initials) chose the large green one. My father approved so the green candle it was! I’ll pass on the photo kudos to E.A half were his and half mine. I am still learning the finer parts to taking photos inside without natural daylight.
      Happy Holidays to you!

      Like

      December 24, 2014
  4. Beautiful 🙂

    Like

    December 24, 2014
  5. After seeing your Bûche de Noël I am hungry 😉

    Like

    December 24, 2014
  6. cakelaw #

    Your Buche looks amazing! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Like

    December 24, 2014
  7. Oooh, love the almonds and they look great on your absolutely beautiful cake! You are braver than I: I made sure to make the frosting when no one else was around as I was a bit concerned. What a wonderful feeling to be able to keep those doubts at bay with all the experience and successes you’ve had! Hope your holidays were/are wonderful!

    Like

    December 26, 2014
  8. Your cake looks so moist! It really shows off the cream spiral. Lovely photos, too!

    Like

    December 27, 2014
    • Leah, thank you! Yes, we loved it, and I was worried about the cake breaking because I had never made such a cake let alone roll one up! But it did just fine.
      Have a lovely New Year!

      Like

      December 28, 2014
  9. teaandscones #

    Beautiful cake. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together!!

    Like

    December 27, 2014
    • Thank you teaandscones! Yes, it is a wonderful feeling when it all comes together. Dorie, does a fine job of writing recipes that she makes it easy.
      Have a fabulous New Year!

      Like

      December 28, 2014
  10. Wow-your photos came out great! Such a great cake for winter nights.

    Like

    December 28, 2014
  11. Your buche looks perfectly lovely! I’m sure everyone enjoyed your hard work! Beautiful photos…especially love the outdoor shot! Just gorgeous!

    Like

    December 30, 2014
  12. I love that you caramelized almonds — what a great idea!

    Like

    January 4, 2015
  13. You rolled your cake perfectly! The praline was popular on and off the cake at our place, too.

    Like

    January 5, 2015
  14. Beautiful cake!

    Like

    January 6, 2015

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