Are You Hungry for Bûche de Noël?
Yes, is the answer!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Rachelle @ Caramelize Life
“Making Life a Little Sweeter through Food, Travel and Community“