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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes. When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually. Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun!
Food on Fridays with Ann
I’m thinking about making this bûche de Noël or “yule log” cake for Christmas.
What’s a buche de Noel?This blog offers a long, well-researched history of the bûche. She pointed out that, like many Christmas traditions, the bûche traces back to pagan roots that were borrowed by Christians and modified to suit their celebrations. Its meaning is not overly symbolic, however, and I mostly want to make it because the one time I had it, I thought it was a very yummy cake.I first encountered it 18 years ago when my husband and I flew to Belgium to celebrate Christmas with his family. Late one evening, his brother announced he was going to make a “bûche.””What’s a bûche?” I asked.”Bûche means log in French,” he said. “This is a bûche de Noël, or Christmas log, like a yule log, that we make this time of year.”Intrigued, I watched as they worked together to assemble it. I’ve never had access to “boudoirs” cookies (ladyfingers) solid enough to hold up to being dipped in milk and stacked, and they are the key ingredient—American ladyfingers are light and airy, and sort of melt away into a pile of soggy crumbs; whereas, the Belgian ladyfingers proved more solid and formed the cake-like interior to the bûche, sort of like tiramisu or a trifle.If you are reading this in the States and somehow have access to imported boudoirs, perhaps you can give it a try?This is what I recorded from watching my in-laws all those years ago. Sorry no photo. And I obviously should have asked more questions and recorded details with greater accuracy.
Buche de Noël
2 tubs margarine (or 1 tub) [um, big difference]¼ C vanilla sugarPowdered sugar as neededVery strong coffee—2-3 drops boiling water through filterMilkPackages of boudoirsBeat vanilla sugar and margarine until really fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat until consistency seems right for spreading. Add the coffee until it tastes right.Dip cookies in milk and layer in rows of 4 or 5 side by side until desired length of bûche.Spread the fluffy mixture in between each layer. Move up, subtracting one cookie from each row until it looks like a log. Spread cream on top and sides. Leave some in bowl for ends. Put shaved chocolate all around top and sides to look like bark. Form some kind of baby Jesus out of the mixture for the top…or use a store-bought one.
It’s simple to assemble, if only I could find the right cookie…(Sorry to confuse readers. To clarify: The photo above is of a jellyroll version of the cake that I am thinking I’ll make since I don’t have access to the right kind of cookie. Sadly, I wasn’t thinking about food blogs 18 years ago, so I have no photo of the homemade version.)Photo credit: lucy (link to allrecipes.com)