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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)
Esther Martin says
Thanks so much for the shout out! Glad you enjoyed it.
You did a great job digging up all the history–very impressive research! Joyeaux Noel!
Sheila Seiler Lagrand says
Hmm. Now I’m thinking I saw “French ladyfingers” in the grocery store. I wonder if those would work?
If they look kind of hard, like they have a slightly crunchy exterior, that’s what those “boudoirs” seemed like. If they are really smooshy, then they’ll probably just disintegrate. You could also try the recipe that I linked to at the beginning, which is more like a jellyroll.
April@The 21st Century Housewife says
Your buche de Noel recipe sounds so good! I’m really intrigued as many of the buche de Noels I have seen are more like jelly rolls with cream inside – but I think that is more the British Yule Log version, although I have seen them in France as well. I like the idea of a Belgian tiramisu style version – sounds so yummy! Thank you for sharing another great post, and for hosting 🙂
I think this was their cheap homemade version, because the store-bought cakes were too expensive. I think you are right–that the bakeries make more of the jellyroll style yule logs. I added a photo above that looks like the recipe I linked to at the beginning. I think the homemade idea is simple, simple, simple. And you should have access to the right kind of cookie in the UK!
Perfect! Just the other day the thought entered my mind that I wanted to try to make one of these this year. I’ll give your recipe a shot. Thanks for sharing!
Terrific! I hope it goes well–just make sure your ladyfingers are solid enough!
That looks like a great cake!
I don’t have time for a new post today, but here are two about food that I wrote this week:
Letting the kid play Restaurant, plus tofu-baking tips
Making the employee holiday meal a little more earth-friendly.
The fact that it’s decorated to look like a log is more the novelty of it. But it was yummy, too, like a long, horizontal trifle. 🙂
Megan Willome says
Sometimes you have to make something just because it’s yummy.
Hazel I. Moon says
I wonder if vanilla wafers that we use to make banana pudding would work. I may just try the chocolate jelly roll, as it looks delicious.
Susan DiMickele says
A great line up Ann. Only problem is I’m now hungry (I know better than to come here on a Friday night late…)