Sunday, November 13, 2011

Buche de Noel

UPDATE 6/25/13

A while back, my good friend from culinary school, Bridgid, invited a bunch of us over for dinner.  We try to do this every couple of months, but when you're contending with some crazy schedules, you'll take what you can get.  Somehow, I was nominated to bring dessert.  What the hell do you make for a bunch of pastry chefs - something obnoxious!

I've always been intrigued by bouche de Noels.  Also known as a Yule Log cake, they are typically made up of  a sponge cake with some basic filling and rolled. It is then covered with brown frosting and decorated with a wood grain so that it resembles a tree stump.  It is often garnished with edible leaves and meringue mushrooms and is a traditional holiday dessert served in France.
Anyone who knows me knows that a standard bouche de Noel wasn't going to cut it.  I need something more elegant.  I decided to fashion my bouche similar to the likes of Pierre Herme and Alexis Mabille. These talented pastry chefs have taken the bouches to a whole new level, elevating the sophistication of it - both in appearance and flavor. 
I approached my bouche as if it were an entremet, assembling it in layers of varied flavors and textures which included: candied pecan daquoise, gingerbread spice cake, Mexican vanilla bean and nutmeg buttercream, coffee amaretto mousse and a chocolate glaze.

Of course I had to top it with a sprig of sugarpaste holly.

The picture below is a plated version of the dessert that was used for testing the flavor combinations. The only component not pictured is the chocolate glaze.