Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gingerbread Bûche de Noël - Baking Chez Moi

Per Nana ~
This is a recipe I have always wanted to make and was excited that it was 
chosen for this week. I prepared each portion of the recipe separately so 
that I could concentrate without being overwhelmed. I made the candied
 pralines, which was quite easy and a new experience, and Jim loved them. 
As I read through the recipe, as each new step was mentioned I thought it 
would not all work. But with Dorie's instructions, it all worked beautifully. 
Removing the cake from the sheet pan was a trying experience, fortunately
 it came away so easily.  I managed to then roll it up without breaking or 
cracking the cake. By the time I prepared the frosting I realized I did not
 have a candy thermometer, so I just guessed at the temperature and when 
I poured the mixture into the egg whites it actually worked. 
Score one for Nana.
  All kidding aside, it is really not as hard as it looks and I 
am happy to be able to say I conquered the whole process.
So many firsts with this single recipe. I had not attempted a 
bûche de noël before but as I followed along with Dorie's recipe
 from "Baking Chez Moi", I realized that I had not made sponge cake 
like this one, nor made the delicious candied pecans and definitely 
never tried a marshmallow meringue icing like this. It made me 
wonder what I had been baking all these years. 
I also had to chuckle because like any new learning experience, it seemed 
quite simple while I watched the video on Youtube of Dorie making it.  
Very straight forward. Kind of like watching my math teacher do long 
division on the blackboard many years ago. I was right there along side, 
until I got handed a sheet of paper and had to do a problem by myself. 
I am actually embarrassed to admit that I had to watch that Youtube 
video 4 or 5 times to double check what was being unwrapped when.
 Ah, nothing like a new adventure. 
While my kitchen never took such a direct hit (especially from 
confectioner's sugar) as it did with this recipe, it truly was a fun 
and forgiving cake..... bearing in mind that many sins will be
 covered with that amazing frosting. I am so pleased to have
 conquered this "bragging rights worthy" holiday dessert. 
Now on to the Croquembouche !  
(kidding...maybe next year...)
While we do not normally publish recipes from Dorie's books, we are 
permitted when the recipe was shared with the media by the publisher. 
This is one of them. 
The link below will take you to the actual recipe. 


 Happy Holidays ~


  1. Both of your cakes turned out great! Nana~I'm so jealous that you got the perfect genoise that rolled so perfectly!! Tricia~ I laughed at the watching the video analogy because I felt much the same way. I, too, watched it a bunch of times so you're not alone! Happy holidays to you both!!

  2. Both cakes are so lovely! I hope you enjoyed them. Happy Holidays to you both!

  3. You are right that this dessert deserves bragging rights. Both of your cakes look lovely. I hope you both enjoyed them. I too learned many new techniques and I had to watch the video and tutorials many times to keep up. Happy Holidays.

  4. Ladies, you aced the Buche! They both look amazing. Merry Christmas to you both.

  5. I make a chocolate Buche de Noel each holiday season, but I'd never made a frosting like that. I'm sure it won't be the last time because now I'm totally in conflict about making the chocolate one or the gingerbread one! Gah.

  6. It's super fun to see both desserts and I really like the photo with the christmas tree in the background- so festive!
    Happy Holidays to you both.

  7. I must have glossed over the whole parchment/towel instruction set... whatever I ended up doing worked out well enough. Maybe Nana can get a candy thermometer in her stocking this year ;-) I have hunch we're going to be using them again. Tricia - as always your platters are a treat to the eyes and your cake looks lovely. Brag away!

  8. Both of you did AMAZINGLY! Well done! And yes, next year, croquembouche :)

  9. Y'all both did a great job on the cakes. That marshmallow frosting is definitely a keeper.

  10. So impressed you made the frosting without a candy thermometer or using the ball method. Love, love, love the cake with Christmas tree-so gorgeous!

  11. yea to both of you for cakes well-baked! and oh my gosh---that is a stunning Christmas tree!

  12. Your cakes are fabulous! I also broke it down in parts so that I didn't feel crazy doing it all in one day. And I LOVED the frosting. I used to make a cake log years ago: it was a chocolate cake with chocolate mint ice cream as the filling and chocolate frosting. It was quite yummy and had the advantage of needing to be stored in the freezer so you didn't have to consume it all in two days. Maybe I'll make both of them next year and have a bûche party!

  13. Well ladies you both did a fabulous job on the Buche! They look gorgeous! Tricia, your photos are just beautiful! Love the way the tree appears in the background!
    I served my buche for Christmas Eve and have not had a minute to post it until today! I have been quite busy baking, and entertaining my grandchildren! Hope your Christmas was fantastic! Wishing you both a healthy and Happy New Year!!

  14. Bravo ladies! Wonderful job with the Buche de Noel. ok Tricia, I had to watch the video a few times also, then I decided I was not going to make the Buche de Noel at all. Last minute (actually on the morning of Christmas Eve) I decided, "Why not?". Delicious!!!
    I hope you both had a very MERRY Christmas!!!

  15. Gorgeous!
    Tricia - you totally could pull off the croquembouche. I did one a couple of years ago and it wasn't that bad (you already have choux pastry experience).
    I owe you an e-mail...the piment d'esplette fairy hit my mailbox and made me all teary eyed. XO

  16. Both of you got wonderful results with this cake! I have to work a little on the cake part, but for the rest, I was surprised at how beautifully everything went.