Have You Ever Made a Bûche de Noël?

We're loving this picture of an "Aspen" bûche de noël, a more modern take on the classic French Christmas cake. Traditional logs are iced in chocolate and often have little meringue mushrooms perched on top. They take a lot of work. (We've seen the labor in action.) Have you ever attempted a bûche?

The most complicated part of making a bûche is rolling the sheet cake into a coil around the filling. We've watched family members do this, and it occasionally takes two synchronized people working in tandem to get the cake rolled without breaking it.

Then, of course, there's the fancy decorating. You slice off pieces of the log and place them on the sides of the main piece, like branches, and then you can rake the frosting to look like bark. Put holly leaves or greenery around the base, or, go all out with the meringue mushrooms. The Saveur recipe below has instructions for making those.

Who's made a bûche? Any interesting versions you want to share?

Recipes to try:
Bûche de Noël, from Saveur
Caramel Pecan Bûche de Noël, from Bon Appétit
Orange-Walnut Bûche de Noël How-To, from Martha Stewart

Related: Look! Fabric Bûche de Noël

(Image: Flickr member distopiandreamgirl, licensed under Creative Commons)

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