Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How on EARTH could I have written a post about Christmas in France and NOT mention the "Bûche de Noël"?! I think it's against the law here to have a holiday meal without one of these special yule log shaped cakes.

At this time of year, every bakery and supermaket in the country is jam-packed full of the tasty treats. And everyone buys one to enjoy on Christmas Day.

Except me. Yup. As you all probably know from reading my blog, it would be against everything I stand for to do things the easy and logical way.

It is, in fact, the very essence of BurkinaMom-ness, to bake a very thin sponge cake in a jelly roll pan, roll up the hot cake in a sugar-covered tea towel, let it cool, carefully unroll the fragile cake, spread on a cream filling, roll it all up again, cover it with cocoa buttercream frosting, and then disguise it all as a gaudily decorated piece of firewood.

It's all very fiddly, but a fun way to kill a few hours, if you enjoy cooking. Here's the recipe I used, if you want to give it a go.

There are many recipes for this cake out there on the internet, so be careful if you don't use mine and go looking around on your own. One of them I read even specified that besides a jelly roll pan and a mixer, you would also need to have on hand "an oiled broom handle suspended between 2 chair backs and newspapers on the floor" ???!! I didn't even have the courage to go to page two and find out what the heck the oiled broom handle was for.

Frankly, it was kind of scary.

The recipe I recommend is a fairly easy one and requires no chairs, lengths of wood or floor protection.

So, my cake is ready, as are the mashed potatoes. Valentine peeled about 12lbs yesterday and certainly deserves the very nice gifts she will be getting tomorrow morning.

My mother in law will be here soon. JP and the twins drove up to Lorraine yesterday to pick her up. They'll be here tonight in time for a French-style Christmas supper of smoked salmon, boudin, oysters and other fancy but easy to prepare foods.

Then we'll head off the the church at about 9pm. Valentine is in the Christmas pageant, so we have to get there a bit early. She plays the part of a busy mother trying to finish her Christmas preparations. Guess it's one of those new-fangled, hyper-realistic, non-traditional Christmas shows....

Enjoy your Christmas Eve, friends.


somebird said...

i remember making Bûche de Noël for a project in 7th grade french class. omg, soooooo goooood!
hope you have a lovely christmas beth!! miss you!

Rocco said...

great blog!
nice ideas

oreneta said...

Like the new colour scheme...I'll resist the urge to bake...trying to keep it simple here this year....

Merry Christmas, hope it all goes well.



babzee said...

...and this Christmas you were not running from market stall to market stall, hoping to barter for butter, beg for sugar or threaten bodily harm for chocolate! SO much to be thankful for...

La Framéricaine said...

Ma très chère BurkinaMom in France,

I wish you a Merry Christmas!
I wish you a Merry Christmas!
I wish you a Merry Christmas!
and a Happy New Year!

Voilà! I am hooked, up, that is. And Santa Claus brought me a gift devoutly to be wished for--I woke up this morning free of sciatica (an off-shoot of 5 days and nights of walking in Mexico City!). Halleluja, thank ya, Jesus! That's worth all the Christmas presents in the sleigh.

Thank you for your well wishes and for keeping up with me when low-tech has me running silent and deep!

I hope that Santa made it safely to Haute-Savoie and that all your loved ones are healthy, happy, safe, and sane in the brand-spanking New Year (in which, of course, we will have to arrange our own private bloggess summit!).

Hasta pronto, querida!