Archive for January 23rd, 2023

The last time I posted about this traditional Christmas dessert was in 2011 and I didn’t even bother to decorate it with the mushrooms and pinecones, this time I went all out! This show-stopper dessert is a fabulous end to a wonderful celebratory meal so, get it on the calendar for next Christmas. Fortunately, each item can be made in several days and assembled at the last moment so you needn’t spend all day in the kitchen.

The Cake

Makes one 23 cm x 33 cm (9″ x 13″) slab rolled into a log.


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 120 g sugar
  • 120 g AP flour
  • 5 mL vanilla
  • 5 g grated lemon zest
  • 30 g granulated sugar, for dusting the kitchen towel
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam, for spreading before you roll it.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 23 cm x 33 cm (9″ x 13″) cake pan or jelly roll pan with parchment paper, carefully folding the corners. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Separate the eggs into two medium bowls. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, but not dry. Set aside.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy and falls in a thick ribbon.
  4. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the pale egg yolk mixture.
  5. Sift about 1/3 of the flour into the egg yolk mixture, then alternate folding in with the egg whites being careful not to deflate the batter.
  6. Once all of the egg whites and flour have been folded in, the mixture will be thick. Pour it carefully into your prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment edges and lay onto a clean white kitchen towel sprinkled with the granulated sugar, remove the parchment. Spread the jam evenly onto the cake to all edges (if the jam is too thick, heat it up for a minute or so or add some kirsch to it). Taking the short end, begin to roll the cake up tightly. Twist the cloth ends tightly and allow it to cool completely. Store in tightly wrapped plastic until needed

Rich Chocolate Butter Cream


  • 76 g unsalted butter
  • 250 g sifted icing sugar
  • 5 mL vanilla
  • 30 g unsweetened, chocolate melted and cooled.


  1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the icing sugar with about 30 mL of cold water as needed to make a fluffy cream and beat until entirely incorporated and fluffy.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the cool melted chocolate and beat well.
  3. Store in the refrigerator, and bring it to room temperature when needed.

Rubbing cocoa powder on the meringue mushrooms makes them even more authentic looking.

Meringue Mushrooms

Makes about 10 mushrooms of various sizes.


  • 65 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g egg whites
  • 5 g unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for rubbing into the finished meringues
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 10 g dark chocolate, melted for assembly


  1. Combine all ingredients, but the dark melted chocolate in a stand mixer bowl and beat until thick and shiny, the meringue should stand when a peak is pulled out.
  2. Bake at 200° F for approximately 2 hours (this will depend on how thick your mushroom pieces are.
  3. Allow to cool completely. When cool, rub the unsweetened cocoa powder into each cap and stem, the more varied the colour the better. Assemble the mushroom cap with the stems by ‘gluing’ the stem to the bottom of the cap with the melted, dark chocolate. Set aside in a cool, area that is not moist.

These pinecones are crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside with a good hit of real rum!

Rum Ball Pine Cones

Makes about 4 medium-sized pine cones.


  • 2 pieces of fudge brownies (I used this recipe)
  • 15 g of peanut butter
  • 15 mL rum
  • 15 g cornflakes
  • 30 g dark chocolate, melted
  • 50 g almond slices, toasted


  1. Combine all of the ingredients but the dark chocolate and almon slices in a food processor and process until it makes a nice thick dough that sticks together when shaped into a ball.
  2. Divide the dough into four equal portions and shape into a pinecone shape. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Taking whole slices of the almonds, dipped into the dark chocolate at one end, stick each piece to the pinecone shape in a circular pattern, overlapping the last one, until the entire cone is covered. You may want to place the cones into the freezer to set each row of almonds. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.

Bûche de Noël Assembly:

  1. Spread about 1/3 of the buttercream over the jam-filled side of the rolled cake. Re-roll it tightly. Spread the remaining buttercream over the outside of the cake, it should not be smooth, but rough like bark.
  2. Place the mushrooms strategically on the edge of the log, inter-spersing the pinecones. Sprinkle with icing sugar lightly to emulate snow. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream if desired.

Wrapping the plated cake in cellophane really makes it festive.


  • Roughly chopped pistachios or roasted pepitas make beautiful “moss” on the log.
  • Lightly dusted icing sugar replicates a light snow nicely.



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