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  1. being fond of bûches, i thought why not make a savory one? so for christmas dinner appetizer i shaped chicken liver pate (silver palate recipe) and garnished with mache, cornichon moss, and quail egg/tomato amanitas. offscreen were some leaf-shaped crackers.
  2. i love making buches more than just about anything, and have had a spring design in mind for a while which i finally made for my mother's birthday - cocoa souffle roll from the Cake Bible filled with orange zest buttercream covered in ganache & white chocolate peeling birch bark matcha marzipan birch leaves & frog marzipan mushrooms bittersweet chocolate nest white chocolate eggs with espresso powder marbling milk chocolate squirrel candied violas, witch hazel, and lilac pistachio moss
  3. a very delicious dacquoise can be made with ground pecans - (not sure if pecan "flour" would be too fine or not) add a little espresso powder and cinnamon, fill with coffee buttercream and cover with ganache. or vice versa.
  4. yes it was spread on a sheet of acetate; and because I was wary of wrapping it (I'm a bit of a klutz, and if the sheet hits the cake wrong and is then dragged into place, the design is ruined) I elevated the buche on a narrow pan with all four sides free, lowered the acetate onto the top, then pulled down the sides tightly. I put the whole contraption into the fridge to set. I had made a larger design than necessary (in the hope that if I messed some of it up, there would still be enough to use) so had several inches excess on all four sides, which I trimmed off with a warm knife. thanks everyone for the nice comments...
  5. I'm no expert but if no one else is going to answer, I have 3 (untested) ideas: 1 - hang the sour cream as you would yogurt to drain and thicken (I have no idea whether this works for s.c.) 2 - My favorite cheesecake recipe calls for letting it rest for 20 minutes after baking, spreading on the sour cream, then returning to the oven for 5 minutes. although this seems a very short time, the sour cream layer thickens enough to stay solid when sliced through. so I'm concluding that gently heating it in the microwave in short bursts, or in a double boiler over low heat may allow it to thicken enough for your purpose...? having not tried this either, I would test small batches - I have no idea at what point it might curdle... 3 - this would probably be the best and tastiest method - add some white chocolate. I have no idea how much, again you would have to experiment. RLB has a sour cream ganache in the Cake Bible (which is delicious on banana cake btw); the proportions are 340 grams bittersweet chocolate to. 400 grams (1 2/3 cup) sour cream. the sour cream must be room temperature to avoid forming lumps and it sets up thick very quickly so must be spread or piped immediately (or rewarmed) I would start with much less white chocolate, I suppose you could just keep adding till you were happy with the consistency.
  6. this year's buches... oak leaves, with toasted hazelnut/frangelico buttercream filling: three botanicals, coffee, chocolate, vanilla: (disclaimers: coffee does not blossom and fruit at the same time, except on my cake; actual vanilla orchids are more slender; the chocolate cacao leaves were not cast from real cacao as i can't get my hands on them in the pacific northwest; the cacao pods are from xocoa) rum and caramelized chestnuts and my first time playing with a woodgrain tool (chocolate fondant cones, matcha marzipan needles): happy new year everyone! thanks for all the inspiration and information shared here!
  7. made petit fours out of a pan of fruitcake with a layer of ganache to adhere the marzipan...
  8. i roll them when i'm after an actual tree look, with branches, like these last year when i wanted a more modern streamlined look like these, i used a Rehrucken pan (you can see the ends better in these pictures than in the chocolate cage pic, which gives you an idea of the shape) however it is fairly shallow, so i made a dacquoise layer on the bottom to give it more height (the cake baked in the pan is genoise) there is buttercream between the dacquoise and genoise, and the genoise is also cut in half to accommodate a layer of buttercream. in the case of the cage it was raspberry imbc and the genoise was doused with framboise. to make the chocolate cage (and the caramel one from last year) i covered the pan with two folded kitchen (terry-cloth) towels, laid parchment over that, and scrolled away (or in the case o the caramel, dripped away.) the towels were there to ensure the cages were larger than the finished cakes - i'm not sure you can tell from the pic but there is a good half-inch between them by the way i see Rehrucken pans every time i'm at the Goodwill - along with savarin rings and angel food cake pans. so (at least in the states) no one should have to fork out more than a couple of dollars for one
  9. I've been wanting to make fruitcake for decades but am usually too busy. This year, after reading through this entire thread I finally managed to bake a batch in mid-November, which i know isn't enough aging for some of you who post here, but i was pleased with the taste after only a few weeks. I also realized that i didn't want to bake it or even eat it so much as i just wanted to decorate it! (and give it away) i soaked some small loaves with rum and covered with marzipan (and blanched almonds, candied pineapple, angelica, citron, & candied cranberries): and included pecans in half the batch which i doused in Maker's Mark bourbon, omitting the marzipan:
  10. you certainly don't need my permission to try anything! just please post a picture of it. i read your entire blog a while back with pleasure (and a bit or envy). thanks for the nice comments everyone!
  11. winter squash and pumpkin pies mincemeat tart apple pies maple caramel walnut/pecan tart w chocolate maple leaf & whirlybirds another mince tart and chocolate walnut rum tortes w homemade marzipan & chocolate oak leaves hoping everyone is having a long lovely holiday weekend!
  12. a few years ago someone requested a buche in July as their birthday cake, so i 'summer-ized' it by making it a piece of driftwood in a beach setting. another idea a friend suggested was to make a campfire - which i finally did last weekend, for a donation to a fund-raising event whose theme was 'spark'. chocolate-walnut-rum torte logs & embers (logs sandwiched w plum jam and covered w nocino ganache; embers covered w confectioners sugar) candied orange peel flames caramel flames & sparks
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