So, I have it in my head to make "Buche de Noel", but for Thanksgiving dinner. I've made one a couple of times in the past for Christmas and, while it's a complete PITA, I love the result. I've used the JC recipe from The Way to Cook. While it's always beautiful, I've not been completely thrilled with the taste, and I would love to not make the Italian meringue icing, which makes it even more of a PITA.
Her recipe calls for:
Orange almond sponge cake batter
Rum imbibing syrup (sprinkled on the cake)
Italian meringue (for the mushrooms, and then combined w/ whipped cream, melted chocoate, etc. for the filling and the frosting)
I think I'd like to use a different cake batter - and have time to test some out before the holiday. Any thoughts for a frosting that might not be so much trouble? (I make a huge mess when I make it.)
And, perhaps more importantly - how to decorate it? With the Christmas one, I put the buche on a silver oval tray, then sprinkle cocoa through a sieve all over the tray. I put the little meringue mushrooms here and there. I dip rosemary sprigs and cranberries in either sugar syrup or egg white, and then dip in sugar, so they look frosted, and make an oval "ring" around the perimeter of the tray. At the last minue I sprinkle on icing sugar through a sieve to mimick snow.
I just bought these cookie cutters:
Some thoughts on making leaves:
Dyed white chocolate
Tuile like cookies drapped over a dowel - maybe "painted" like we did with stained glass cookies when I was a child?
Any and all suggestions welcome to make this Thanksgiving appropriate. FWIW, I'll be making a Tarte Tatin as well.