Originally written: December 2006
I like pies. Btw, that’s a weak like.
Presented with an array of desserts, 99.7% of the time I will choose cake. My two favorites are Black Forest Cake a.k.a. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte and Carrot Cake but Christmastime it’s Bûche de Noël that rules. This yuletide log has been a part of our Christmas feast for years. Highly unlikely that it’d be voted off by any one of my 5-member family.
When I was younger, my Mom would bake the rolled cake from scratch, but as we got older and she has taken more responsibilities at work (RN’s never have it easy), she has turned to much-adored local bakeries to supply our Christmas table with it.
This year, we ended up with one and a half thanks to Ryan who bought a half-sized Bûche de Noël from Paris Bakery in Monterey, California (where we spent an overnight in the city to celebrate our first-year anniversary as a couple) as a holiday present for my family. Since the inn we stayed in was a stone’s throw, it gave me a fantastic chance to introduce him to one of my family’s favorite bakeries, the other being Peninsula Pastries in Salinas, California (minutes from Monterey and in the same county). We had a small breakfast. I savored a croissant au chocolat and a cup of fragrant green tea, while Ryan enjoyed a large bran muffin and a cup of strong café Americano (or as I see it, coffee with no frills). Lucky for us there were a few Yule logs left, given that we bought it the day before Christmas Eve.
Patience isn’t one of my strongest virtues and it took sheer restraint to wait until Christmas Eve. Needless to say, the chocolate cream covered rolled confections didn’t last long in our household—they never do.