Fiddleheads and Ferns

Stylized fiddleheads and ferns adorn this marble cake.  I’ve been trying to find more manly designs, as I have quite a few men and boys in my family to make cakes for.

This was my second attempt at a recipe from the famous Rose Levy Beranbaum (from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes).  I made it in some trepidation, as I have neither an accurate scale nor a thermometer capable of taking my butter’s temperature as she recommends!  Nonetheless, reports are that the cake turned out well (at least, that is what those who didn’t give up cake for Lent said).

Bûche de Noël

A traditional Christmas Cake in the shape of a Yule Log.  Chocolate Roulade Cake from Rose Levy Beranbaum, filled with Sylvia Weinstock’s Chocolate Mousse.  The mushrooms are made of meringue with melted chocolate to glue the caps to the stems.

An experimental Chocolate Cream Cheese Italian Meringue Icing forms the bark.  The icing was, ah, less successful, shall we say, undoubtedly because not only did I wildly combine elements from three different recipes, but I also tried to rush the Italian Meringue.  Fortunately, the grainy texture, which would have rendered it useless for most applications, actually accentuated the craggy texture of the bark.  It still tasted good.  It’s just butter, sugar, chocolate, cream cheese, and egg whites; I don’t think you could make it taste bad if you tried!

A close-up of the meringue shelf fungi (incidentally, I think I’m the only baker to put shelf fungi on my Yule Log).

Better than normal photographs are courtesy of Clairetty.