I have a confession to make.
John usually helps me with my Daring Baker challenges. Sometimes more than just a little bit. But with this month's buche de noel he took the lead.
The light, airy genoise? I sifted the flour and the cornstarch together. The rest of the effort was John's.
The mocha butter cream worthy of licking off someone you love? I cubed the butter, measured the coffee extract (which we used in place of espresso powder we couldn't find in any of five grocery stores) and the Kahlua, and melted the chocolate. Combining the sensitive ingredients into a velvety smooth finish with no sign of curdle was all John's doing.
And the marzipan, which should be labeled as a controlled substance and is probably illegal in seven states? I whipped the almond paste with confectioner's sugar into a crumbly meal and considered it a failure. John patiently incorporated the corn syrup into marzipan perfection and molded some mystical mushrooms while I shredded chocolate to dirty the plate.
Oh and I took a page from Peabody's book, tossing some rosemary and cranberries in sugar for that snow covered look.
In the end ladies and gentlemen, the majesty you see before you is John's creation, not mine. But I couldn't be more proud of it if it were my own.
We want to thank Lis and Ivonne for hosting this beautiful holiday challenge. And Helene for the invaluable advice on how to avoid its pitfalls. If you want to make one of your own for New Years Eve or Twelfth Night celebrations, you can find the recipe over at Ivonne's. And hundreds more variations on the theme at the Daring Baker blog-roll.
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