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Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Une délicieuse bûche de Noël – Vanille, marron glacé et macaron moelleux à la châtaigne

[A delicious Christmas log – Vanilla, candied chestnuts and fluffy chestnut macaron]

We all know one of those people who dream about Christmas all year long and when it’s finally time to celebrate - around mid-October (because, yes, these people start to act much earlier than others) -, spend days and nights thinking about the dinner, the presents, the decoration...

Well, I am one of these people.
Hi, my name is Fanny and I am a Christmasholic.

It usually starts from the 26th of December, occasionally from the 27th.
I know and feel it’s not sensible, but can’t help.
Without I even notice it, I’m already in the mood for next Christmas.
Whether it’s about the tree ornaments, the Christmas cards or the menu, I can’t stop my brain coming up with tons of ideas.
Thus, I keep hundreds (and I’m only slightly exaggerating) of Moleskine notebooks to write down every single one of these ideas.

When Christmas finally - and actually – arrives, I just have to leaf through these paper treasures to set all the variables of the equation:
ax + by + cz = BCPE
(BCPE standing for Best Christmas Party Ever)

A week ago, while searching for some inspiration for la bûche I remembered les petites notes griffonées sur un coin de feuille.
It reads - une délicieuse bûche de Noël: vanille, marron glacé et macaron à la châtaigne.

PS – I would understand now if you consider me a chestnut aficionado.

Bûche à la vanille et au marron glacé sur un macaron à la châtaigne
This bûche is made of a candied chestnut mousse encased in a vanilla mousse and wrapped in a stripped joconde.

Regarding the joconde biscuit, the result didn’t turn out as beautiful as expected. I guess the use of my father’s glue comb (self-note: buy a set of decorating combs!) has something to do with the almost disaster.

Both the mousses are delicious and complementary: the chestnut mousse is rich and sweet while the vanilla one is slightly tangy and more firm making for a balanced and delicate pudding.

The macaron is probably the best part of the bûche: satisfyingly sweet with caramel undertones and a pleasant chestnut flavour; definitely the real winner of the unforgettable Christmas Eve dinner.
Culinary speaking I’m not sure it would qualify as macaron though. Dacquoise would probably be more accurate, but the chewy texture, shiny crust and little ‘feet’ exude the macaron-attitude.

Macaron à la châtaigne

170g ground almonds
140g icing sugar
60g flour
4 large egg whites
100g light muscovado sugar
60g caster sugar
70g cooked chestnuts, in small pieces

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Line a 30 x 40cm pan with baking paper.
Blitz the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor. Mix in the flour.
Whip the egg whites until stiff, add the sugars and continue whipping until they form firm peaks.
Pour over the almond mixture and incorporate gently. Mix in the cooked chestnut bits and pour the batter into the lined pan.
Bake for 18 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Note – you could also pipe the batter into small rounds for a macaron-look.

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20 sweets:
Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Hi Fanny! Well I'm Noemie and I'am a Christmasolic as well! I just love what this celebration brings: lights in the city, gifts, cards, gatherings...even the cold! Your "bûche" is already a huge gift! I can imagine how luscious it might taste...the chestnut macaron is simply mouthwatering! Guess what? I am making a "TO DO" list for next year and this bûche will come first for the dessert!

26 December, 2006 22:04 

Blogger Hélène (Cannes) said something sweet:

"Christmasholic" ! Quel joli terme, qui me convient décidément très bien !
Très belle bûche, également. Tu es une virtuose, dis donc !
Grosses bises

26 December, 2006 22:18 

Blogger barbichounette said something sweet:

Wahou !!!! Elle est très belle et qu'est ce qu'elle doit être bonne !!!!

26 December, 2006 22:44 

Blogger Omo_chakir said something sweet:

Bravooooooooooo, it's so beautiful waw waw, elle doit être à tomber !

26 December, 2006 23:07 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Sweet Fanny,

I too am a Chrismasaholic! And like you as soon as one is over I am thinking about the next one.

This is such a beautiful dessert! I must file it away for next Christmas ...

27 December, 2006 00:53 

Blogger Mercotte said something sweet:

Digne d'une pro elle est superbe et j'adore le marron en plus !

27 December, 2006 08:10 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Fanny, this log looks absolutely stunning!

I can't help but love Christmas, I know how you feel. I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and wish you all the best for the new year!

27 December, 2006 12:18 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Ta bûche est superbe!
En plus le mélange vanille - marron me plait énormément...
Très bonnes fêtes de fin d'année.

28 December, 2006 14:01 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Toujours de très belles choses ici !

28 December, 2006 23:01 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

This dessert looks beautiful! I'd love to taste it, but I doubt I could make mine come out so nice. I bet it was the hit of your Christmas.

29 December, 2006 04:10 

Blogger Camille Clech said something sweet:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30 December, 2006 00:03 

Blogger Camille Clech said something sweet:

Waow, qu'est-ce qu'elle est belle, une pure merveille ! Passe de joyeuses fêtes Fanny ;-)

30 December, 2006 00:05 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Your Christmas log looks spectacular! I can only imagine the wonderful flavor and texture. And you do seem to have mastered the chestnut!

Would I be correct in guessing your favorite Christmas song might have something to do with this festive nut? Happy New Year! : )

31 December, 2006 01:23 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

That looks amazing!

I need to be more organized and write things down, throughout the year I get great ideas for Christmas presents, but by the time it rolls around to actually make them it's usually December 23rd...

31 December, 2006 03:52 

Blogger Chanita Harel חני הראל said something sweet:

Fanny, It's WONDERFUL !!
I wish you happy New Year ;)

31 December, 2006 17:46 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Dear Christmasholic, Merry Belated Christmas and a Happy New Year. That chestnut log looks a treat! Almost too pretty to eat :)

01 January, 2007 12:57 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

wow, your bûche looks beautiful!

happy new year fanny!!!

01 January, 2007 14:21 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

This is a masterpiece Fanny! Happy New year and lots of sweets for 2007!


02 January, 2007 13:54 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Quelle merveille!!

02 January, 2007 14:34 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Hi Fanny - didn't realise you posted this beautiful buche de noel until now! (just added your site in my rss reader) It looks so lovely and the flavour combination sounds just fab :) (I think you did a great job on the joconde) Good luck with your studies, looking forward to reading all about it. kx

11 January, 2007 18:05 

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