This is totally unrelated to knitting, but I thought I'd post since well, it's the holidays after all. I took a buche de noel class at the Cambridge Culinary Institute.
When I was growing up, holidays were a truly international affair. My mom's Spanish, Dad's German, had Swedish au pairs, French friends. . . so we adopted many different holiday traditions including the buche de noel (aka yule log). Of course, I can't recall that anyone in my household actually undertook the elaborate cake (and trust me, it is elaborate), but we almost always had one.
It's a multi-part undertaking:
-chocolate butter cream filling and icing
-marzipan moss, leaves, berries
-chocolate plants and fences
Whew! Anyway, this was partly the reason I decided to take the class. This way I'd have someone to walk through all the components. The class was SO much fun, taught by a very charistmatic Frenchman. He kept saying, "Now zeez ees a sexy butter cream!"
It was a 4 hour plus class and we went so fast. I suspect that if I ever made it by myself it would take about 8 hours to complete. A long time and lots of effort for a fleeting cake. . . but I sort of love projects like that. Ephemeral and lovely.