Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kitsch-en Kounter: Bûche de Pâques

One needn't ponder long before remembering the true meaning of Easter - renewal, rebirth, resurrection.  All of these beautiful messages come with their own springtime symbols - a blossoming flower, a hatchling bird, a world reborn after months of frigid winter (as a lifelong Southern California native, I'll just have to believe that last one to be true).

With rebirth on the brain, I wondered what I could create in the wacky tacky kitsch-en that would represent a seasonally-appropriate gastronomic resurrection.  Without sounding too irreverent, I concluded that there is no better time of year to resurrect a classic symbol of the Christmas season, born again with an Easter Holiday twist!  The Bûche de Noël or Yule Log, is a rolled cake meant to resemble a fallen, winter, woodland log found during Christmas.  Figuring that if it is good enough for the birth then it's good enough for the resurrection, I came up with the "Bûche de Pâques" or "Easter Log" (even if you have no idea what it means, it's a name that sounds much more appetizing in French).

I had all my decorations ready but I didn't take many progress shots because I had never
made a rolled cake before - nerve wracking!  Using a recipe for a coconut-almond genoise,
I found that the cake went together much more easily than I had expected.  Although our
decorations skew Easter, I'm thinking that this cake (made without leavening agents)
might qualify as a Passover offering too - maybe adorned with Passover Possums?!!!

As ever, my visions of professional, cake-decorating perfection narrowly exceeded the spindly grasp of my pitiful pastry prowess.  Nevertheless, having become well acquainted with abject kitsch-en failure (believe it or not, I only show you the "successes"), I am mostly satisfied with the outcome.  The only concession in failure (or mild satisfaction) is that an ugly cake can still be a tasty cake!

Voila!  Mon Bûche de Pâques!!!
Perhaps the English name could be "Rabbit Roulade" or "Bunny Braciole;"
but then we get into the territory of wondering whether Peter Cottontail is
simply on the cake or in the cake...

Nestled on a bed of tinted coconut, the cake (a peeling birch log) is frosted with a coconut buttercream accented by a ganache made of  coconut milk and chocolate.  The bird and "Happy Easter" banner came from the reject room of a cake supply store; I highlighted the bird's features by painting it with the same chocolate ganache.  The toadstools are meringue cookies hand-painted with food coloring.  The blue, vintage Easter bunny was removed from a thrift store wreath - and thoroughly sanitized! 

In preparation for sharing the Bûche de Pâques with you, I obviously made it several days in advance of the Easter Holiday.  Not one to let a good cake go uncelebrated,  I repurposed it as a birthday cake to commemorate Mary's 21st birthday.

She never knew the difference....

Other than the Bûche de Pâques, the Easter preparations are essentially over around here.  With no children around, there are less eggs to dye and less handfuls of jelly beans and chocolate eggs to surreptitiously rescue from unwatched Easter baskets - the real benefit being the absence of Easter grass to find everywhere, all year long, until next Easter no matter how often we sweep, vacuum, dust, swiffer, lint roll, etc.  Truly, the break is a bit of a relief from the veritable Easter Egg factory that is usual around these parts; we'll just have to get that old Easter feeling from the "Egg Cracker Suite."

"Egg Cracker Suite"

We wish you all the best for a very Happy Easter!!!


Mr. Tiny


  1. what a triumph! it looks great on top of that tinted coconut!

    1. Thanks, Rae! It occurs to me that tinting coconut is quickly becoming a favorite pastime - it goes with/in/on everything!!!

  2. Oh my stars! GIANT SWISS CAKE ROLL! I want it...NOW!

    1. The GIANTEST!!! Next time you're in CA, you get a cake!