This was fun. I’ve had this idea to do a mini Buche de Noel rattling around in my head for awhile now. I spent the better part of an afternoon working out the details. Aren’t they just SO cute??? and frightfully delicious too.
Traditionally I make the classic Buche de Noel cake every year for my holiday table. I vary the insides but typically it’s a vanilla sponge cake with a chocolate mousse filling. The outside is covered in chocolate icing and sculpted to look like a log. I would make gum paste holly leaves and marzipan mushrooms to decorate it. All that sprinkled with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Not a thing wrong with any of that- it’s just that I wanted to try something different.
I got to thinking that the papery layers of Filo dough could be made to look like a shaggy bark- So maybe this is more of a Birch tree bark and not such a deep brown one, but you’ll work with me on that, right? I made cuts and snips in the dough on my various attempts and this is what I came up with.
The recipe is a Bourbon laced browned butter apple and walnut filling, inside layers of crunchy dough on the outside. The first batch turned out to have too much pastry and too much bite to contend with in order to get to the sweet center. I played around with proportions and thicknesses and came up with what I felt was a great balance. Lots of lovely crunch of the delicate layers on the outside to the right amount of sweet soft warm filling.
So maybe they’re more of a shaggy mini apple strudel if you really want to get technical, but I believe in the magic of Christmas, and my imagination is my best toy. You are welcome to call them whatever you wish- either way, they’ll make a great addition to any dessert table.