Buche de Noel with Struffoli in the background
Reading the above title, one might get the impression that I have both French and Italian roots. My only connection to France is my four years of high school French.........and my Buche de Noel. Ok, I can still sing most of La Marseillaise when I've had perhaps tee too many martinis. But, I digress.
I believe it was Julia Child who was on television preparing a Buche de Noel, and I thought it was just the neatest dessert. I had to make it for my family. Eric was four months old that Christmas, and I've been serving it every year since then. 28 years. Since I assemble the whole thing on Christmas Eve, and I wanted to post a photo prior to Christmas, this is one from a prior year. I'll be making the meringue mushrooms later today. Perhaps I'll even make a few snails. They always look appropriate sitting on and around the log. I've added sugar-coated cranberries, marzipan cranberries, holly, or have just left it in its simplest form: The log and the meringue mushrooms. Sometimes less is more.
As for the Struffoli, no self-respecting Italian...or at least Neopolitan....Christmas dessert table would be complete without them. Little balls of dough that are deep fried, drained, coated in honey, lemon, and orange zest. They're then stacked and covered with colored sprinkles. They are positively addictive.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.