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Merry, merry, merry!

If you are anything like me, you are just starting a rather complicated dessert and have no time for blogs...and therefore you probably aren't reading this.

Hmmm.

Maybe I need another lede.

clears throat

If you are nothing at all like me, you just finished wrapping up the last present while sipping hot cocoa with a shot of your favorite chocolate friendly liquor (and really, what liquor isn't?) and have spare time to check in on a few blogs before the family knocks at your door, shaking off the first, fluffy flakes of snow.

I, on the other hand, have this on my counter.

  Bûche de Noël - the beginning

A pan buttered with parchment on it. From such simple beginnings, the madness begins...

You see, Christmas dinner is elsewhere tomorrow night, with a houseful of people I love and all the merriment that a 4 year old brings. The only thing that I have to bring is dessert - and isn't that a terrible chore? Oh wait! No, it's not.

I took to the 'net last night looking for inspiration and, for better or worse, stumbled across this month's Daring Bakers event: Bûche de Noël

Along my detour through the delectable photos and descriptions, an idea formed. Chocolate sponge cake, my favorite chocolate meringue frosting with some brandy-soaked bits of dried apricots and flecks of grated bittersweet chocolate mixed in, and a deep, dark ganache.

So that parchment-lined pan is the beginning of eleventy-dozen steps that will, with any luck, result in something truly tasty and gorgeous to behold.

I was going to say that I'd live-blog the entire cake and, while I am going to try, it's a soft commitment. Very soft. (ed: getting softer by the keystroke, keep reading) I am already questioning my sanity and if I start making promises the men in the nice white suits may bring their nets over here and take me away before I get to the little meringue mushrooms.

In fact, I just ran back in so that I could butter the parchment, sprinkle it with a mixture of cocoa and flour and take another photo. You know, to get the whole 'maybe I could live-blog this' juices flowing. Ran in there, quick like a bunny, grabbed the tiny bit of soft butter that was conveniently left on the table so it is soft and smearable, and rubbed it all over the parchment, reached for the cocoa and sniffed...the oddly savory smell...sniff...sniff...sniffed the garlic butter I had just smeared all over my parchment.

Bangs head on KitchenAid.

kill. me. now.

In other news

theKid has a blog! Plays Well With Food is brand new but she's already baking a caramel-filled chocolate tart for Christmas dessert. Yeah, straight for the chocolate, that's my kid!

Also: Bacon, you know you want some.

Here's wishing everyone a truly happy tomorrow, whether you spend it at home with a warm cassoulet and a good book or with a hundred of your closest family (and that weird uncle).

More photos to follow in the flickr set, even if they don't make it to the blog quite so quickly. The real live-blogging will be happening there - I may also get posts between major stages here.

Garlic. Butter.

part two: Chocolate Apricot Frosting Recipe

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