Stephanie Rosenbaum at KQED seeks to reinvent the bûche de Noël this week, the concept of which she says “remains festive and fun” but the old-fashioned execution is “butter-heavy and frankly, a little tacky.” While we hear her on génoise cake being tasteless (not to mention a pain in the ass to make, but we digress), and her almond cake might indeed be delicious, we have to call shenanigans on the removal of chocolate altogether. We’ve heard of white bûches before, but this one, with a sweetened citrus-goat-cheese frosting and surrounded by poached figs, just doesn’t sound that great, and kind of gives California Christmas a bad name if you ask us. Don’t get us started on the sugared rosemary sprigs that look like they were dipped in Elmer’s glue. Nice try, though. A for effort.
The California version nixes chocolate in favor of almonds, and a citrus-goat-cheese filling/frosting. Photo: Stephanie Rosenbaum/KQED