My friend called. She was looking for somebody to make her a Buche de Noel and wondered whether a baker from the WI might be interested. Of course there was. Me. Never made one before so all the more reason to have a go.
It wasn't as difficult as I thought but there were lots of lessons learnt. Firstly, read the instructions - that way you might beat the egg yolks before you add the cocoa. Secondly, do a bit more research than just going to the kitchen cupboard and getting out the Delia Christmas book you've had for 20 years because there might be a better way to do things. Thirdly, check whether the plate you put it on can actually fit into the carrier box because otherwise it'll be a bit awkward to get it over to Islington on the bus. Fourthly, remember that candied chestnuts are not commonplace in Mile End. Fifthly, leave enough time to complete the operation in one fell swoop otherwise you might have problems with an unwieldy ganache. And don't even think about making it on the same day as you are committed to baking two dozen cupcakes and two other cakes.
If you fancy having a go, I suggest you read Felicity Cloake's article first. My offering used this Delia recipe to make the bare log as far as the rolling it up stage; and Felicity Cloake's generous ganache to finish it off. Despite the tribulations, it worked out well enough. The best part was
By the way, if I had to identify the species of tree, I'd say this was an oak log, wouldn't you?