A Night of Celebration at EdibleDC's Eat/Drink Local

by AJ Dronkers, Associate Publisher & Digital Editor PhotoBooth

Holding large events is a task that isn't for the faint of heart -- especially when you rely on a really small team. But after the success of our Drinks Invitational last year at the Long View Gallery in Shaw, we couldn't resist doing it again. Team EdibleDC seems to have a knack for picking dates that fall on weather events. Last year's Drinks Invitational was held on the coldest day of the year in 2015, and for this year on Monday, May 2, we had rain, thunder and hail released from the sky.

We love kicking things off with Champange and Celebrity Cruise had us covered -- upon entry guests got a full glass to toast the evening. (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

Guests sampled their way through 30+ local food and drink artisans at the redesigned Long View Gallery in Shaw.

That didn't stop five hundred people from turning out for EdibleDC Eat/Drink Local on May 2, where we celebrated all things local from spirits, shrubs, rooftop gardens, to goat tacos. It was a smash hit, and many thanks to our sponsors, our vendors and to The Columbia Room and La Colombe for helping host the VIPs. Here's a quick recap of the event:

Our favorite vegan tacos are the mushroom ones from Chaia Tacos in Georgetown! (Photo by January Jai)

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Chef Ed Scapone, from DBGB DC, plating his Seven Hills Farm beef with ramps on crostini.

Local distiller, Don Ciccio & Figli, scoops his Amaro Punch Me made with grapefuit and rosemary. (Photo by January Jai)

Bethesda based, Denizens Brewing Co, had copious amounts of beer and recently announced their first cans are now available exclusively at Glen's Garden Market in Shaw & Dupont. (Photo by Albert Ting)

Newly launched sustainable chocolate maker, Harper Macaw, partnered with Chef Matthew Ramsey aka Pornburger to treat guests to a delicious mole dish. (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

In case guests needed a break from all the booze, Honest Tea, had a plethora of teas and their signature fizz flavors available throughout the Long View Gallery. (Styling by Heirloom Catering & Photo by Albert Ting)

Newly opened Ivy City Smokehouse was on hand serving multiple spreads. (Compost friendly plates provided by VerTerra & Photo by January Jai)

Manassas, VA based KO Distilling wasn't just pouring but educating guests on the unique flavors that make up their navy strength gin. (Photo by Albert Ting)

The amazing Long View Gallery was transformed by our event partners -- Heirloom Catering, Amaryllis hanging garden, and Frost Lighting. (Photo by Albert Tin)

Newly launched vegan flatbread company, Z&Z, can be found at area farmers markets and hopefully our next event. (Photo by Albert Ting)

H St favorite, Sally's Middle Name, made these delicious BLTs with Pickled Green Tomatoes from Earth N Eats Farm, organic bacon cured at Sally's for a month, spicy house-made mayonnaise and pullman loaf. (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

Lyon Distilling & True Syrups partnered up to serve cocktails that were refreshing and uber local. Recipe coming out soon. (Photo by January Jai)

We're obsessed with the flavor of Mountain Valley Spring Water which is loaded with natural minerals and has a slightly high pH level. (Photo by Albert Ting)

New Belgium Brewing Heavy Melon is the perfect Spring/Summer beer -- with hints of lime and watermelon. (Model not included with purchase & Photo by Heavy Melon)

No event is complete without moonshine -- including Richmond based Belle Isle Moonshine. (Photo by January Jai)

One Eight Distilling paired up with Element Shurb to serve two delicious cocktails. Need a break no problem just mix Element Shrub with soda water for a refreshing spritzer. (Photo by Albert Ting)

Greenhill Vineyards took a break from their Middleburg tasting room to sample their wines. (Photo by January Jai)

Chef Colin King and his team from Oyamel were pressing fresh masa tacos on-site and serving delicious goat tacos sourced from Pipe Dreams Farm. (Photo by Albert Ting)

Gina Cherservair from Buffalo & Bergen was slinging delicious cocktails using Prairie Organic Vodka. (Photo by Albert Ting)

Woodberry Kitchen & Artifact Coffee came down from Baltimore serving a variety of local things including these gorgeous Steadfast Farms black bean hummus with raw vegetable chips and spelt crackers. (Photo by January Jai)

Local DC Embitterment paired up with Tito's Vodka. (Photo by January Jai)

Relay Foods, your healthy online grocer, was making seasonal strawberry and arugula salad. (Photo by Albert Ting)

Richmond based, Reservoir Distillery, treated guests to straight pours and their old-fashioned. (Photo by Albert Ting)

"Brose" or the Early Mountain Rose was a hit at EdibleDC Eat/Drink Local. (Photo by January Jai)

Guests huddled around Valliant Oysters proving you just can't have one. (Photo by Albert Ting)

Troegs Brewing sampled their Perpetual IPA & Sunshine Pils next to the Gibson team. (Photo January Jai)

VIP guests has exclusive access to the Celebrity Cruise patio at the Columbia Room, Derek Brown's newly opened bar in Blagden Alley. (Photo by January Jai)

The food and drinks didn't stop at the Celebrity Cruise VIP patio -- Heirloom Catering wow'd guests with Celebrity inspired food pairings like this grass-fed hnager steak, with market herb chimichurri aioli and caramelized sweet onions. (Photo by January Jai)

These white sesame shrimp with daikon carrot slaw on a crisp wonton were paired with locally inspired punches at the Columbia Room patio. (Photo by January Jai)

The Celebrity Cruise VIP experience at the Columbia Room included two locally inspired punches: Gin Punch a la Terrington with GreenHat Gin and Linstead Punch with Catoctin Creek Rye whiskey. (Photo by Albert Ting)

Scenes from a successful VIP punch patio thanks to the Columbia Room, Celebrity Cruise, Heirloom Catering, DC Distillers (GreenHat Gin), and Catoctin Creek. (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

After the show is the after-party at La Colombe Coffee -- VIP guests grab treats from Rare Sweets. (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

Oh and of course all the coffee you can ask for -- guests also indulged in affogatos combining Trickling Springs Creamery ice cream with La Colombe espresso. (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

Closing out a memorable evening with our VIP jute gift bags chock-full of goodies from our local partners! (Photo by Albert Ting)

 

Interested in our next event? For more information about being an event sponsor, vendor or a guest at EdibleDC's future events, email us at info@edibledc.com. Want to see your photos from the FreshFarm photo booth provided by Hot Pink Photobooth, click here.

Thinking Outside the Pizza Pan: Chef Ruth Gresser Reflects on Her Life of Pies

By Susan Able, Photography by Hannah Hudson HannahHudsonPhotography.EdibleDC.RuthGresser-15

A 20-year-and-more veteran of the pizza business, Ruth Gresser hasn’t stopped at winning over Washington, DC’s, hearts as a pizza maven with her beloved Pizza Paradiso. She published a cookbook in 2014, Kitchen Workshop-Pizza: Hands-on Cooking Lessons for Making Amazing Pizza at Home and in 2015 introduced a new concept pizza restaurant, Veloce, which serves breakfast pizza. She currently serves as president of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR). We joined her for coffee in her Silver Spring kitchen to catch up with this busy entrepreneur and artisan and see what she has going on with her home food program.

EDC: Hey, Ruth. Thanks for having us and sharing your fantastic kitchen. So what does a pizza person make on her night off? Not pizza, right?

Ruth: Definitely not pizza, although who gets tired of pizza? I love to roast a chicken from Fields of Athenry farm in Virginia. I take a 3-pound bird, rub it all over with fat or oil, then a spice rub, salt and pepper, start it at 450° upside down. A half an hour later I turn it over, add a cup of water to the pan, and lower the heat to 400°. It cooks about another hour, but the genius is that the water keeps it from smoking and turning on our fire alarm. I’d serve it with green beans and grilled eggplant; personally, I have to stay away from starches.

EDC: Was there anything that you thought you wanted to do before you started cooking?

Ruth: My mother was a caterer and my father owned a grocery store so we ate well as a kid. In college I thought I wanted to be a chemist until I realized that the chem labs smelled so awful that I couldn’t do it. I graduated as an econ major, but I remember saying to a friend that my dream job was to play the string bass or be a chef. When I graduated went to Vermont to study with Madeleine Kamman at her cooking school, she became my mentor and my major source of inspiration.

EDC: So, it’s spring. What foods do you crave right now?

Ruth: Believe it or not, shad. It was a huge family favorite; we really looked forward to its short season. A lot of people love shad roe, but my mother had this method of cooking the whole shad wrapped in foil at a low heat that dissolved all the bones. I still think about it.

EDC: Let’s talk farm markets and local sourcing. Where do you shop and where do you source for your restaurants?

Ruth: I personally go to the Takoma Park Farmers Market and Dupont FRESHFARM. For Paradiso, since the beginning we worked with Northern Neck Farms. Someone asked me in an interview about how I’ve stayed “relevant” and I think it is because we started sourcing locally in the ’90s before it was a thing and still do it now that it is an expectation by a lot of our customers. We also source from Smucker’s in Pennsylvania and from Fields of Athenry in Virginia.

EDC: What are the five things that you can’t live without in your fridge? In your pantry?

Ruth: My fridge always has eggs, butter, plain yogurt and raspberries. My pantry also has good olive oil, sherry vinegar and Red Boat’s salt, which has anchovies in it. You didn’t ask, but I couldn’t live without my Soda Stream machine.

HannahHudsonPhotography.EdibleDC.RuthGresser-1

EDC: Is there one food that you’re secretly obsessed with having at home?

Ruth: I don’t really obsess about food, but I’ll go on jags. I made fried chicken wings three times in the past week.

EDC: Are there personal quirks that people tease you about?

Ruth: Well, I drink this hot garlic water with lemon. It’s something I’ve been doing a while, and I’m used to it, but it does have a strong smell.

EDC: Where have been your best recent meals out?

Ruth: Crane & Turtle was really really good, and I’ve had a really great lunch at Centrolina.

EDC: You are president of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs—what was your most memorable experience of the past year?

Ruth: Well, I got to go down the Olympic bobsled run in Calgary when I visited a member’s restaurant. That was really something. I’ve been a member for many years and our local DC chapter started doing more events and I got more and more active. We’ve done a lot about engaging our members and putting educational programs in place. Our national conferences are tremendous in terms of networking, making those kinds of connections and education—the next one is coming up this April in Los Angeles.

EDC: Advice for women considering a career as chef?

Ruth: If you’re haven’t been in the industry, you need to work in the industry before you make that decision—my advice would be to work and get apprenticeships before you take formal culinary education. See if you like it. It’s not easy work.

HannahHudsonPhotography.EdibleDC.RuthGresser-8

EDC: What’s new and next for you?

Ruth: We launched Veloce last year, it’s downtown, it’s got breakfast pizza there and totally customizable pizzas that can be ready in minutes. And I’m really excited about our new project. In the fall we’re opening a new Pizza Paradiso in Hyattsville, MD, which will share space with a nonprofit, Art Works Now, which was founded by my wife, Barbara Johnson. So we’ll have art studios, a gallery, a pottery studio, an outdoor play area and then the restaurant space, Pizzeria Paradiso, which will have craft beer and pizza.

My two passions in life are art and food, so what could be better?

 

 

 

 

5 pigs, 5 chefs, 1 winner - the return of cochon 555

by AJ Dronkers, Digital Editor CoCoSalaPig

This post is being updated for the upcoming Cochon 555 event taking place on Sunday, April 17 at the Loews Madison Hotel.

Cochon 555 is back! We loved Cochon 555 event so much that we are partnering with them again as they bring it back to DC. The event challenges five of our top local chefs to cook one whole, family farm-raised, heritage pig for a group of twenty notable judges. Come experience this one of-a-kind event!

The competing chefs:

  • Jennifer Carroll of the Requin
  • Anthony Lombardo of The Hamilton
  • Louis Goral of Rural Society
  • Jonah Kim of Yona
  • Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Ripple
  • Danny Lee of Mandu

Additional chefs:

  • Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground & Maketto

You can read our full recap (below) from Cochon 555 to get a sense for the incredible chefs, farms, drinks, and food!


Last Sunday, EdibleDC was thrilled to be the media sponsor of COCHON 555, a traveling cooking competition that pairs 5 local chefs and 5 local farmers who provide 5 heritage breed pigs for the event. The event brought out 500 fans ready to taste the delicious pork creations and vote for their favorite chef.

BubenCochon

As a judge, I had the unique challenge of experiencing the "nose-to-tail" creations of each chef who were challenged to use every part of their heritage pig. First up, fitting since he has been in DC since 1984, Chef Jeffrey Buben, was paired with Faith Like A Mustard Seed Farm's Large Black pig. His southern inspired brunch creations included sunny-side egg, pineapple-onion marmalade, ham hollandaise and pork shoulder with pimento cheese grits!

VictorCochon

Next up was the effervescent Chef Victor Albisu, who was paired with Autumn Olive Farm's Ossabaw pig. Dressed in a white coat, aviators, cigar and mojito gun he walked us through his "Swineface" themed menu. Notable standouts for me were the mojito marinated pork shoulder, rum soaked pineapple, mint and pickled chili taco and the Cuban midnight sandwich with Swiss cheese, espelette cured loin, pickle and yellow mustard.

ChefSpikeDuckPig

Next up was Top Chef finalist, Chef Spike Mendelsohn, who also brought in friends Chef Mike Colletti, Chef Chris Kulis to help him roll out "Porgy's Last Brunch" theme. He was paired with Spring House Farm's Mulefoot pig.

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My favorites from Team Spike were the blood sausage with mascarpone grits, apple and fennel salad and the slow cooked bacon which was honey glazed and served with vanilla bourbon ice cream! Even though I'm doing my best to restrict my judging tastings to mere bites, some items demand seconds. At this point I'm starting to feel full--and there are still two chefs to go.

YonaCochon

We have been anxiously awaiting Chef Jonah Kim's new restaurant concept, Yona, a collaboration with local chef and restauranteur Mike Isabella -- so getting an advance sampling of his cuisine and a preview of what might be on the menu at Yona was especially exciting.

YonaMeal

The mini pork shoulder biscuit with Korean BBQ and cabbage was a palate pleaser, full of savory flavors. What was unusual and I loved was Chef Jonah's interpretation of a shabu-shabu like process where a raw pork leg was cooked when dipped into kimchi stew. The struggle to eat more is starting to get real but I down some libations and prepare for the final course!

DannyLeeCochon

Chef Danny Lee took home the prize that night with this Korean inspired meal -- in particular the bindaedduk pancake of tenderloin strips mixed with pureed mung and soy beans and the ground shoulder and cheek dumplings folded with house made skins were a delightful way to end the evening.

BigPandaCochon

PunchCochon

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Cochon 555 was a blast--and we learned a lot about the different types of heritage pigs, butchering and using whole animals with creative ways to cook absolutely every part of the pig! We can't wait for the return of this rowdy and delicious food competition.

Rooting DC: A Forum for Growing Urban Food Systems

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By Lizzy Gendell, special to Edible DC

Rooting DC’s tagline is “An annual conference. A perennial event”. Last weekend’s forum was a true happening—I was one of the more than 1200 attendees from across the city, including dozens of nonprofits and urban farmers who came together to network, learn and create shared agendas for urban food production, sustainability and improved nutritional health. Rooting DC is a day well spent.

When you stepped through the doors of Wilson High School, you saw how the rich community of our city’s growers, composters, seed savers, social justice activists, teachers, students, friends, and neighbors work together. Similar to the complexity and interdependency of the ecosystems that work together throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it seems that Rooting DC’s community members find ways to mirror that interconnectedness.

The day began with meandering through different organizations’ booths and talking to innovators and entrepreneurs of all kinds: vertical gardeners to sauerkraut makers who are sampling from Sweet Farm. After that, everyone dispersed into classrooms where many workshops were offered.IMG_3442

My first workshop was “Talking Race, Class, Workers’ Rights & Food” workshop, where we split into teams and acted out different scenarios of potential conflicts in community garden and farm environments. Notable takeaways were the reminder that in the community of food production, we spend a lot of time growing food and plants, but not as much time growing relationships. It is often assumed that community gardens are beneficial to and wanted by a community, but it is important to ask the community what they want, and build & sustain relationships before taking action. The workshop leaders, both representing DC Fair Food, suggested that we can get more involved in this topic through campaigns such as “Pay Family Leave” and DC Fair Food.

The day would not be complete without the series of food trucks waiting for all the Rooting DC goers at lunch (all of whom are probably foodies at heart). Lemongrass Food truck filled with delicious Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches was there to feed us, wholesome and nutritious bowls from Beefsteak and many more.

Ultimately, Rooting DC begs the interest of all who are thinking about where their food comes from: whether they are home gardeners, small farmers, urban herbalists, food justice activists, chefs, or students. This amazingly informative event highlights the interconnectedness and interdependency of our local food system: from the soil we plant in to the food on our plate.

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Chicago-native Lizzy Gendell is a spring semester intern at Edible DC, and a junior at George Washington University where she is majoring in American Studies and minoring in Sustainability. @romainecalmandcarroton

Superbowl Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe

by Bailey Weaver, special to EdibleDC EdibleDCshot

It's basically a crime not to consume Buffalo chicken this weekend, right? Here is a quick, easy and slightly less messy way for you to get your chicken wing fix, celery sticks not included. Make this year's Super Bowl celebration your best ever with this Buffalo Chicken pizza!

Makes one pizza. Feel free to double the recipe depending on the size of your Super Bowl party!

Ingredients 1 pre-made pizza dough 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce, plus extra for drizzling* 1/4 of a large red onion, thinly sliced into rounds 1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled 1 Tbsp chives, chopped 2-3 Tbsp ranch dressing for drizzling and dipping (extra ranch encouraged)**

Directions Pre-heat oven to 425°F.

Sprinkle a small handful of flour on a prep surface and roll out the pizza dough until it is 9-12" wide, depending on how thick you like your crust.

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until dough is just starting to brown and appears to have set. Remove crust from oven and cool on a rack.

Set your oven to broil on high. In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken and almost all of the Buffalo wing sauce. Spread the sauce-covered chicken all over the flatbread and top with the extra wing sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and red onion evenly on top.

Cook until the cheese is melted and the flatbread is golden, about 10 minutes. Top with crumbled bleu cheese and chives. Drizzle ranch dressing on the finished pizza. Slice and serve immediately!

*You can buy a pre-sauce, or make your own from scratch--most recipes are similar to this.

**Same thing with ranch dressing. You can buy it of course, but try making homemade --  it tastes so great and is easy to shake up in a Mason jar!

 

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Bailey Weaver is a taste-tester and food-lover who is always chasing after something new to experience. She believes that putting together beautiful, satisfying meals with fresh, seasonal food is the best kind of creating around. You can follow her on Instagram at @bb_weaver.

A Classic French Holiday Dessert: Bûche de Noël

A Bûche de Noël, interpreted by Caitlin Dysart, Pastry Chef of 2941. By Caitlin Dysart, Pastry Chef of 2941. Photography by Reema Desai. From The Last Bite in our Winter Holiday Issue 2015.

 

A native of Springfield, VA, Caitlin Dysart is the award-winning Pastry Chef at reknowned French restaurant, 2941. Dysart won the RAMMY Award for Pastry Chef of the Year in 2014.

Bringing the Whimsy of France to Your Holiday Table

The holiday season can be rough when you work in the restaurant industry, but my child-like love for all things Christmas really helps me get through it. I get excited for the music, the decorations, the family traditions and—most importantly—the baking. As a pastry chef, I have to plan ahead for the holidays, I’m drafting menus and sketching desserts as soon as Labor Day hits.

One of my favorite holiday desserts is the classic Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log Cake. We serve this traditional French treat for Christmas Eve every year at 2941. It’s a simple roulade made of sponge cake rolled with cream and covered in icing and it’s made to resemble a literal version of a yule log.

The real joy of making a bûche de noël is in the decorating. Variations range from the traditional and rustic to sleek and modern. Every year the great patisseries of France release their version of the bûche and I’m always taken aback by their stunning and playful takes on the classic.

I decided here to really exaggerate my favorite feature of a traditional bûche de noël: the meringue mushrooms! These little crunchy cookies take me back to my childhood, when my mother would make them for our annual Christmas party. They’re fairly easy to make, add a great texture to the dessert and, when clustered together in various sizes and colors, create a really stunning look that’s sure to wow your holiday guests.

Feel free to experiment with different decorations: You can use marzipan to make holly leaves, coconut to mimic snow, or chocolate shavings to create a bark texture. I have selected a simple flavor profile for this cake, with a cocoa sponge, whipped crème fraîche and dark chocolate frosting. I also incorporated some marmalade to add a tart counterpoint to the rich chocolate. Just as with the decorations, add your own twist to the flavors with different spices or fillings. The possibilities are really endless, so once you’ve mastered the technique, you can look forward to create a new bûche de noël each holiday season.

Reema_Desai-REEMADESAI.2015.16.10.CaitlinDysartDesert.HolidayIssue-17

 

Bûche de Noël

Yield: 1 cake, serves 8

Cocoa Sponge

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Confectioner’s sugar, as needed

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 16- by 12-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.Reema_Desai-REEMADESAI.2015.16.10.CaitlinDysartDesert.HolidayIssue-27

In a medium bowl, combine the yolks with ⅓ of the sugar. Whisk until the yolks are pale yellow.

Prepare a meringue with the egg whites and remaining sugar: In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and whip, on high speed, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the whipped egg yolks and fold gently to combine. Fold half of the meringue into the batter. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the rest of the meringue.

Spread the cake batter evenly in the prepared baking sheet. Bake for approximately 5–7 minutes. The cake will be just dry in the center.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately remove it from the baking tray. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the hot cake. Carefully flip the cake over, so that the bottom of the cake is facing up. Gently peel the parchment paper off of the cake. With the long side of the cake in front of you, carefully roll the cake with the parchment paper away from you into a log shape. Allow the rolled cake to cool to room temperature. (If the edges of the cake are crispy and won’t roll, trim them off before rolling.)Reema_Desai-REEMADESAI.2015.16.10.CaitlinDysartDesert.HolidayIssue-1

Rich Chocolate Frosting

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons warm water

6 tablespoons butter (room temperature)

3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

6 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature

Stir the cocoa powder into the warm water to dissolve. With an electric or standing mixer, beat the butter with the confectioner’s sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the melted chocolate, followed by the cocoa mixture. If preparing the frosting ahead of time, store in the refrigerator until needed. When you are ready to use it, bring the frosting to room temperature and beat until smooth.

Whipped Crème Fraîche

If crème fraîche is not available or you desire another flavor, substitute in equal parts with yogurt, sour cream, ricotta or mascarpone.

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup crème fraîche

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Either by hand or using a standing mixer, whisk together all ingredients until stiff peaks form. Keep cool.

Meringue Mushrooms

The meringues can be prepared up to 2 days in advance; store in an airtight container.

3 egg whites

¾ cup sugar

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

3½ tablespoons cornstarch

Melted chocolate, as needed

Preheat oven to 200°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch. In the bowl of a standing mixer, begin whisking the egg whites on medium speed. Once the egg whites are foaming, gradually add the sugar. Whip on high speed until the meringue forms stiff peaks.

Gently fold the cornstarch mixture into the meringue.

Place the meringue into a piping bag with a medium plain pastry tip. On 1 baking sheet, pipe the stems: pipe straight lines of various lengths, from 1 to 3 inches, making the end of each line a fine point (you will later use this point the attach the stem to the cap of the mushroom.)

On the other baking sheet, pipe the mushroom caps: pipe mounds of meringue ¼ inch thick in various diameters, from ½ to 1 inch wide. If you would like to create red caps, as pictured, set aside ⅓ of the meringue and color with powdered food coloring.

Place the piped meringues into the oven and bake until dry, approximately 2 hours.

To assemble the mushrooms, “drill” a hole into the bottom of each cap using the tip of a small paring knife. Dip the tip of a stem into melted chocolate and insert into the hole in the cap. Place on a plate and allow the chocolate to set before placing on the bûche.

The Assembly

Unroll the cake. Spread an even layer (about ¼ inch thick) of the whipped crème fraîche over the cake. Along the long edge of the cake, spread a line of marmalade or jam.

Carefully re-roll the cake, pushing it away from you, using the parchment paper underneath the cake to facilitate rolling the cake and filling into a roulade. Trim the ends of the roulade to create clean edges.

Spread the chocolate icing evenly over the cake, creating a rustic texture. If preparing the bûche ahead of time, store in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to serve the bûche, remove from the refrigerator and place the meringue mushrooms on top.