I listened to the words "See the blazing yule before us" in the cast of Glee's frenetic recording of "Deck the Halls" as I sat at a table at La Baguette French Bread & Pastry Shop.
I was waiting for one of the bakery's yule logs. When it arrived, I wasn't disappointed: It's beautifully decorated and tastes decadently good.
This is the classic French dessert also known as buche de noel. The cake, which is decorated to look like a wooden log, prompted a customer, Marilyn Rabinowitz, to recall a yule log a friend made for her 20 years ago in Brooklyn. The cake was "a memory that stays with you," she said.
Gene Amagliani, La Baguette's manager, said they make two type of yule logs. One is made with Swiss processed seedless raspberry spread on Genoise spongecake. The cake is rolled up and covered with Grand Marnier-flavored buttercream.
The one I had was chocolate Genoise sponge cake covered with chocolate buttercream flavored with vanilla. It's the "double chocolate" version.
Both cakes are decorated with swirls of green vines and holly leaves and red berries, all made of frosting. They also use edible chocolate decorations from Europe. Sometimes they add little plastic Santas and other nonedible cupcake decorations, Amagliani said.
People like the way yule logs taste, but they "also like the way they look," he said. "It's definitely something to put on your table."
It's best to let the yule log sit for about two hours and come to room temperature after you take it out of the refrigerator because they use real butter in the buttercream, Amagliani said. "It's like taking a stick of butter out of the refrigerator and putting it on a piece of bread." You want to wait until the butter is soft before you eat it.
Amagliani believes they've made yule logs since the bakery opened in 1976. They sell for $25 for the 7-inch cake and $37.50 for the 14-inch ones. They try to keep some in the showcase, but if you want one for Christmas Eve, "Call immediately," Amagliani said.
La Baguette French Bread & Pastry Shop is at 3088 Poplar; 901-458-0900.