For our Winter Solstice celebration this year, we went all out and made a Buche de Noel (Yule log cake) complete with homemade marzipan elves, fig "acorns", meringue mushrooms, pistachio marzipan leaves and chocolate bark. I had been dreaming of making this cake for years, so it was quite the exciting endeavor.
The cake itself was a fluffy, spongy sort of cake with walnuts and lots of egg. It only called for two tablespoons of flour, so we were able to make it gluten-free. The filling was a luscious orange mascarpone chocolate mixture. We got so carried away tasting it, that we ran out and had to make up some ganache to secure the chocolate bark to the log. The kids spent an afternoon sculpting all the little elves and faeries with colored bits of marzipan, and I made little acorn caps for the figs with cocoa powder colored marzipan textured with a cheese grater. The leaves we simply pressed into a chocolate mold. It was quite the cake, and just as fun to eat as it was to make.
Happy Solstice to all!