bûche de Noël, a fanciful dessert of the Christmas season, translates from the French as “yule log,” which it is made to resemble. A sheet of genoise or light sponge cake is spread with a filling such as buttercream and rolled up lengthwise, then spread with chocolate icing or ganache striated with the tines of a fork to imitate bark. Often the ends are cut off and put on the trunk, like stumps of a limb, with tree rings piped on the cut surface. Meringue mushrooms, spun-sugar spider webs, crushed pistachio moss, confectioner’s sugar snow, red berries, and angelica leaves can contribute to the visual illusion—but best not all at once! The flavors of vanilla, coffee, chestnut, chocolate, and rum can combine in this delicious gastronomic conceit.