I kept reminding myself that the reason I joined Daring Bakers was to challenge myself to bake new and different dishes that I would never attempt on my own. “You can do it, you can do it,” I say the entire time I go through each step of the Buche de Noel recipe. Well, I have done it!! After a few mistakes, none fatal to the Buche, the cake came together. Now whether it is a professional job, the jury is still out on that one. I followed the recipe, but brushed the baked, unrolled cake with an orange syrup and filled the cake with chocolate whipped cream which another flavor dimension to this rich dessert. It was a humid day when I make my buche, so I chose the marzipan mushrooms instead of the meringue ones.Orange Syrup1/4 cup sugar1/4 cup water3 tablespoons Triple-Sec or fresh orange juiceSimmer sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add liqueur. Set aside until ready to brush on cake.Chocolate Whipped Cream Filling2 cups heavy cream1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1 teaspoon vanilla extractCombine ingredients in a large mixing bowl, whip until stiff and thick. Refrigerate.When the cake has cooled, brush with the orange syrup, then following directions in the recipe, fill with the chocolate whipped cream filling instead he of the buttercream. Continue with original recipe.To GarnishFresh Rosemary cut into suitable lengths-4 inches or soDried Cranberries or fresh using this recipe from Cooking Light1 egg white1 tablespoon watergranulated sugarWhisk egg white with water until frothy. Using a small pastry, paint egg white onto leaves and stem of the rosemary, Dip into the granulated sugar, shaking off excess. Let dry for several hours before using.Thanks to Lisa and Ivonne for having the confidence in all of theDaring Bakers’ to put forth such a challenging and beautiful holiday dessert.