I pulled it off. I made a buche de noel for Christmas dinner. It was tasty and looked alright. It wasn't as challenging as I anticipated although something did go wrong at every stage. In the end it surprisingly came together. If you'll indulge me, I'll break down this project for you (and me.)
Martha Stewart recipe. My biggest mistake was not reading the directions thoroughly enough. I didn't allow time for all the chilling required to make this dessert. This caused me to rush through the frosting and decorating part.
Step 2 was the chocolate mousse. I didn't account for chilling time. I also had whipping issues both with my egg whites and whipping cream. I think my hand mixer doesn't go fast enough.
My family was enthusiastic and supportive of the cake. They even threw out hints suggesting this may become an annual tradition. That makes me so happy. I'm up for the task!