When I started to report SAVEUR's Issue #143's story on the classic Christmas cake buche de Noel, one of the most fascinating aspects of this evolving dessert was the level of creativity and artistry that it's come to represent. The cake, which was originally inspired by the Christmas yule log and thus decorated that way, has progressed from a frosted roulade with mushroom meringues, to cakes in a variety of Technicolor hues, with flavors as exotic as yuzu and macha tea, and forms that bear absolutely no resemblance to their branch-shaped forebears. I spoke with many pastry professionals who, across the board, credited the trailblazing patissier Pierre Herme with infusing the pastry arts with the same sense of timeliness, trends, and personal expression, which are the norm in the fashion world. He was the first to create seasonal lines (fall, winter, spring, etc.) of his desserts, introducing a new palette of colors, flavors, and concepts, with each unveiling.