After Bruce and Susan Molzan bought the Ruggles Grill four years ago, they revitalized the menu at the sleepy Montrose landmark with his brash cooking style and her luxurious desserts.

Both Molzans are graduates of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and their approaches to food are complementary. Bruce cooks by feel; Susan is a baker par excellence. Each day Susan turns out the fifteen to eighteen desserts that appear on Ruggles’ menu.


1 1/3 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 pound butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line bottom of 16- by 11-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Butter paper and sides of pan. Dust lightly with flour.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk. Beat until smooth. Spread evenly in pan, and bake 9 to 12 minutes, or until cake is light brown and springs back to the touch. Let cool 5 minutes, then flip cake from pan onto linen dishcloth spread on flat surface. Remove paper. Roll cake tightly lengthwise; rolling cloth in with cake may be easier. Set aside, seam down, and cool. This traditional French rendition of the Yule log is all done up for the holidays with two lavish buttercream frostings.

Coffee-Pecan Buttercream

2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons hot milk
2/3 cup soft butter
3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon brandy
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Dissolve coffee in milk. Combine butter and sugar separately. Add coffee mixture and brandy. Set aside 1/3 cup of frosting. Add pecans to remainder.

Chocolate Buttercream

3/4 cup soft butter
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 egg yolks
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in yolks one at a time. Stir in chocolate.

To assemble: Unroll cake, remove cloth, and frost with coffee-pecan buttercream. Reroll cake tightly. Slice off 1 1/2 inch from one end at slight angle. Set cake on platter. Place cutoff end on top of cake to resemble a limb. Frost ends of log and limb with reserved coffee buttercream and rest of cake with chocolate buttercream. Draw barklike lines on log with fork tines. Garnish with meringue mushrooms, shaved chocolate, chocolate leaves, and marzipan holly berries.