Our friend Kim Petyt, fabulous Paris wedding planner and writer of Parisian Party, shares with us the traditional French Christmas dessert – the bûche de Noël, otherwise known to us as a Yule log. Check out her post below, featuring some beautiful designer takes on the traditional cake.
Text by Kim Petyt
The holiday season is in full swing, and all across Paris cries can be heard to Bring on Les Bûches! No French holiday meal would be complete without the grand finale, the Bûche de Noël! Paris is especially known for its vast selection of couture bûches – most are available in limited quantities and for a limited time. So if you plan to get your bûche on at this year’s holiday party, you’d better hurry and reserve yours now. Here are some highlights from this season’s cake collections.
la bûche à facettes, a la mère de famille
This modern take on the traditional bûche is made of chocolate ice cream and covered in little faceted chocolate “mirrors,” giving it that “Holiday Disco on Ice” effect. 48€ for 8 to 10 people. La Mère de Famille.
la diva, dalloyau
This Diva of a dessert is dressed in chocolate feuilletine and filled with chocolate mousse flavored with Darjeeling tea and ylang ylang. 57€ for 6 people. Dalloyau.
tube, christophe roussel
In his 2009 collection of cakes, chocolatier Christophe Roussel has created a series of three tube-shaped bûches dotted with chocolate mouths. These Dali-esque treats are available in a red carpet version with raspberry-scented geranium, a green velvet version with lime, or an all chocolate “black leather” version. 28€ for 6 people. Christophe Roussel.
tapis rouge, madeleine market
Christophe Michalak and Jerome de Oliveira, pastry chefs at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, based their bûche on the glamour of their deluxe hotel. Beneath a carpet of red marzipan lies a luxurious combination of milk chocolate mousse and creamy yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit with tangerine accents). Limited Edition of just 100 cakes, 118€ for 6 to 8 people. Madeleine Market.
rêve, kenzo for lenôtre
Japanese designer Kenzo Takada has created this Christmas cake, which he’s named “Rêve”, for Lenôtre. Three different flavors of light and creamy cake fill green tea-flavored marzipan bamboo branches in this eastern-influenced holiday treat. 98€ for 8 to 10 people. Lenôtre.
angelina, alexis mabille
A center of candied yuzu and lime with crispy caramelized pecans is covered in a quilted and bowed chocolate ganache, all set on a flourless chocolate cookie. Dessert-as-fashion-accessory by Alexis Mabille for Parisian salon de thé Angelina’s. 60€ for 6 to 8 people. Angelina.
Read more about designer bûches in the New York Times – Paris Journal piece from last year.
Or, for those of you interested in making a not-so-couture bûche of your own, there are a few tips over at The Kitchn, as well as a basic recipe from Epicurious.