If you’ve been in France during the Christmas period, you might have noticed that every pâtisserie has a selection of cakes that look like a big piece of wood. The bûche de Noël (the Christmas log) is a typically French dessert, only really eaten during the holidays. The tradition is very old and is shared by most francophone countries. Before Christianity, people used to burn a log for days—starting on the 24th of December until the end of the year—as an offering to the gods, in the hope of having a good harvest the following year.
Now the tradition has changed, but the log continues to be part of French Christmas traditions. The good news is that, nowadays, the log is made of delicious cake, and it doesn’t always look like a log.
In Paris, chefs take the making of the bûche seriously, changing the look and flavors every year, striving to make them more and more spectacular. We researched the most gorgeous, and tasty, bûches to buy in Paris this Christmas so you can bring a real show-stopper to your parties.
The Peninsula Paris – Chef David Bizet et Cheffe Anne Coruble
Loyal to tradition, Michelin-starred chefs David Bizet and Anne Coruble decided to celebrate their Norman roots with their Christmas bûche called Racine, revisiting the memory of the apple tree logs burning in the fireplace when they were little. The result is a decadent smoky log, deliciously filled with chocolate and caramel.
Hôtel Barrière – Chef Christophe Adam
Maple syrup and pecan nut praline are the stars of this bûche. The creation is called Monts et Merveilles (Mountains and Marvels) and really delivers what the name suggests. These mountains covered by a white chocolate glaze constituting the most inviting dessert you will see this Christmas.
Hôtel Molitor – Chef Benoît Gressent x Nebay
If you are into art, you’ll love the bûche that street artist NEBAY as created with chef Benoît Gressent. Caramelized apples, lemon and chocolate will delight your palate, while the colorful look of this dessert will give your guests something to talk about for the rest of the season.
Maison Lenôtre – Chef Jean-Christophe Jeanson
Inspired by the mountains of Provence, chef Jean-Christophe Jeanson created a double-faced mountain: on one side, a shiny chocolate glaze, while the other side is covered by sugary snow to celebrate the season. Candied mandarin, chocolate, and praline are served with a mandarin and olive oil sorbet—a Christmas dream.
Hôtel Lutetia – Chef Nicolas Guercio
Since the only limit is your imagination, this year, chef Nicolas Guercio at the Lutetia decided to abandon the log to create an incredibly convincing-looking pair of shoes. This might look strange, but it’s actually a nostalgic take on another French tradition. The day before Christmas, kids usually find mandarins in their slippers, so the chef decided to serve the same tradition to grown-ups, swapping the slippers for elegant shoes. Needless to say, mandarin is the main ingredient here.
- Here is a delicous Bûche recipe you can cook at home
- Check out our French holiday gift guide.
- And, check out the HiP Paris Marketplace for those last minute Christmas gifts
Written by Alessia Armenise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person (when possible)? Check out new marketplace shop and experiences.