Yesterday was the grand tasting of Christmas buche de Noel for 2013 by the Relais Desserts at Hotel Le Royal Monceau.
24 top pastry chefs of France offered a sneak preview of what's to come in December!
President of the Relais Desserts, Frederic Cassel, Fontainebleau was of course onboard to greet and meet.
His buche de Noel 'Etienne le Renne' is full of hazelnut and pistachio ice cream...miam
Arnaud Larher's 'Buche Louise' is a cheese cake inside with passion fruit and a strawberry coating.
'Del Lago' by Jean-Philippe Darcis of Bruxelles is...crunchy hazelnuts, cocoa from Del Lago plus, plus.
I loved the concept of Joel Baud's 'Blanche Neige' (Snow White) with a squiggle of blood in the snow unless I'm mistaken - mousse of white chocolate, red currents, coulis of framboise.
Jean-Paul Hevin can be depended upon to surprise - a chocolate cage encasing dark chocolate and passion fruit - 'Best of Passion'
I loved the crazy textures of this buche though the chef preferred I shoot it from the side...
Another mad creation, this one by Dalloyau's Yann Brys called 'Blanc et Merveilles' with meringue and bergamot, milk chocolate of Madagascar and macaron crunch on the sides.
So pretty, Laurent Duchene's 'Forest Noir' looks appropriately like a sled and full of gelee de griottes plus cremeux chocolat noir.
Silhouettes! My favorite graphic, line Richard Seve's buche. Inside - chocolat gianduja and baba au rhum with yellow raisins.
This Mondrian looking buche is called 'Puits Rouge' by Jeff Oberweis of Luxemburg and full of red fruits.
Well it's impossible to show every Relais Desserts buche much as I'd like to...
But not to be missed Pierre Herme's witty take off on the original classic chocolate log was intensely chocolatey with mousse, ganache and biscuit macaron all chocolate all the way.
The gentleman behind the red buche is Herme's photographer, Laurent Fau, creator of all those lush photos in his books, newsletter and little brochures that come inside the macaron boxes. Don't forget that all the Relais Desserts pastry chefs generously participate in the annual charity event, Jour du Macaron, created by Pierre Herme.
You might well wonder how we got to taste all these delightful creations? I've been starving myself for weeks (unsuccessfully) in preparation for this event ticking off the days on the calendar.
The waiters took our orders and then returned with plates to taste.
Clever Frederic Cassel served his delish hazelnut ice cream in a little glass bowl, while the others were served up in slices. It would have been nice to have little flags identifying each but that's perhaps too much to ask...
My date, candy man, Georges Marques of Le Bonbon au Palais. Naturally we shared bites of this and that.
As did everyone else including these fashion editors.
Awards were handed out to the best pastry book of the year, the best chef (Christophe Michelek). Then we downed pink Champagne and savory snacks.
Last but not least exquisite mini Paris-Brests filled with pistachio cream and Ispahan creamy 'puffs' all designed from Hotel Royale Monceau. You can imagine I'm in major recovery today but well prepared for the coming Christmas season.
Big Merci to Relais Desserts!