Thursday, December 19, 2013

Paris Büche de Noël

The Büche de Noël or yule log is all over town. Every single patisserie has their version. The variations are endless.
In Pierre Hermé's window the traditional log-style gateau with ripple bark-like chocolate frosting.
The log cake is a reflection of the old Celtic tradition celebrating the Winter Solstice by bringing inside a tree trunk and burning it on the shortest day of the year.
Inside Pierre Hermé yule logs come in all his favorite flavors Ispahan, citron, baked Alaska/omelette Norvege, Infinite vanille.
An Ispahan log from a Herme miniature collection made in Japan in 2008.
Around the corner Gerard Mulot's classic logs line up in the windows.
Across rue de Seine, Arnaud Larhrer has wilder shapes and flavors
Remember in September Relais Desserts had a preview tasting. At the time it all seemed a bit of a stretch to think about Christmas in September. In fact it was the best chance to mini taste many elaborate logs you can only taste now if you buy the whole log.
Secco displays traditional chocolate logs with genoise or sponge cake rolled with chocolate buttercream or ganache inside, not unlike a jellyroll cake really when you think about it.
Little candied mushrooms often sit on top the log. No toadstools.
Some yule logs could pass for kitchen sinks, so much is thrown onto them.
While others at Pain du Sucre are supremely elegant.
I love the look of the mini versions of these Christmas cakes though they are far more simplified inside than the bigger versions. They look like little dolls beds with headboards and pillow.
Cupcake Berko made a Büche that is a bed. Santa's asleep in it.
Patisserie de l'eglise in my neighborhood also has elegant büches.
I picked out their plain chestnut mini büche to taste and paint. Lovely! Will this be my first and last büche for the season? Should I taste more? You tell me ;))


  1. They are all beautiful!
    Yes, taste more.
    Merry Christmas to you!

  2. Georgia1:21 PM

    More buche de Noels Please!!

  3. Foodwalker1:30 PM

    Love the last picture of the little girl in front of the beautiful pastry shop. French kids must have a ball at Christmas.

  4. oooh Carol ! decisions, decisons ! Well, it's only Christmas once a year, go on eat as many buche-de-noel as you want. If I was in Paris I'd be eating one everyday ...

  5. Please taste that Ispahan and share with us what you think! I prepare a traditional Bûche de Noël each year for my daughter's french traditions of Noël soirée and maybe I need to share a more modern one with her french students next year???

  6. I do love the child's beds ones:)

    What works of art you have captured..
    I imagine they must be exquisite..I would prefer the less kitchen sink ones..We always had one growing up..I ahve made a seems the last few yrs..I have not..

    Your painting is so cute..
    Eat as many as you like..It's the holidays.♥
    And may yours be merry and each post you share with us~

  7. what i think is i am mighty glad someone insisted i come check you out over here missus paris breakfasts. a nice chocolate log cake would hit the spot right now. one of the ones from secco with the deer on top. oh yes!
    carry on!

  8. Carol, Christmas only comes once a year. Try them. One of them could be the one that will outdo all of those you have tasted up till then. Do you see croquembouche a? I know you have posts on them from other years. I am trying to make on of those this year. Merry Christmaa

  9. Carol, these Parisien buches are superb. I caught sight of a NYC version yesterday at a Pain Quotien. I did not take it home.

    I've been doing my own rustic, tiny kitchen sugar cookie baking this afternoon.

    Fyi, Laduree will finally open its West Broadway doors in January, but are already taking website orders. The kitchen is working, even before the front doors open. I am assured that les macarons will still be shipped in daily from your fair cite.


  10. It looks like they have made more than enough buches to give one to every single man, woman, child and dog in Paris!

  11. It all depends on how much swimming you want to do. ;- )

    1. the BEST response so far ;))
      I've increased pool action from 30 mins to 60 mins + using a NOODLE.
      Results so far = ZERO
      The body has it's own way of maintaining equilibrium/homeostasis(sp).

      It's called eating cheese.

  12. I'd love to have a few of those right now! All chocolate :)
    I like your closing shot with the metro sign.

  13. Thanks to Frances for the Laudree Soho update. I'll be there!

    I've seen Buche de Noel at Ceci et Cela, Payard, and also a mail with pics of Laduree. There is no question that Laduree's are the prettiest.

    Ceci et Cela is selling the mushrooms in case anyone is making their own Buche de Noel. Oh, they also have croquembouche and Balthazaar is selling "profiteroles" without chocolate but with caramel...sort of a croquembouche to go (4 to a serving) was the most delicious thing I've ever had from their bakery.

    Laura, NYC

  14. Oh, I think you need more buches! They all look so wonderful, especially the ones inside Hermes. Miam-miam. I've been trying to decide what kind of cake to get for Christmas, and I'm thinking now that it might just have to be a Yule log. Too bad it won't be from Hermes!

  15. Like you, I love the mini ones. In general, I think they look better than they taste, but for all the years we've been in Paris at Christmas we always have "La Bûche." The movie of that title is my all time favorite Christmas movie, as well as my all time favorite French movie. Go watch it, if you can!

  16. Such a variety of buches! My corner patisserie rue de Rochechouart only had the traditional one at the time. We do have a French bakery here (a couple from La Rochelle) so now that I see your buches I’ll go and check theirs. I understand also why my mother never baked (in Paris) – it was so easy to buy the buche already made and more delicious than one she would have baked …

  17. I would definately taste more (and maybe swim for 90 minutes)

  18. It seems there is as much art on the outside of the buildings as inside! I can not makeup my mind on which one I would take home...I of course would be bring a lot more home...yummy

  19. I tell you what, Carol. You taste for me - the whole lot. They all sound incredible and wish I could have this for Christmas, to be honest. Don't say a word. Enjoy the festive season and all the best for another new gourmet year of tasting, testing and sharing.

  20. Moaning with chocolate lust...

  21. Swimming exertions aside, I can't see how whether or not you should sample more logs is a question or not! They're fabulous jewels, only there for such a short time. I hadn't realised that each patisserie made such a selection, making choices even harder. Le figaro did a beautiful article about them this week. Here's the link in case you didn't see it.

  22. OMG was there in May...but I really want to experience Paris over the holidays.

    C|K Shave Balm Soap Lotion

  23. Sample MORE! Do it for me, please.

    1. I'd be delighted to...

      Pls. send buckets of €€€€s
      These puppys cost a bundle and unfortunately the 'minis' don't come close to the Big guys...

  24. Bonjour chère amie,

    Alors là ! Tu émoustilles mes papilles avec de telles photos !... Je veux bien me transformer en bûcheron et couper de telles bûches !...
    Chaque année je réalise plusieurs bûches de noël... Je tâcherai de t'envoyer prochainement des photos de ces dernières ! juste pur te faire saliver !! sourire !!

    Gros bisous à toi... Je te souhaite un merveilleux noël et que ces jours d'hivers soient des temps heureux.

  25. Maureen8:45 AM

    Carol, you owe it to your public to be our official taster! Perhaps just the mini-bouches? And , after all, you do swim constantly so I think you will not suffer for your research. Joyeuses Noel!

  26. Every year I say I will make one of these and every year time runs out before I do. I had no idea there were so many different styles! Love this so very much! Merriest of Merries to you!

  27. Anonymous1:15 AM

    Now Christmas is over I wonder what happens to left-over buches in the shops. Do they cut them into portions?? and offer them with coffee?? Gwendoline in Australia

  28. Good question Gwendoline.
    But I'm sure, same as at Easter, these gorgeous bebes will be around until Jan 1 when the next extravaganza shows it's pretty face, la galette de roi
    There are NO 50% off sales the day after in Paris as far as I know.


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