Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let Them Eat Bûche de Noël

 You can not go two steps in this town
 Without tripping over a log
 A chocolate log or a bûche de Noël
 Which evidently extends its welcome well past Noël into the celebration of Epiphany with a French king cake or galette des rois featuring yummy almond paste frangipane stuffed puff pastry and a surprise lurking favor inside but that's for a later post.
The variations on a theme are endless in Paris. Traditional bûche is made from a genoise or other sponge cake, generally baked in a large, shallow Swiss roll pan, frosted, rolled to form a cylinder, and frosted again on the outside. The most common combination is a basic yellow sponge cake, a rolade, frosted and filled with chocolate buttercream; however, many variations on the traditional recipe exist, possibly including chocolate cakes, ganache and espresso or other flavored fillings.
This macaron-decorated bûche de Noël looks like a kid's choo choo train to me.
Two choo choos meetup at a crossing.
 Most of them resemble a bed with a headboard, footboard with stuff thrown on top...
 A marron glace serves as a pillow from elegant des Gateaux et du Pain.
Inside:La châtaigne en jeux de textures, amertume d'un miel d'arbousier : biscuit moelleux à la pâte de marrons, châtaignes entières « cuisinées », caramel et fleur de sel, crème douce-amère au miel d'arbousier, mousse de châtaignes.
 You can easily buy just a slice from a boulangerie
 An Austrian bûche slice at Angelina.
 Complimentary colors red + green for this single slice. Pastry chefs are artistes and have a color wheel onhand I'll bet.
 There are even whole mini bûche de Noël(buchette) for mini Parisiennes.
I have yet to taste a bûche de Noël but when in RomeParis...
Have you eaten bûche de Noël? Did you love it?
Should I?


  1. Yes, I have! Delicious! I even made one many, many years ago. Once was enough! They make one here at CH but unfortunately the chocolate in Luxor is not great... Maleysh!

    1. Merci pour le bonne advice Marie
      I will look for a very tiny one
      I don't care much for crème or mousse or cake even : (
      Maybe I should go back to NYC?
      cheers Carolg

  2. Louise5:50 AM

    Yes, they are try one x

  3. Great looking pastries, Carol - but they are very big! That's a lot of sweetness in those logs!
    I hope that you are settling in alright......

  4. Those chocolate choo choos would be the ones for me. Yes they are delicious and I always intend to make one at xmas but so far this has not happened. I'm so happy you're there, Carol and hope you're getting settled. Felicitations! xx

  5. I´ve been to Paris last week and also took a lot of photos of bûches de Noël, but I didn´t taste any of them. Being Austrian, I´m wondering about the Austrian bûche... We don´t have any bûches and I even don´t know about any similar sweet... Let´s wait what Merisi tells us...

  6. We even managed to get a super one at Bergamot on 9th Avenue.
    Much better than horrid English Christmas cake.
    Buster misses you!

  7. Cynthia Rieth8:14 AM

    Carol, I actually make them about every other year, I'll send you a pick of the one I did this year. They are not difficult to make just time consuming - have a great 2013. I'm moving and packed away the painting you did of myself, daughter and dogs - can't wait to see it again!

  8. Delicious post! French pasteries are beautiful works of art. And there's nothing like them. Buche de Noel is good. My favorite commercants in France are the patisseries. This is my first visit here -- perfect site for my French students and me to enjoy. Merci! Your watercolors are fabulous.

  9. It is a tradition here..:) So yes I have tasted many and made a few..I had never seen the choo choo..with macarons wheels nor the beds..

    You get to see so many culinary art works..
    Love the mini red panted parisienne:)


  10. "This calls for a "Log Tasting" The slices are as beautiful as the log rolls...." How do you choose what to taste, they all look yummy....!

  11. We had three 'mini's' from on Spring Street in NYC. I'd rather have gotten them in Paris but oh well, they were rather good. You should try them when you come back.

  12. Not much of a chocolate fan, I usually make my own coffee or white chocolate buche. A lot of work? Heck Yeah! But well worth it!

  13. I would not be able to resist a slice of the Bûche de Noël with the marron glacé!

    The sheer variety of flavors is amazing. Merci for sharing, Carol.

  14. A bûche de Noël caught my eye at Mornings in Paris this morning. Yes, you must taste them all!

  15. Merle S3:52 PM

    Loved the Bûche de Noel - made them often, years ago, a jelly roll with chocolate filling and coating with meringue mushrooms.

    All the best, Carol and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    Thought you might be interested in the following...
    Comme d'habitude" (French for As usual) is a French song written in 1967 by Claude François and Jacques Revaux with lyrics by Claude François and Gilles Thibaut

    Then Paul Anka, a Canadian adapted the words in English for Frank Sinatra for his signature song, My Way. Apparently Frankie boy claimed not to like the song.

    1. Great bit of trivia Merle!
      That's it - A JELLY ROLL.
      I never liked jelly rolls...
      So no wonder I can resist : )

  16. For many years, I experimented with different cuisines for our Christmas dinner....the year we did Kwanzaa food was particularly disappointing. It was, after all, based on slave food. I finally settled on the good old British roast beef and yorkshire pudding but with the French yule log for dessert. THen my son went vegetarian and only the yule log survives from our tradition. I generally stick with chocolate and mocha flavors.

  17. P.S.:
    Is it heresy to mention Little Debbie's "Swiss Roll" or the "Ho Hos" made by Hostess in connection with the venerable Bûche de Noël? Albeit undecorated, their cylindrical shape does remind me of the famous French cake.

  18. Carol, already I am so envious of your Parisian posts. How could you not sample at least two...or twelve! of those buches?

    Decembre looks very delicious in Paris, and I am sure that Janvier will also be glorious. You've reminded me of some vintage Julia Child tv segment explaining the intracies of that very traditional, very amazing log.

    Merisi's comment just above has made me laugh!


    1. Me tooooo Frances :)))
      Jelly Rolls!
      c'est ca

  19. I was in Paris for Christmas in 2002. I couldn't understand why there were crowds in front of every boulangerie window. After all, they LIVE WITH these things on a daily basis!

    Then I finally got it - no two Buche de Noels are decorated the same, and they were curious to see the latest creation by that baker.

    I made a collage with my souvenirs from that trip, and I made sure to include a little plastic axe from ours :-)

  20. Spoilt for choice there Carol, they all look marvellous. I love how the Parisians still very much use their seasonal traditions.


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