Friday, September 11, 2015

Relais Desserts - Les Buches de Noel 2015

It's that time of the year, early September
When we must taste the best, new Christmas Bûche de Noël at RELAIS DESSERTS.
Septembers are extra tough, PBers.
Isn't this a witty idea - turning the log on its side so you get a chocolate cake? Then pop on top an elf or two et voila from ever-witty, Frederic Cassel of Fontainebleau and president of the Relais Desserts pastry chefs organization.
This years Buche tasting was in a grand hall at Pavillon Cambon. 47 rue Cambon.
A lovely Christmas buche by Sebastien Bouillet of Lyon called 'l'Avalanche'. (I used to have a friend who called me 'Avalanche...hmm). (Mousse au chocolat blanc, huile d'olive, biscuit fondant, croustillant grandija).
The big, big difference at this year's tasting was, instead of choosing just 5 buche to taste, you could taste ALL 26! There were sample slices just beside the whole cake and they were replenished liberally. Plus you remembered exactly which cake you were tasting unlike last year's tastings.
All the chefs were tasting as well. Top chefs Pierre Herme and Arnaud Larher are obviously in a state of deep introspection.
Herme's buche I thought was a double entendre or visual pun - a chocolate log within a more realistic log. (Biscuit au chocolat imbibe au sirop chocolat, ganache et crème Chantilly au chocolat noir Pure Origin Bresil, Plantation Paineiras).
Wrong! It was an artistic reference to an artwork called 'Spacio' by Luce de Giuseppe Penone, shown in a London gallery.
'Pamplemousse Rosa' by Claire Damon was pretty and delicate in pink with pink grapefruit and rose flavored mousse.
Damon of Des Gateaux et du Pain is the first woman member of Relais Desserts. Hooray!
This cerise beauty was irresistible by Bernard Besse and called 'Coeur de Rubis'. (Crème souflee a la vanilla de Tahiti parsemee de cerises Amarena, mouse de chocolat et fine feuille craquante de chocolat noir).
An adorable choo-choo by Laurent Le Daniel. (Crème mousseline au praline, noisettes grilles et caramelisees, mousse au chocolat epice et de gingimbre fraichement etc.).
More cherries! And definitely a visual/verbal pun. Hooray! Aurelien Trottier's Bouche de Noel (bouche(mouth) instead of buche) A kiss to end your Christmas dinner. (Creameux framboise et cerise, une nougatine craquante aux amandes et une mousse de chocolat noir).
This buche from Dalloyau has a wave down the middle representing la Seine.
Pascal Lac's beautiful orange 'Buche Manon'. I will be here through Sunday(dimanche) copying out these ingredients. Sorry, you will just have to come to Paris for Christmas and taste these yourself. I can think of far worse things to do for Xmas, so why not PBers?
Jean-Paul Hevin can be depended upon to come up with a devilishly creative chocolate solution for his buche.Voila!
A very chocolaty buche with Fall leaves as a nice touch by Eric Vergne.
Consisting of raspberries, chocolate mousse, cassis, Sacher torte crunchy cake base, plus vanilla cream and nuts from Burgundy. What more could you ask for ?
Very dear to my heart was this mailbox (not full of Paris sketch letters and maps malheureusement) but still quite adorable snowmen (and women I hope hidden within the box?) by Maelig Georelin.
Chef Alban Guilmet happily posed with his tres charmant buche of orange, passion fruit and mango with a bit of hazelnut cream. Yum yum.
A sneak look back in la cuisine at Pavillon Cambon - they were supremely organized. Everything went off without a hitch.
50,000€ raised from JOUR DU MACARONS DAY for cystic fibrosis (l’association Vaincre la Mucoviscidose).
Another very well-deserved Hooray!
Best chef of 2015 went to Christophe Adams, eclair king of Genie d'Eclair.
Naturalement I tasted all 26 buches.
'I had to go to rehab' yeah, yeah, yeah.


  1. masterpieces each and every one ..I could not pick a fave..the snowmen are soo cute..w/ the P Moel stenciled on the box..I would love to make a fancy schmancy one..
    so glad I have gotten to get to know a bit about a few of the chefs..especially Christophe show..I love..
    phenomenal talents..chacun son métier..they have mastered theirs..comme toi.

  2. Okay, Carol, how do I decide which of these to sample while I'm in Paris? Miam-miam!

    1. You will have to buy the whole cake Marie. Though some do individual slices but these are luxury top-of-the line cakes.

  3. When I saw all your photos on Flickr I so wished I could be there to taste with you. They are all amazing. Thanks for sharing with us. Wishing I could be there for Christmas, but spring will have to do.

    1. Easter chocolate is pretty wonderful Merylyn, so not to worry.
      There is something wonderful happening on the pastry scene in Paris.

  4. I've been looking at your pastry pics for years, and that batch may just be some of the best ever!

    1. Tanks Nikon but I think last year was better cos we had natural light to shoot with. Makes such a BIG difference!!

  5. Wow, Carol...I commend you for testing each of the 26 buches. You have great courage.

    Perhaps my favorite was the mailbox with the snowmen...although that first picture showing the cross section of the buche (fun to count the rings) was also rather clever. I will assume that each of the 26 tasted just fine, so am just going to judge my favorites visually.


    1. Yes very hard to a beauty contest and then you have to judge the innerds too. De trop! Stupill great fun. I'm not complaining in the least.

  6. Marvelous - they are all so beautiful and look delicious. I would love to taste even 1/4 of them. So glad for Christophe Adams as I think his eclairs were my favorite pastry during our trip in May - & we tried to taste a lot.

  7. Thanks for another great post!

  8. tres charmant. I would have tried all 26 too because you just never know if the next one will be the best thing you ever ate. Of course, in Paris, you could apply that standard nearly every day. I appreciate the calorie sacrifices you make just to keep us better informed.

  9. How amazing to try all 26! I do admire your fortitude- it is good to get the professional tasters in...They all look amazing of course. Is it possible that they get more splendid each year?

    I'm dying to know which was your favourite this year? Not that I'm going to get to taste any of them, but one year, one year I will be in Paris for Christmas.

    I was very surprised to see the inspiration for Pierre Herme. That tree art was at Versailles on our 2013 visit- I was very taken with it too. I really wish I could try his buche this year, but that pleasure will just have to wait.

    The tree at Versailles:


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