Christmas in Paris 2018: Your Guide to the Best Bûches de Noël

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Christmas in Paris 2018: Your Guide to the Best Bûches de Noël
The first Yule log cakes appeared in 1879, and since then no French Christmas table is complete without the iconic Christmas dessert. Here we dive into the best offerings of the season. Want more eye candy? Check out the 2016 and 2017 bûches de Noël designed by top Paris pastry chefs. Hôtel Plaza Athenée Angelo Musa and Alexandre Dufeu – the Plaza’s award winning pastry chefs – proudly present their white Christmas forest “Yulelogs.” Seven snow covered conifer trees, made with Madagascar vanilla cake, crispy biscuit, cream and mousse, frosted with white chocolate, served with the chefs spin on traditional “mendiants,” candied fruit, pistachio, orange rind and chocolate cookies. Serves seven people, priced at €120. Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Avenue Montaigne, 8th Available from 1st December 2018. Order by telephone on +33 (0)1 53 67 65 97 or by email: [email protected] Pierre Hermé Complete with a decorative silver saw signed Pierre Hermé, the Bûche Orphéo is outstanding, with its Grand Araguani Pure Venezuela origin dark chocolate with layers of hazelnut praline, ganache and crème Chantilly. Part of the “Magic Moments Collection,” it serves six, and is priced at €75. Or, why not order delicate individual bûches from the Haute Pâtisserie (from 1st-31st December), Ispahan, Orpheo or Pomposa at €8.90? Thinking ahead to January? For Epiphany, PH joins with the renowned Christofle brand to present “Medélice” the ultimate Galette des Rois. Puff pastry, almond cream, lemon, roasted Piedmont hazelnut, topped with silver macaron shells. Sixty galettes have silver signature Christofle rings for the lucky gourmet. 4 people: €35 • 8 people: €56 • 12 people: €72 • Available from 2 to 20 January 2019 At multiple Pierre Hermé boutiques and 86 Champs Elysées, 8th Send the Orpheo by Chronofresh in France Tel: +33 (0)1 70 38 77 38 Anne-Sophie Pic Celebrating 40 years of 3 Michelin stars, cheffe Pic’s limited edition chef’s hat bûche is inspired by the incredible culinary history of the Pic family. “Each element I used is an homage to the different generations of my family,” explains cheffe Pic. “The pears recall my grandfather’s orchard, the chocolate, my late father, who loved the sweet stuff! I used Valronha pure “Belize” blending with the pears to perfection.” And, completing the trio, Anne-Sophie added a touch of tangy spice sumac. Bûche – Toq à Pic serves six to eight people and is priced at €120. Order and collect from: La Dame de Pic, 20 rue de Louvre, 1st. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 60 40 40 The Ritz, Paris Honey is one of Executive Pastry Chef François Perret’s favorite ingredients. He based his 2018 yule log on grand cru Erica honey from the Pyrenees, where the beehives are set among heather and wild flowers. “These mountain fragrances recall the aromas of my childhood Christmases,” he explains. The magic is the mix of Savoy biscuit, cream, Gianduja chocolate, roasted almond crisp, notes of beeswax and delicate lacy chocolate wafer– a nod to the honeycombs. €110 – Limited Edition – Order 48 hours ahead – collect from The Ritz, Paris Concept Store (a fantastic source for unique gifts). Tel: +33 (0)1 43 16 32 74. Or taste at Bar Vendôme (€25) per portion. Lenôtre Guy Krenzer, Lenôtre’s Executive chef and Creative Director, creates a multicultural “Odysée Merveilleuse” presented in a box designed by pastry loving artist and designer Michaël Cailloux who says it’s a “starry, starry night”. Asian lemon, African chocolate and European hazelnut feature with delicious layers of marzipan, hazelnut, lemon zest  – topped with white chocolate carved clouds. Add “three wise coulis”: “frankincense” – sugar free chocolate (a blend of cocoa beans from Tanzania, Ghana and Sao Tomé); “Gold” symbolized with “Candi” lemon, almond paste; and “myrrh” crispy toasted, caramelized hazelnut sprinkles. A triumph! The limited edition “Odyssée Merveilleuse” yule log costs
 €120 for 12 people. Order from December 8 – 24, 2018. Olivier Poussier — World’s Best Sommelier 2000 and Maison Lenôtre Sommelier — suggests “Majono Taméiki” yuzu liquor based on yuzu juice from the village of Ryu-jin (Wakayama) blended with Japanese sake. Café Pouchkine Nina Métayer, awarded GaultMillau pâtissière of the year 2017, is Café Pouchkine’s chef de création. She was inspired by a trip to Moscow for the chocolate Bûche “Cigarette Russe,” which serves six to eight people and costs €80. The delicate lacy La Skoulptoura log – inspired by the Volga – combines salty butter caramel cream with pear compôte and spicy tonka bean notes (also serves six to eight people, priced at €80). Masha and her friend Mishka, the cartoon bear with the big heart, are beautifully reproduced in nougat, Bruyère honey ganache and almonds (€80). Match your log with a box of 12 Masha & Michka macarons (€27). 16 place de la Madeleine, 8th. Tel: +33 (0)1 53 43 81 60 Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme The USP here is no gluten! Rice flour’s the special ingredient used by handsome n’ healthy chef-pâtissier Jimmy Mornet. “The cocoa plantations of Guadeloupe inspired my bûche,” the chef explains. Mornet’s XXL replica cocoa bean bûche is made with 68% Indonesian dark chocolate – for the mousse house made rice crispies add crunch, the result is unusual, astringent and astonishingly light. 5 rue de la Paix, 2nd. Tel: +33 (0)1 58…

Lead photo credit : The yule log at Hôtel Plaza Athenée

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !


  • Margaret Kemp
    2018-12-24 04:22:28
    Margaret Kemp
    Dear Sabrina, Sorry for the delay in replying! Thank you so much for your kind words. The BP team wish you a delicious Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019. MK.


  • Sabrina Wilson
    2018-11-29 20:16:25
    Sabrina Wilson
    Thank you !!! Merci millefois. !! I lived in Paris in the 80s i miss it so!!! I love your newsletter. Love it !!Sabrina