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One of our favorite things about the holiday season in Paris is the bûche de Noël, the Christmas yule log. The city’s pastry chefs craft beautiful and creative twists on this traditional dessert. Here we present the best of 2019. Want to see more? Check out the 2016, 2017 and 2018 bûches de Noël designed by top Paris pastry chefs.
Le Plaza Athenée
Angelo Muso (MOF) and Alexandre Dufeu’s bucolic, limited-edition log could have come direct from the forest. The outside is chocolate worked as tree bark, the dark chocolate interior yields textures and flavors of refreshing citrus fruits. “We’ve improved on nature”, say the two chefs. “And we’re very conscious to have been very stingy with the sugar!” For six people, €120. Order on tel: 01 53 67 65 97 or by email at [email protected]
Choose from a magical collection inspired by chef Hugues Pouget’s Asiatic travels (he has outposts in Tokyo, Seoul, Dubai). Bûche Mystereyuzu (6 people, €99) covered with a delicate lace cage. La Bûche Envelope (6 people €50) – dedicated to Victor Hugo. Montezuma (6-people €55). And “La Bûche K”(no flour), the fabulous Konatsu lemon, cream and pineapple, is presented in a handsome caviar tin (€59). All available at:
40, Boulevard Raspail, 7th. Tel: 01 44 39 97 73. Open 25th December & 1st January.
While you’re choosing last minute essentials (Ritz Monopoly, anyone?) in the Concept Store (from the 1st-24th December) stop at Bar Vendôme and taste pastry chef François Perret’s yule log interpretation (€25 per person) with a flute of champagne. And, from 7 December-5 January, rendezvous on Place Vendôme at Perret’s Alpine chalet for signature tastings and creamy hot chocolate. The bûche is hazelnut Gianduja and black chocolate Carupano (€70) topped with a spiral of gold leaf and chocolate. “Inspired by skiing through a snow storm in Les Arcs”, says Perret. For six-eight people, €110. 15 place Vendome, 1st
With the wacky world of Lewis Carroll in mind, the young and talented Bryan Esposito’s work of art, La Büche Enchan-Thé, is an edible teapot! Lift the lid and discover a creamy tea mousse – Thé Noir by Palais des Thés – marinated hot wine orange marmalade on a soft madeleine base, finished off with creamy chocolate-rose. Chef Esposito recommends Thé Noir No. 25 by Palais des Thés to match. Available from 14-25th December – order 72 hours in advance, it’ll feed six hungry mad hatters and costs €72. Tel: 01 58 36 67 97 or email: [email protected] Address: 51-57 rue de Courcelles, 8th.
For “Hidden Treasures” his eclectic collection “the Picasso of Pâtisserie” showcases “Beaux Arts” packaging – created with set designer Marjorie Colas. “Green and gold depict purity, nature and herbs”, he says. Nibble the addictive macarons, chestnut and black wheat, pine and cedar, citron caviar (€2.50 each) while choosing from Haute-Pâtisserie bûches such as the Piedmont hazelnut iced “Inifiniment Praliné Glacé” (€71 for six people) or, covered with paper lace, “Bûche Ultime” (€75 for six people).
Julien Alvarez – World Champion Pastry Chef 2011 – stamps the iconic palace hotel’s coat of arms on his limited edition “key to the kingdom bûche”. The base is crunchy, with hints of vanilla, roasted beans, caramelized, white and dark chocolate. And the “25” reminds you when to eat it! Priced at €110, it’s made to order from Le Bristol’s Café Antonia. To order, email [email protected]
This talented family of passionate chocolate makers recently launched a museum, the 2020 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Order from the online boutique until 31st December.
Pastry chef Adrien Bozzolo takes his inspiration from the Gilles & Boissier “Apartment Parisien”, the Mandarin O’s brand new suite. The bûche is a tribute to happy childhood memories of toys, trains and, of course, lots of chocolate. Limited edition (€98 for eight people), order 48h ahead from 20-26th December 2019 on Tel: 01 70 98 74 00 or taste in house €15 – to go – €8. Yum!
Alain Ducasse’s signature masterpiece for Christmas is a “build your own Christmas tree.” Available in either – milk/dark chocolate (€52) – or a mendiant (nuts and raisins) version with organic cereals, dried fruits and caramelized almonds (€59). Available until 31st December from 40 rue de la Roquette, 11th.
Predicts a wild Xmas with La Bûche Café Leopard to a biscuit base, infused with fair trade coffee, add crunchy chocolate, mousse and coffee creme brûlée. Priced from €27-€52, according to size, or €5 for the individual bûche portion. You can tell from the buzzing boutiques that everything Kayser creates is super delicious, made with the finest ingredients. And, while you’re there, pick up a few loaves of chestnut bread – perfect with the foie gras if you don’t eat it all on the way home! (€3.50)
This yule log was inspired by the hotel’s Duc de Morny library. Impressed by the fabulous collection of priceless antique tomes, La Reserve’s pastry chef Adrien Salavert salutes his favorite salon with three limited edition edible books stacked one on top of the other, works of art using tea and citrus fruits. Open them and discover irresistible lemon spiked chocolates, the perfect way to end the festive meal. €95 for six-eight people. From 2nd December order by email: [email protected] or by telephone: 01 58 36 60 50
BO&MIE (talented Ferrandi trained bakers) present their “signature log,” made with delicious Madagascar Vanilla Tonka bean cream, a gleaming coat of 64% chocolate mousse and ganache, poised on a base of hazelnut chocolate brownie coated in a chocolate shell. Order online or collect from the boutique at 18 rue de Turbigo, 2nd.
Pinot noir, spices, fresh pear, gingerbread, vanilla mousse, crunchy caramelized almonds for chef pâtissier Dominique Costa’s “Enchanted Vine” bûche – his spin on a journey to the champagne vineyards of Deutz and the iconic “Deutz Cuvée Peninsula.” Limited edition of 150 available to order from December 1st – collect from December 16th – 31st, 2019. It serves six to eight bûche-o-philes (€118). Order by phone: 01 58 12 67 72 or email: [email protected] 19, avenue Kleber, 16th
To celebrate 120 years of Le Fouquet’s, pastry chef Nicolas Paciello and food historian/author/creator Marion Godfroy-Tayart de Borms present their handsome limited edition, “Belle Epoque” homage to Louis Fouquet. Biscuit Malmaison, roast almonds, hazelnut butter, citrus zests, bergamote cream, on a crispy chocolate plinth, covered with a red “Fouquet” marzipan veil. Made to order for you from 1st December, 2019 (€115).
Tel: 01 40 69 60 50
Still family run, the Lyon “bean-to-bar” brand founded by Master Chocolate Maker Maurice Bernachon in 1953 recently opened in Paris. Bûche B is Chuao Venezuela chocolate with a brownie base, add Piedmont hazelnuts, pecans and chic glossy topping – €38 for four chocolate-o-philes.
127 rue de Sevres, 7th.
A La Mere de Famille (since 1761)
Create a traditional Father Christmas in either dark (65%) or milk (36%) chocolate (€50) accompanied by “Renne,” his faithful reindeer (€45). 35, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, 9th
Lead photo credit : Bûche de Noël at Hotel Plaza Athenée. Photo: studio des fleurs