Christmas in Paris: The Best Bûches de Noël 2020

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Christmas in Paris: The Best Bûches de Noël 2020

Christmas is different this year. However we’ll always have Paris and we’ll always have les beautiful bûches… Here’s our selection of 2020’s best yule logs, crafted by the city’s top pastry chefs and guaranteed to dress up the holiday table with some festive fun. What’s your favorite?

Marx Bakery 3 bûches et décors. Credit © Thierry Marx / Media Social Food

MARX Bakery

The two-Michelin star chef of Sur Mesure (Mandarin Oriental Paris) also heads the eponymous MARX Bakery brand with four buzzing Parisian boutiques: rue Laborde in the 8th, Beaupassage in the 7th, Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, and 69 avenue Marceau. At the latter, all your Xmas/Epiphany favorites are now starring at the former Joséphine. This major league bakery / pastry shop / tea room has a new lease of life thanks to MARX & Co. Bûche 39€.

Photo courtesy of Akrame

Akrame and Killian

Just 100 unique bûches, numbered and signed, by chef Akrame Benallal with pastry chef Killian Le Houerou. Le Pavé Parisien is inspired by the iconic Paris cobblestones that have lined the streets since the 12th century. It’s also an homage to May ’68. Sous les pavés, la plage!  (“Under the cobblestones the beach”)– one of many inspirational, provocative slogans graffiti-ed around the city at that time. And, photographer Mathieu César captures Le Pavé Parisien in black and white; find one of his images hidden beneath the log (one in 10 reveal a surprise photo). For six people, the price is €120 and, thoughtfully, €20 goes to Restos du Cœur.

Pre-order by email: [email protected]. Home delivery or collect at Akrame restaurant: 7, rue Tronchet 8th from December 15, 2020.

RITZ bûche de noel Ritz Paris 2020. Photo credit © Aimery Chemin

The Ritz

As a tribute to the origins of César Ritz, Switzerland comes to the Ritz Paris for the hotel’s gourmet, end-of-year celebrations.

The “Mont Ritz” log, designed by über pastry chef François Perret, takes gourmet delicacies to the summit of Christmas. The Monts, with chestnut cream and chopped chestnuts, are made light with airy whipped mousse, almost a cheesecake on a base of crunchy shortbread crumble.

“I designed this log to be fresh and light as snowflakes, a taste sensation that immediately transports foodies off-piste to the magic of Christmas in the  mountains,” says Perret. Come and taste at Le Bar Vendôme. Until December 24th. €26 per person. Or order for six people, 48 hours in advance, by calling 01 43 16 33 74. Priced at  €110 – Limited edition

Photo courtesy of Yann Couvreur

Yann Couvreur

The brilliant pastry chef unveils his Yule log: Isatis, the polar fox.

Composed of a cookie and crispy pecan, the heart of the log includes vanilla caramel and maple syrup. There’s also a pecan praline, vanilla mousse and maple syrup. It’s topped off with Couvreur’s signature chocolate fox garnished with pecan praline. Chef Couvreur is particularly fond of Christmas, for him “it’s a playground permitting all the follies.” The log, at the center of the table, brings loved ones together around the most important moment of the meal.

La Bûche Isatis, for six people, €90. Get it in all YC boutiques or order via Click and Collect.

Photo courtesy of George V

George V

La Cazette by Executive Pastry Chef Michael Bartocetti evokes memories of Christmas in the Lorraine region of France. “I reinterpreted the curves of 100% Burgundy hazelnuts/filberts which are roasted,” he says. Think posh French Nutella. Add 66% Caribbean chocolate, coffee, green cardamon, lemon, sprinkle some coffee beans et voilà: La Cazette.

Photo courtesy of Guy Martin

Guy Martin

Black Truffle Chocolate Log. Elegant, chocolaty, light, delicate, a magnificent balance of textures. Ingredients include buckwheat seed marinated in Empress milk, pain de gêne chocolate, crispy buckwheat praline, chocolate coulant with black truffle, whipped ganache 64% chocolate and truffle cover, and light dark chocolate mousse.

€89 per log for six people – Order on 01 42 96 56 27 or email: [email protected]

Photo courtesy of Pierre Hermé

Pierre Hermé

For his limited edition logs, the “Picasso of pâtisserie” takes a poetic ascent into an imaginary universe, in collaboration with edgy, Paris-based cosmic street artist Philippe Baudelocque. Using variations of blackcurrant, redcurrant, lemon and Pure Origin Belize (Plantation Xibun, transformed by Valrhona chocolate), the aromatic notes consist of blackcurrant, pepper crumble and geranium. The chocolate shell, crowned with a constellation of shooting stars, signals a trip to foodie heaven.

The signature log for 10/12 people costs €120.

Available from December 19 to 25th, 2020

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Le Meurice

Cédric Grolet’s tempting trio of luscious logs take inspo from his “Pure” collection, mouthwatering, reinterpreted desserts including the pure chocolate yule log, tropical coconut log or pure forest honey and pollen bûche.

The Pure Chocolate, Pure Coconut and Pure Honey logs are available (December 15th – December 27th) from La Pâtisserie du Meurice by Cédric Grolet, four or eight people: €40 – €80 for the Pure Coco and Pure Chocolate (made with Alain Ducasse chocolate). For the Pure Honey,  four or eight people: €45 euros – €90 euros.

Apple roll. Photo courtesy of Le Meurice

BO & MIE

Jean-Francois Bandet and his brigade garner rave reviews at the three bakeries (1st, 2nd, and 3rd arrondissements). You’re lucky if you have one in your ‘hood. After the sell-out success last year, La Boulangerie Créative (the Creative Bakery) decided on three flavor sensations: The “Winter Apple” log (Apple / Cinnamon / Vanilla) available for four, six, eight people. “Chocolate Yule log” Intense” (64% chocolate, chocolate brownie and vanilla) available for four, six and eight people and “La Bûche Signature” (Pistachio and Cherry) for seven/eight people. Price: four people €23.90 – six people €35.90 – eight people €46.90 and Le Signature, serves seven-eight, one size only at €47.90.

The Peninsula Paris yule log. Photo courtesy of the Peninsula, Paris

The Peninsula, Paris

La Bûche de Noël, by Executive Chef David Bizet, for his first Christmas at The Peninsula, Paris, has subtle combinations of flavors and textures. To a crispy base he adds toasted vanilla and roasted buckwheat, white chocolate ganache embellished with kiwi and a vegetal note making it sweet/savory and surprising. The Bûche (non gluten) are made to order (six-eight bûcheurs) for €95.

Photo courtesy of Le Fouquet’s

Fouquet’s

Delicious nougat made according to the traditional Montélimar recipe, this honey covered meringue log hides a soft Montélimar almond biscuit and creamy Corsican orange cream surrounded by a honey-almond mousse.

Chef Nicolas Paciello’s yule message highlights the work of French producers and products. Order and collect until December 27th. The price is €75  for eight people.

Photo courtesy of Liberté

LIBERTÉ

With his exciting pâtisserie-boulangeries, Benôit Castel breaks the codes of  tradition with open kitchens and wood fired ovens. The Paris boutiques (39 rue de Vinaigriers in the 10th; 72 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in the 11th; 150 rue de Ménilmontant and 11 rue Sorbier in the 20th) have special design identities. (There are also two boutiques in Tokyo and soon in NYC.) Choose between the bûche chocolate and/or bûche fruit. €6.40 for a slice. €27 for four people. €37 for six and €47 for eight people.

Need to know…

Maison Paul Bocuse, the storied restaurant, presents La Bûche de Noël “Nuances”. Benoit Charvet, the executive pastry chef, sees it as “a tribute to Paul Bocuse,” taking inspiration from the watercolor art technique which fascinated Mr. Paul. “Nuances” reflects a taste for travel, as in a mix of hazelnuts, exotic flavors, a combination of gourmet nuances, with crispy shortbread and soft roasted coconut biscuit, creamy Piedmont hazelnut praline, tangy citrus calamansi and lime confit. Available exclusively chez Paul Bocuse – in a limited edition of 500.

Paul Bocuse “Nuances” log. 80 € for six to eight people. Preorder information and orders on www.bocuse.fr  or Tel: 04 72 42 90 90

Want to be inspired by more French foodie experiences and enjoy classic French food, wine and recipes? Head to our sister website, Taste of France, here.

Lead photo credit : Maison Philippe Conticini presents four gourmet yule logs this year. Bûche Yuzu Kumquat. Photo: Kevin Rauzy Foodography

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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 It.com, 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 !