Christmas in Paris: Top Yule Logs 2023

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Christmas in Paris: Top Yule Logs 2023

“A balanced diet is a Christmas cookie in each hand.” -M.Kemp 

Legend has it that la bûche de Noël dates back to 1870, when a Parisian pastry chef was inspired by the Christmas Eve tradition of burning a log in the fire (reflecting ancient Celtic winter rituals). Deliciously, Christmas logs evolved from hearth to table, in the form of a rolled sponge cake decorated with Christmas goodies like chocolate. A lighter alternative to Christmas pudding? Maybe!  Here’s a look at the splendid, limited-edition creations being rolled out by Paris’ top pastry chefs. Tip: Order in advance to add some beautiful deliciousness to your holiday table.

 

The Ritz, Paris 

This year, Chef François Perret’s signature log celebrates the 125th anniversary of the fabulous Ritz Paris.  

“Like the sun illuminating Paris,” the chef proudly describes his creation. Resting on a crisp base, it reveals golden icing adorned with fine rays of chocolate “sunbeams” intricately made one by one: vanilla almond praline, ganache and Madagascar vanilla mousse. Everyone will adore these subtle flavors and rich sensations, ranging from airy lightness to subtle crunch and creaminess. Hurry! This luscious log is available, appropriately, in a limited edition of just 125. 

DETAILS

For 8 – €150 – For 1 €20  
15, place Vendome, 1st 
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 16 30 30 

Bûchette Anniversaire at The Ritz Paris © Bernhard Winkelmann

Arnaud Larher 

Brittany born n’ bred Larher -a chocolatier and Meilleur Ouvrier de France pastry chef – presents five luscious logs.  

The Cloud (Nuage) Log takes inspiration from the classic Saint-Honoré, “to create a log as light as a cloud.” Vanilla shortcrust pastry topped with a crunchy hazelnut praline, vanilla-infused cream, whipped cream, vanilla cream and caramel puffs (€52, serves 4-6). The Marrakech is an invitation to the heart of the Marrakech Medina. Multiple flavors and textures include pistachio dacquoise, pistachio chips, pistachio praline, featherlight sponge cake with vanilla syrup – then add pistachio bavaroise, whipped ganache orange blossom, orange marmalade. Lahrer tops this with pistachio and white chocolate (€52, serves 4-6). The Toulouse-Lautrec, Lahrer says, “is made with fifty decadent shades of cocoa.” Close your eyes, imagine a pecan brownie base topped with 66% chocolate cream, cocoa biscuit, 70% grand cru dark chocolate mousse, ganache whipped with cocoa bean infusion (€52 for 4-6).  L’Ardéchoise Log is Arnaud Larher’s  taste of childhood. Think creamy chestnut cream covered with broken chestnuts, add brown mousse and crunchy pearls which add texture (€52 for 4-6). The Nutcracker log reveals flavors of hazelnut. Mona Lisa biscuits are covered with praline feuilletine, almond and hazelnut praline mousse, pieces of caramelized hazelnuts, sprinkles of hazelnut and caramelized hazelnuts and milk chocolate shavings. Pure magic, Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) would be enchanted with this tantalizing taste sensation (€52 for 4-6).

DETAILS

Find them chez Arnaud Larher:
53, Rue Caulaincourt, 18th
57, Rue Damrémont, 18th
93 Rue de Seine, 6th

 Yann Couvreur x ST-GERMAIN®

The French liqueur made with la fleur de sureau (elderberry) is the ideal match for Yann Couvreur’s beautiful bûche, and ST-GERMAIN® Royal makes the ideal Christmas cocktail! Pre-Xmas, a bottle of ST-GERMAIN® (20 cl) is offered when you buy the pastry creation – make your ST-GERMAIN® Royal cocktail chez vous. Recipe: 1.5 cl of ST-GERMAIN® liqueur – Champagne – Pour ST-GERMAIN® liqueur into a Champagne glass. Add Champagne (you decide how much!). Stir and decorate with an edible flower, a strawberry or raspberry. The bûche costs €69 and serves 6. 

DETAILS

Available online and in all YC boutiques, such as the one located at rue 23bis de Rosiers, 4th.

Bûche de Noël by Yann Couvreur

Benoît Castel 

Following the sell-out sublime “Tyrsamisu”, pastry chef-baker Benoît Castel reunites with long-time friend, Tyrsa, a graphic and typographic designer. The inspiration behind this creation is the symbol of “reunion”, in all its forms, around the table. Two free spirits who, for the end-of-year celebrations, deliver NOUS a poetic, unique vision of the X-mas star dessert. 

The story of this log is written around the universality of the letters sketched by the artist and developed through the artisan’s pastry know-how. On cereal crunch – signature granola style – taste a creamy coconut and hazelnut praline lined with soft coconut and hazelnut dacquoise. Madagascar vanilla cream completes the picture. Exotic! A Nous !

DETAILS

Log for 6/8 people: €50
72 rue Jean-Jacques Timbaud, 11th
Have you tried the coffee shop? 11, rue Sorbier, 20th

Bûche de Noël by Benoit Castel ©Guillaume Czerw

Alain Ducasse – La Manufacture de Chocolat 

An animal theme (The Teddy Bears Picnic?) dominates this chic, bean-to-bar collection. The Hexa Brown Bear (dark or milk chocolate, €28) is prowling around La Manufacture, brown coat and bright eyes encrusted with whole hazelnuts, apricots, figs and almonds, carefully gathered in France, bien sûr. And, he’s not alone…The Pooh is beautifully wrapped in its crystal bag (€5). Write a name or message on the label and let this little bear delight your child’s heart with guaranteed unforgettable taste memories. Creations by head chef chocolatier Quentin Francis-Gaigneux – from geometric gorgeous original designs by Pierre Tachon.    

DETAILS

Catch the entire collection at 49, rue de la Rouquette, 11th, and other boutiques throughout the city.  

Guy Martin 

For the 2023 end-of-year celebrations, super chef Guy Martin creates fascinating Christmas logs for his Parisian addresses:  

Le Grand Véfour offers a sophisticated Coco Passion Christmas dessert with delicately balanced tastes of passion fruit, coconut, heavenly hazelnut milk chocolate (€88). Chez A Noste we meet Olentzero (a Basque-style Santa Claus), who, according to Basque tradition, comes to town late at night on the 24th of December to drop off children’s gifts. Ingredients include pistachio sponge cake, pears poached in syrup, quince compote, a twist of Espelette pepper, praline cream. All is topped with magical meringue mushrooms, fleur de sel, a chocolate tree, pistachio sponge cake (€66). At Pasco, taste the Guava Passion (€85), made with ganache, chocolate, and vanilla.  

DETAILS

A Noste: 6bis rue du 4 septembre, 2nd
Le Grand Véfour: 17, rue de Beaujolais, 1st 
Pasco: 74 Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg, 7th

La Halle aux Grains, Bourse de Commerce

Chefs Michel and Sébastien Bras, alongside uber pastry chef Jean-Julien Freydt, present a Christmas log and galette des rois in which delicious hazelnut flavors of the Lot-et-Garonne region blend brilliantly with buckwheat grains.

RDV at Café La Halle aux Grains to discover the noisette-sarrasin (hazelnut-buckwheat) log from December 6th at lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Price to take away – but do order ahead. Log: 6 – 8 people, €75 / Galette des Rois: 6 – 8 people, €49.  Reserve online.

DETAILS

La Halle aux Grains – Bras
T +33 (0)1 82 71 71 60
Bourse de Commerce- Collection Pinault, 2 rue de Viarmes, 1st.

GALETTE DES ROIS, 2024, BRAS HALLE AUX GRAINS. Photo credit DELPHINE CONSTANTINI

Caviar Kaspia

Christmas is not Christmas without caviar! If you can’t get to the boutique (17, Place Madeleine), click the e-shop to discover the luxurious collection, not only your favorite caviar but also lifestyle must-haves such as delicate cashmere sweaters, sublime jewelry from Alison Lou, and how about a Kaspia beanie-hat to wear while tasting, say, oodles of caviar Baeri? Christmas only comes once a year, and you’re worth it! 

Patrick Roger MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) 

This year, the “enfant terrible” chocolatier (think the Miles Davis of the choco world) adds  four new chocolate half-sphere recipes to his rockin’ Noel repertoire: mandarin, arbutus, gentian and black truffle. This talented sculptor/chocolatier sculpts new original shapes and flavors making unique taste treats that explode in the mouth. Check out chocolate truffles, and caramel & whisky truffles. Stunning Xmas balloons made with Madagascar 65% chocolate, decorated with allegories of almonds, orange zest and raisins. Grab them while you can in PR’sParis boutiques including 108 Boulevard Saint Germain, 6th.

Philippe Conticini

The master pastry chef presents a super sophisticated “couture” collection. Mind-blowing, sweet, white truffle flavors, hazelnut and almond – perfect taste, balance, harmony. Between subtle suggestions and raw aesthetics, these unique creations are like seasonal festive jewels. Some are limited editions presented in boxes signed and numbered by Conticini himself. (For 6, priced at €98.) Pre-order now for in-store collection from December 16th. Available at all Maison Conticini boutiques.

Fouquet’s

Anthony Coquereau and Hugo Sipp, the pastry chef at Fouquet’s Paris and pastry chef at Fouquet’s Dubai (the latest addition to the Fouquet’s Collection), have created a sensational log that “pays homage to the legendary Parisian address and its famous red blinds which have beckoned the rich and famous for 120 years.” Marvel at the reproduction of the entrance to the brasserie and the upper floors of Hôtel Fouquet’s Paris, its 101 rooms and suites offering views of the Champs Elysées. It’s filled with surprises, each more delicious than the last. Priced at €95 for 4-6 

DETAILS

99, Avenue des Champs-Elysees, 8th  

courtesy of Fouquets

Lead photo credit : Bûche et Bûchette Anniversaire at the Ritz Paris. © Bernhard Winkelmann

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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 !

Comments

  • Conner
    2023-12-28 10:17:10
    Conner
    I really miss Paris and the French people especially during this time of year.

    REPLY

  • John
    2023-12-28 06:11:40
    John
    Everything looks so good. I sure do miss the beautiful things Paris

    REPLY