The best Christmas bûches 2017
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” Oscar Wilde
The Christmas, New Year holiday season is not the ideal time to start a diet. There are so many temptations: foie gras, smoked salmon, sugar-glazed chestnuts and if that was not enough…deserts, namely the bûche.
Pièce de resistance, the Christmas log or bûche as it is called in French is the dessert of choice for the holiday season. Some people make them themselves, and others buy them in the supermarkets. The most discerning gourmets procure their bûche at the pastry shops!
Every year the best pastry chefs compete to create the most esthetic, and innovative holiday bûches, which are only available several weeks. To impress your friends at the end of a meal or simply to enjoy once a year, here are some of the best Christmas bûches to find in Paris.
Pierre Marcolini: Fruit at the heart of things
Presently world renowned chef chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini, is famed for his original creations and unique fabrication of chocolate. You’ll feel quite like Ratatouille as you taste one of these one-of-a-kind concoctions created by this magician of chocolate.
The first time I received one of his boxes, I limited myself to one a day in order to make the pleasure last longer. This year, Marcolini has chosen the moon as a source of inspiration. Two superb bûches to remember, one dark chocolate with chocolate mousse. In the center, a surprise awaits ; a soft cherry and vanilla cream center. The other one, for those who are not such fans of chocolate, a vanilla and white chocolate bûche using chocolate with 20% sugar and still 100% flavorful! This bûche, looks magnificent on the outside and has a surprise in the inside; fresh pineapple, mango, yuzu and fresh cilantro. Very Bold.
L’Eclair de Génie: back to the basics
The chef Christophe Adam is a specialist in éclairs, a French pastry, which usually comes in two flavors (chocolate or café). But as you may have guessed « L’éclair de genie » has taken the idea further by offering ever more astonishing and a variety of flavors which changes with the seasons (passion fruit, raspberry, salted butter caramel, to name just a few). I was in Paris in November and I was magnetized by the colors in their window rue Lépic (31 rus Lepic, 75018 Paris), as I was staying in a hotel in the neighborhood (Le Village Montmartre, 20 Rue d’Orsel, 75018 Paris).
Upholding the tradition, L’Eclair de Génie offers its own interpretation of the bûche. Whole roasted sparkling hazelnuts stand out against the elegant white coating. A savvy blend of smooth vanilla cream light as a cloud, and a hazelnut and peanut crunch. A unanimous winner.
But if you still want to taste their éclairs without losing out on the Christmas spirit, try their éclairs de Noël.
Bûche – 6/8 servings, 42€
Pierre Hermé: a welcome change from chocolate
This year Pierre Hermé has created a fruity, floral rendition of the traditional chocolate bûche with astonishing results: the rose-flavored bûche « Ispahan », for example or “Infiniment Pamplemousse” and “Hommage », (iced chestnut cream, pears and butter cookie)…
Our favorite is the « Milena » bûche, a refreshing iced dessert which is nice instead of the standard chocolate. What’s inside? A cookie with mint ice cream, and a hint of berry and wild strawberry. Surprising and refreshing after a rich dinner.
Bûche – 6/8 servings, 77 €
Ladurée: classic and refined
Ladurée cis famous for it’s multicolor macaroons which make us dream of the movie Marie-Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. Notwithstanding, they have taken on the bûche just like everyone else!
AThe bûche « Candy « stands out like a little girl’s birthday dream; raspberries, marshmallows and white chocolate stars. Or the surprising « Céleste » which is a true tribute to the hazelnut in all its forms: hazelnut and almond crunch, covered with a soft hazelnut cake and mousse with a praline center.
And for dessert, a white crown studded with red stars, will grace your holiday table with its esthetic flair. If you are fond of hazelnut , you will be delighted by this feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds which awaits you.
Bûche – 6 servings, 68 € – available from 15 to 31 December 2017
Prince de Galles: Vanilla is the guest of honor
ELast but not least, Pastry chef in the prestigious hotel, Prince of Galles, Nicolas Paciello (I’ve lost track of how many stars he has in the Michelin Guide) strikes a delicate note with his Tahitian vanilla flavored dessert, a vanilla which is known to be one of the best in the world. A delicious delicate crunchy dark chocolate exterior encases a delicate vanilla ganache and a soft sea- salt biscuit . We’ll be back for seconds.
Prince de Galles – 33 avenue George V
Bûche – 6/8 servings, 95€
Put all your good resolutions on hold until January and the membership at the gym for after New Year’s eve. In the meantime, Happy Holidays!
Author: Alexandre, 31 yrs
Alexandre lives in province but often comes to Paris to meet with his clients. He likes good wines, fine dining, photographic expos and romantic getaways. A true gourmet he loves gastronomy. He can work from his office but is also adept at roaming on the train, his hotel room or a café equipped with WiFi.