Our selection of delicious bûche de Noël promises to thrill your taste buds (and make your jaw drop) this holiday season.
Guaranteed success if you get any one of these five bûches, four of which are in Paris, and one just outside in Versailles.
1. The Most Magical: Dalloyau
This infernal trio just keeps the good things coing. Jérémy Del Val, Nicolas Boucher and Johan Giacchetti invite you to discover their Christmas ark. Dalloyau‘s pastry chefs boarded their enchanted sleigh — driven by Santa Claus and set on a golden roof covered with open windows and populated by doves — with a joyful troupe of animals in mind: a giraffe, a kangaroo, a deer, a fox, and a swan. The result? A magical bûche covered with a milk chocolate rocher. A truly enchanting tale for young and old alike with a crispy base — toasted rice, quinoa soufflé, hazelnut crumble, hazelnuts, praline and milk chocolate, a hint of sea salt — transcended by a hazelnut biscuit, a creamy hazelnut praline from Piedmont with a hint of yuzu, a hazelnut dacquoise biscuit, and a light hazelnut mousse flavored with Tahiti vanilla.
101, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Paris 8e, 01 42 99 90 00. 9,50 euros (individual), 125 euros (8 people).
2. The Most Rosey: Pierre Hermé
Its iridescent spheres and flower petals immediately make the color the highlight. Pierre Hermé‘s Pomposa bûche intimately blends the sweetness of rose with the slight bitterness of chestnut in a play of textures — crisp, soft, velvety — and unexpected flavors. A melodious symphony sublimated by this bewitching variation, all in the signature freshness of the best pastry chef in the world in 2016: chestnut flour shortbread, soft biscuit with chestnut flakes, candied chestnut cream, and light rose mascarpone cream.
72, rue Bonaparte, Paris 6e , 01 43 54 47 77. 8,90 euros (individual), 48 euros (4 people), 82 euros (8 people).
3. The Most Haute-Couture: Yann Couvreur
It’s a tribute to the emblem of his maison: the fox. Yann Couvreur duplicates the creature by the dozen on his bûche Signature, in a chic design. Under its thin exterior layer, sprinkled with chocolate and decorated with a pack of foxes, this haute couture shell hides delicate treasures: a light mousse flavored with the rare blue vanilla of Reunion Island, a divine pecan biscuit, a vanilla crunch, praline and pecan, a salted caramel and toasted pecan nut core, and a praline pecan with sea salt.
137, avenue Parmentier, Paris 11e, 06 05 97 63 01. 90 euros (6 people).
4. The Most Chocolate: Hugo & Victor
As they know at Hugo & Victor, it’s not enough just to have a delicious ganache, you also have to have the aesthetics! Hugues Pouget’s bûche Truffe (truffle log) celebrates chocolate in all its forms: a creamy organic dark chocolate mousse, a melty praline-hazelnut core, an airy sacher biscuit, all wrapped by chocolate sheets as thick as thick as parchment paper. A creation really worth sinking your teeth into more than once.
40, boulevard Raspail, Paris 7e. 01 44 39 97 73. 9 euros (individual), 54 euros (6 people).
5. The Most Trompe-l’œil: Le Trianon Palace
Frédéric Larquemin and Eddie Benghanem are attempting to outdo each other in both boldness and craftsmanship. The executive chef and pastry chef of Le Trianon Palace in Versailles have redoubled their imaginative efforts to create a real illusion. Indeed, nothing tastes like what it looks like with this bûche de Noël. Larquemin’s bûche salée (savory log) is adorned with all the trappings of the sweet one, topped with colored macaroons and sugar snowflakes. However, inside, it houses duck foie gras poached in red wine, blackberry cassis chutney and gingerbread with figs. Benghanem’s bûche sucrée visually incorporates all the standards of traditional pastry. But that’s wrong… Because, once you take a bite, you taste a light cream, with two vanilla fruits, a red fruit jam, a sweet almond moelleux, and inlays of vanilla, tartness, and chocolate.
1, boulevard de la Reine, Versailles (Yvelines). 01 30 84 50 00. The bûche salée: 119 euros (8 people). The bûche sucrée: 70 euros (8 people). Both: 179 euros.
This article was written by THIBAUT DANANCHER