December is here, and that means it’s time to order that classic French holiday treat, the bûche de Noël. Shaped like a log and decorated elegantly, to look like a winter scene, or perhaps also to look like a log, the bûche de Noël is a truly delicious tradition that you won’t want to miss out on. After all, bûche de Noël only comes once a year!
Pâtisserie Poupon in Georgetown offers four flavors of bûche de Noël from December 3 to 31: Grand Marnier, Forêt Noire (dark and white chocolate mousse, chocolate cake, cherries), chocolate mousse with bourbon vanilla cream, and hazelnut. It’s $41 for 7″, $56 for 11″ and $85 for 21″. The pastry shop also has other Christmas sweets for sale like its macaron Christmas tree. — 1645 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC. Tel: 202-342-3248.
In Bethesda, Maryland, Fresh Baguette‘s bûche de Noël must be ordered two days in advance and can be made for two people ($13.50), 4 people ($27), 6 people ($38) or 8 people ($48). On the menu of rolled bûches, the classic chocolate, a “Foret Noire” (chocolate and dark chocolate, raspberry cream and whipped cream), and hazelnut with a praline mousseline cream. Alternatively, Fresh Baguette is offering two pastry bûches: “Elegance” (flourless chocolate biscuit, chocolate mousse) and “Coeur Fruite” (raspberry in vanilla cream, surrounded by a Joconde biscuit). Those are also available for two people ($15), 4 people ($30), 6 people ($48), and 8 people ($56). — 4919 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, MD. Tel: 301-656-0000.
Also in Bethesda, Jérôme Colin is offering a selection of traditional logs as well as some more original ones for the end of year celebrations. Tout de Sweet offers two traditional bûches, chocolate or vanilla, and also the more unique lime and raspberry bûche for $46 (serves 6-8) or $57 (serves 10-12). For the adventurous, two more bûches are available: pear-caramel mousse with dark chocolate cake, or orange-chocolate mousse with flourless chocolate cake (GF) for $51 (serves 6-8) or $62 (serves 10-12). Bûches must be ordered before December 22nd and picked up before December 24th at 4pm. — 7831 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD. Tel: 301-951-0474
As it’s done every year since 2016, Buttercream Bakeshop in Shaw is changing the holiday tradition a little. They’ve transformed the classic bûche log into a “Christmas stump.” Inside the chocolate bark, you can choose your flavor: chocolate, vanilla, almond, red velvet, s’mores, carrot cake, and several other fun flavors. One bûche costs $90, serves 16-18 people, and must be ordered in advance online. — 250 9th St NW, Washington. Tel: 202-735-0102.
For its second holiday season in Washington, Ladurée offers a gourmet collection of sweet creations such as the “Fleur Noire” bûche with its chocolate coating, vanilla cream, and chocolate mousse. For red fruit lovers, there’s the raspberry “Marie Antoinette” bûche. Bûches made with pistachio (“Macaron Pistache”) and all milk chocolate (“Louise”) are also for sale. Individual bûches became available on December 5th for $8.50. Bûches for 6 to 8 people ($68) will be on sale starting December 19. — 3060 M St NW, Washington. Tel: 202-737-0492
From the famous PAUL bakery, there are three bûches available: La Délicieuse (raspberry, speculos, and vanilla from Madagascar), L’Intense (intense dark chocolate, cocoa bean chips, and caramel dripping with salted butter) and La Fabuleuse (apple compote, caramel with Isigny butter, and Guérande salt). Individual bûches are available for $5.65, larger bûches (serves 6-8 people) are $39.95. — Available at PAUL’s multiple locations in the D.C. area and in Bethesda, MD