Like every year, French Chefs Patissiers are brimming with imagination to create the wildest of bûches – let’s focus on the most iconic ones!
For a long time already, the tradition of the bûche de Noël is no longer only about letting a piece of wood burn – on the contrary! It is a true exercise in pastry creativity, the tradition has now become a much awaited annual rendezvous for French gourmets. Even of the entire world – a true gourmet tradition, French pastry chefs have become masters in the exercise.
It is in this way that Chef Pâtissier Dominique Costa revisited for the Peninsula Paris the shape of vines. In a very sweet and highly inspired version. His bûche is composed around an almond praline bonbon associated to a vanilla dark chocolate craquant. All enveloped in a final glaçage where the croquant gives room to an aerated biscuit flavoured with gingerbread. The final touch? Pieces of wine poached pears exalted by a light vanilla mousse.
Other iconic place of Paris, other style. For La Réserve Paris, Chef Pâtissier Adrien Salavert chose to celebrate their impressive collection of ancient books. The bûche becomes trompe-l’oeil and plays with the book covers in a light chocolate that ravishes the palate – perfumed with tea and citrus. For the Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, Florent Magaillan, French champion of desserts in 2010, wanted to honor the harmony of simple and gourmand flavors.
Nicolas Paciello, new Chef Pâtissier of Fouquet’s, decided to do the same. With the help of historian Marion Godfroy-Tayart de Borms, they composed a bûche around a Malmaison biscuit of roasted almond, brown butter and citrus zest. A composition that celebrates the 120 years of Fouquet’s. Finished with a crème madame and bergamot insert – an unexpected combination! Other unique creation, that of Pierre Hermè’s for the Royal Monceau: a bûche like a ferris wheel, brimming with sophistication and extremely delicious. It can already be devoured by the eyes.
Just like the exotic creation by Jimmy Mornet for the Parc Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. Inspired by the sudashi, small wild, green Japanese citrus, the Chef pâtissier developed an entire flavour enhanced by the audacity of the confit pear and lemon duo, tender biscuit, yellow lemon, pear syrup and a croustillant of almond and chocolate dulce.
The Café Pouchkine is also present with Patrick Pailler’s bûche the “Tropiki Pouchkine”. A treat encapsulated in a white chocolate construction in orange hues. Inside? A bûche made of almond biscuit, mango confit with fresh mango pieces…imbibed in a passion fruit white rum and Madagascan vanilla mousse with a mango jelly.
Finally, the 2019 versions of the tradition can be discovered at two iconic Paris palaces. For the Hotel Crillon, the Chef Matthieu Carlin imagined a bûche like a Christmas carriage – “Le Carrosse de Noel” of which the entirety can be savoured. A Proustian return to childhood, notable speckled with a 66% dark chocolate mousse and a red grapefruit jelly. However it is the den of Marcel Proust that reveals the most demanded bûche of the year.
It must be mentioned that Chef François Perret for the Ritz, was consecrated the best pastry chef in the world in 2019. A creation built around a tender roasted hazelnut biscuit – covered in a creamy Gianduja and a Carúpano 70% dark chocolate. An infinitely desirable spiral, to be placed on all Christmas tables.