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25+1 bûches de Noël that will make you want to live in France

December 23, 2014
25+1 bûches de Noël that will make you want to live in France
Jaume Cot

If there is one season that is specifically identified with pastry cooking and sweet gastronomy, it is without doubt the Christmas season. Every country has its own traditions and desserts related to this period of the year, but there is one country that lives the Christmas dessert culture with particular intensity, and that country is France. With Christmas logs (les bûches de Noël) as the star product, every pastry chef works hard to surprise their clients (and their professional colleagues) with innovations and original formats. It is a time of tradition and of family, and for this reason the most classical flavours dominate, but it is also and invitation to invention, which some of the most famous chefs demonstrate wonderfully. Below, we provide you with some good examples from the parade of creativity that will surely make you dream of spending this Christmas time “en France”.

A few of these pieces were presented in the traditional Christmas Gala that Relais Desserts organised with its associated professionals and which took place on this occasion in the new and spectacular Hotel Península in Paris.

 

1. Signature logs from La Pâtisserie des Rêves. Philippe Conticini teams up with four exceptional chefs (David Toutain, Jean Sulpice, Akrame y Julien Duboe) to develop four offerings with the same format but with different ingredients inside. Each work is also connected to those flavours which transported each of them back to their childhoods. All of this to celebrate the five years that the establishment has been in business. // www.lapatisseriedesreves.com

Philippe Conticini

 

 

2. Antony Prunet, “Pere Noël” glazed log. Red is a colour that is intimately linked with Christmas time and this chef makes good use of this fact in presenting a creation that combines his most beloved red fruits with chocolate. From Arcachon (Maison Guignard), he offers us a different format to the classic semi-circular, with a chocolate sponge base, and decorations that bring vitality and freshness, all very much in line with what we are beginning to be expect from Antony Prunet /www.antonyprunet.com

Antony Prunet

 

3. Bellanger Chocolatier. Citrus Lemon Bûche. From Le Mans, Maryse Bellanger declares her unconditional love for the classic lemon tart with meringue. In this creation she presents lemon in different states for pastry cooking (crème, cremeux and mousse) accompanied by a crunchy sablé, an almond biscuit and a soft flambé meringue. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] /www.chocolats-bellanger.com

Bellanger Chocolatier

 

 

4. “My name is Adam, Christophe Adam”, is the offering from the founder of “ L’Éclair de Génie” for his Christmas collection, “Le Coffret 101, License to eat”. 10 luxury eclairs inspired by the latest trends that this French chef incorporates in this classic format. He includes products that are very familiar to our readers such as the Megève (So Good #5) and some that will soon make the headlines, such as the Lunaire and the Chouchou Caramel [So Good #13]. // leclairdegenie.com

Christophe Adam

 

 

5. The Patisserie of Cyril Lignac and Benoit Couvrant present their Tryptique series, comprised of Dulcey (hazelnut and praline with blonde chocolate, a light ganache and gianduja coulant with fleur de sel); Equinox (light cream of bourbon vanilla with a heart of buttered caramel and crunchy praline and speculoos); and Caraïbe (a base of mousse and creamy chocolate, crunchy cocoa sponge, seasoned with fleur de sel and orange peal). www.lapatisseriecyrillignac.com

Cyril Lignac

 

 

6. La Pâtisserie of Cyril Lignac, the Bûche Création Cappuccino (Cappuccino Log). A base of almonds, coffee and chocolate in a refined creation that combines mascarpone with coffee that originated in Kenya // www.lapatisseriecyrillignac.com

Cyril Lignac

 

 

7. Jean-Paul Hévin and “Maboule de Noël”, composed of a ganache of chocolate and warm wine between two macaroon discs coated with orange and ginger, all enclosed within chocolate hemispheres. The techniques and creativity were inspired by the macaroon and the theme of “Folie Douce” (sweet madness). [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] /www.jeanpaulhevin.com

Jean Paul Hevin

 

 

8. Christophe Michalak presents “Galactic”, thanks to an original composition based in passion fruit, jasmine tea and a hot chocolate sauce that should be poured during the tasting of this highly unusual offering. Watch the “Galactic” video /www.christophemichalak.com

Christophe Michalak

 

 

9. Pain de Sucre presents Aurore, comprised of a tender citrus sponge, pink grapefruit and orange paste, citrus cream and almond pain de genes. The look if its covering is really worth it /www.patisseriepaindesucre.com

 Pain de Sucre

 

 

10. Christophe Roussel. Red Forest (limited edition) is a living red coat that maintains in its centre a personal version of the classic “Black Forest”, in other words, chocolate mousse, vanilla cream and a juicy interior of amarena cherries with a touch of amaretto. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] // www.christophe-roussel.fr

Christophe Roussel

 

 

11. Christophe Roussel. Nyangbo Sphere is a tribute to Laurent Jeanin, the pastry chef from Bristol. A large sphere of Nyangbo chocolate hides another sphere of milk chocolate, covered in sugary nuggets. // www.christophe-roussel.fr

Christophe Roussel. Nyangbo Sphere

 

 

12. Sébastien Brocard. Mystical Opera is a finger of intense flavours such as raspberry and passion fruit and a touch of coffee and Indian vanilla. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] // www.brocard-patissier.com

Sébastien Brocard. Mystical Opera

 

 

13. Laurent Le Daniel. The Wood. An amusing and recurring format of a chocolate and almond sponge, milk chocolate cream, grapefruit paste, crunchy hazelnut and milk chocolate chantilly.[Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] // www.patisserieledaniel.fr

Laurent Le Daniel. The Wood.

 

 

14. Vincent Guerlais. Christmas Magic (Limited Edition). Spongy hazelnut cake, cream of caramelised hazelnuts, Piamonte hazelnut mousse, accompanied by a compot of passion fruit. Santa dives his head in. // www.vincentguerlais.com

Vincent Guerlais. Christmas Magic (Limited Edition)

 

15. Julien Álvarez, Peninsula Hotel, Paris, Christmas Leaves. Inspired by the hotel architecture, this elegant work is full of exotic flavours (perhaps also inspired by the origins of the hotel group in Hong Kong), including a crunchy base of coconut and caramelized puffed rice, a chocolate cream and a raspberry compote with coconut mousseusse. // https://paris.peninsula.com

 Julien Alvarez, Peninsula Hotel, Paris, Christmas Leaves

 

16. Arnaud Larher. “Santa Claus Sleigh” has a dreamy and magical appearance, very striking for our little ones. Its flavours are delicate and sweet, with ingredients such as almond streussel, crunchy praline, bitter chocolate cream and black chocolate Gianduja. The upper part of the cake has a Gianduja chantilly. The Christmas balls also contain a surprise of vanilla candies. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] // https://arnaudlarher.com

Arnaud Larher. “Santa Claus Sleigh”

 

17. Fréderic Cassel and the “Christmas Teddy Bear”. From Fontainebleau comes this kindly little bear made of hazelnut crumble, soft caramel, vanilla ice cream, salted buttered caramel, and caramelized Pecan nuts. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] /www.frederic-cassel.com

 Fréderic Cassel and the “Christmas Teddy Bear”

 

18. Emmanuel Hamon. St Sophia Kiev Log. With one foot planted in Eastern Europe and Russia, Emmanuel Hamon creates this pale log with a litchi base, strawberry cream, raspberry compot and grapefruit cake. This is one of his most recent creations from his business in Brest, which he will soon close to dedicate himself entirely to the position of consultant chef and ambassador to the chocolate firm, Casa Luker. // www.patisseriehamonemmanuel.com

Emmanuel Hamon. St Sophia Kiev Log

 

19. Eric Vergne. Monteviso. From Belfort comes this sinuous log with almond cake, lemon punch, Peruvian chocolate mousse, yellow lemon peel and Piemonte hazelnut praline mousse. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] // www.patisserie-vergne.fr

Eric Vergne. Monteviso

 

20. Sébastien Bouillet, Casse Noisette. The pastry chef from Lyon offers us a new creation, a log with a dark and milk chocolate base, crème brulée of spiced bread, compot of Bergeron apricots and toasted hazelnut sponge. Imperial guard included. /www.chocolatier-bouillet.com

Sébastien Bouillet, Casse Noisette

 

21. Pierre Hermé, Norwegien Satin Omelette is a playful mix of hot and cold, between a meringue flambé on the outside and an interior of ice cream with a interesting mix of flavours with ingredients such as cream cheese, orange coulis, passion fruit sorbet, a soaked sponge cake , and a meringue fired with Grand Marnier in the last moment before serving. /www.pierreherme.com

Pierre Hermé, Norwegien Satin Omelette

 

22. Pierre Hermé, Winter Solstice. Another spectacular work from this French genius. The structure for the cake was inspired by the Paineiras plantation in Brazil and has an aesthetic obviously inspired by the Christmas Cake. It contains an almond spongy cake, a dark chocolate praline feuilleté, with leaves, ganache and chantilly from Pure Origin Brazil Plantation Paineiras. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] // www.pierreherme.com

 Pierre Hermé, Winter Solstice

 

23. Thierry Mulhaupt, Avellana Log. From Strasbourg comes this work dedicated to the hazelnuts that cultivated in Burgundy. A dacquoise, a crisp sheet, and a paté choux decoration are hazelnut flavoured. A chocolate mousse of Loma Sotavento 72% dark chocolate completes the work. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] // www.mulhaupt.fr

Thierry Mulhaupt, Avellana Log

 

24. Lionel Raux, Flocon Log. We travel to Bayonne to meet this Christmas offering, a snow-filled countryside with profiteroles, and a hazelnut sponge, a speculoos sablé, vanilla cream, and creamly caramelised blond chocolate. [Relais Desserts – Gala Peninsula] /www.patisserieraux.fr

Lionel Raux, Flocon Log

 

25. Alain Chartier, L’Ecorce is an ice cream offering from Vannes, through which we can enjoy a sorbet of Ronce raspberries, sorbet of Plougastel strawberries, ice cream made from sea water, caramel, Viennese caramelised hazelnut sponge, all iced in chocolate and decorated with chocolate tree bark shapes. /www.alainchartier.fr

Alain Chartier, L’Ecorce

 

26. (Bonus Track) William and Suzue Curley, Black Forest slips into our compilation of French pastry chefs because, despite being from London, they work with a very pâtisserie style. A good example is this log that they recently created, inspired by the classic Black Forest. /www.williamcurley.com

William and Suzue Curley, Black Forest