For many people, the holiday season means parties and gifts, as well as snow and cold. For others, however, this time of year is all about the food. That is especially true in France, where there are plenty of dishes and delicacies that are only enjoyed around the holidays. One such item is the ‘bûche de Noël,’ French for the ‘yule log.’
The bûche de Noël is a decadent dessert that combines cake and frosting in a way that is similar to a fancy Swiss roll. Of course, there are many variations of the traditional yule log, with some recipes using buttercream or ganache instead of frosting. Other elements, like nuts and fruits — or even pralines and macarons — can also be incorporated into the cake.
One of the best parts about being in Paris around Christmastime is the variety of shops offering their own versions of yule logs for visitors to try. Guests staying at the Hôtel de la Tour Maubourg can experience this firsthand during their holiday stay in the City of Light. Most shops have already begun selling their bûches de Noël, and the desserts will continued to be stocked until the holidays are over.
Some of the most notable contributions come from celebrity chefs like Cyril Lignac, who has a pastry shop in the 16th arrondissement called Pâtisserie by Lignac, and well-known baker Eric Kayser, whose shop La Maison Kayser has locations all around the city. World-renowned food specialists like La Durée and Dalloyau have also prepared for the yule log season with enough cake to keep the crowds tamed.
There are a multitude of options, and visitors will find that almost every bakery in the city has a standard yule log, and those willing to do a little exploring will find some truly fantastic renditions of the classic Christmas cake.