Sunday, December 28, 2014

La bûche de noël

I know that Ken already posted a photo of our Christmas cake, the traditional French yule log. But I took some pictures, too, so here they are. This year we ordered our bûche from the local baker, who advertised that he would be taking orders. Ours was a coffee flavored butter cream cake for four people. Turns out, it would have easily served eight.

A slice of the yule log, with a sugar candy mushroom on top.

Just before Christmas, we watched a program on television about the traditional bûche de noël and how they are mostly industrially made these days. Even the ones in pastry shops are either frozen then thawed, or made from kits supplied by factories. We feared the worst.

The whole cake, before we cut into it.

But, as it turns out, it seemed to us that this one was indeed made by our baker. At least, that's what we choose to believe. The cake tasted and looked home-made, as did the frosting. And the decorations didn't seem commercial enough. And, in the end, it tasted delicious. So, if we were fooled, so be it.


  1. wow , waht an amzing cake and decorated so nice

  2. A coffee bûche de noël, what a lovely idea and a change from the usual chocolate. It does indeed look home made and delicious.
    Have you ever made one yourself?

  3. I'm positive that you two know enough to tell industrial from small-batch baked goods, so your word is good enough for me. It looks good and rich.

  4. That looks delicious! We also bought one this year at our local bakery. We then forgot we had it and didn't put it out with the other desserts after Christmas dinner. So we've been suffering through it by ourselves. Woe is us.

  5. That really looks to be a hand-made Swiss Roll. Commercial "butter cream" is a million miles off the real thing - laden with palm oil and goodness knows what. Lucky you! Enjoy! Pauline (envious)

  6. Oh boy oh boy oh boy... coffee-flavored butter cream? Fabulous. Love this one. I'll have to share the photos with my kids. (I had never heard of a Bûche de Noël until I lived in France... or, maybe even after coming home and becoming a French teacher! Can it be? I think so. I don't remember my French teachers including all that much culture... I had never even heard of the Loire Valley châteaux. (I make up for that big time with my kids *LOL*).

  7. This does look good. I actually really like the traditional butter cream "bûches," but the rest of the family is more into fancy ones from real pâtissiers, which are also excellent. I have also tasted homemade ones, but just once or twice.

  8. leon, lol. You must use the term "coffee cake" the same way we do...

    gosia, yes. Simple but nice.

    jean, we almost got a praline cake, but Ken went for coffee at the last minute. I'm glad he did! I have made them before, but it's been a few years. I may decide to do one next year.

    carolyn, I don't know about that, but that's my guess!

    mitch, it's good to know that you're willing to make the big sacrifices!

    pauline, true, and this did not taste at all industrial.

    judy, I don't remember when I first heard of the bûche, but they must have been on display in the bakeries at Christmas time. I'm always amazed at learning something that, in retrospect, I heard/saw for years without knowing (I'm too lazy to go back and fix that sentence, but I think you know what I mean).

    betty, they do come in all shapes and flavors these days, don't they!

    mark, ho ho ho!


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