Yule log / bûche de Noël

buche one.jpg

Yule logs, called bûches de Noël here, are big in France over the Christmas holidays.  They’re light and creamy and concorde beautifully with a glass or two of sparkling champagne.  Baked in every pâtisserie around the country, they come in different sizes and flavours.  My favourite flavour is chestnut.  I was watching New York Times cook and food writer, Melissa Clark, make her yule log and thought it would be fun to compare her log with the log of a French chef.

What Melissa didn’t do, but the French chef did, once the cake was rolled up and also before it was rolled, was to brush it generously with a syrup made of sugared water and Cointreau.  This moistens the cake and gives it added flavour.  If children are eating the log, substitute the Cointreau with a mélange of sugared water, orange zest, vanilla pod and cinnamon stick.  The French chef then rolled up his cake a lot tighter than Melissa did hers (I thought her roll-up was a bit loose).  But what’s interesting is the icing.  The French chef used a pastry piping bag and piped a fine line of icing onto the cake.  This is neater than using a spatula.  He made the whole operation look, well, effortless. 

4 thoughts on “Yule log / bûche de Noël

    • As much as I like fruitcake or the traditional Christmas plum pudding that I ate as a child, this is by far a lighter dessert alternative.

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