December 17, 2009

8 Days to Go: Joyeux Noel avec une Buche de Noel

Since going to Francois Chocolate Bar, we have been eagerly awaiting holiday season to order a Payard Buche de Noel.

The Buche de Noel (translation:  Christmas log) is a traditional French Christmas dessert.  Traditionally, they are made of sponge cake, covered with chocolate, and made to look like a log with branches, leaves, and meringue mushrooms.

Payard's Buche de Noel, however, is not an ordinary Christmas log.  We first saw Payard's creation when Bobby Flay challenged Chef Francois Payard to a Buche de Noel Throwdown.

It looked so delicious that we ordered one last Christmas and have tried to keep the tradition ever since then. So we headed out to Butterfield Market and placed our order.

Our first Christmas present of the year!

We had chosen the "Louvre" flavor - which we knew would be wonderful after having the "Louvre" pastry at Francois Chocolate Bar.

Isn't it beautiful?!

The Louvre Buche de Noel ($28 for the small) is filled with rich layers of chocolate mousse, hazelnut mousse, hazelnut dacquoise (a light preparation made with egg whites and hazelnuts, almost like a meringue), and hazelnut wafers covered in dark chocolate.

Though traditionalists may frown at the design, we would take Payard's macrons over meringue mushrooms any day!

We love the sleek design of the log, including the gold flecks on top that give the cake a glamorous, festive look.  And inside?  Oh, it was soft and fluffy, yet rich and decadent.  It's an indulgence that would make for a perfect centerpiece or contribution for a holiday get-together.

Payard's Buches de Noel come in three flavors:  Louvre Log, Chestnut Log (as seen above, with chestnut mousse filled with green tea and yuzu citrus, milk chocolate leaves, and vanilla almond pound cake) and the Berries log (not pictured, but imagine a pink log with white chocolate on the ends and filled with sable breton, manjari chocolate mousse, berries cremeux, and black chocolate sponge).

To place orders, visit Butterfield Market (114 Lexington, btwn 77th and 78th Sts.) or call 212.772.8782, ext. 3.  Orders need to be placed by Mon. Dec 22nd by 5pm as the last pick-up date is Christmas Eve. 

Joyeux Noel!!


  1. this looks so decadent... great tradition

  2. @A Year on the Grill: Thanks! Wish we could actually make this! =)


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