The Bûche de Noël may be seen as somewhat kitschy in America, but in Paris, pastry chefs take the traditional Christmas cake quite seriously. And to up the ante on the dessert’s appearance, they’re enlisting some big-name fashion folk.
Chocolatier Lenôtre was the first to pair with designers including Lolita Lempicka, Karl Lagerfeld, Nathalie Rykiel and Hubert de Givenchy. This year, Kenzo Takada worked with pastry chef Guy Krenzer to create a Zen-and-bamboo theme cake made with green-tea almond paste and chestnut, orange and adzuki flavors. “Every year, it’s like a dream come true,” says Krenzer.
Meanwhile, the belle epoque pastry shop Angelina tried its hand at designer desserts for the first time this season. Pastry chef Sebastien Bauer and young designer Alexis Mabille created an elegant, velvet-looking chocolate log with chestnut, apple, green lemon and yuzu flavors, decorated with a silver bow tie. Mabille explains it’s only normal the fashion crowd is interested in sweets. “Pastries are colorful, playful. Women like that,” he reasons rather nonchalantly.
Jérôme Chaucesse went so far as to channel the designers themselves in his confections for the Crillon hotel. His log is shaped like a bow tie in homage to Alber Elbaz’s signature accessory and comes in three flavors.
But champion pastry chef Christophe Michalak looked no further than his own workplace for inspiration. His Bûche de Noël for the Plaza Athénée is a red-carpet stairway log to match the chic image of the Parisian hotel.