The splendid Bûche de Noël (literally translated: Christmas Log) is a French pastry tradition; a festive and decadent dessert that is meant to look like the type of firelog that you might saw down in the mighty Canadian woods for a holiday hearth. Served at holiday parties and Christmas dinner, they’re so much a part of our holiday tradition that they warrant the lede in this article about Christmas in Montreal from the New York Times. Read on to find out where you’ll find Montreal’s Best Buches…
The Bûche is created by taking a typical roulade cake (long, flat cake iced with cream filling), rolling it up to look like, well, the aforementioned log, and decorating it with forest-y details such as caramel moss and meringue mushrooms. In other words, the cutest thing ever. And since they’re very portable, why not buy one and bring it back to the hotel for a Christmas-y Montreal treat?
Montreal’s French roots and creative spirit means that we have some very creative iterations of the Bûche de Noël in restaurants and patisseries around town—we like the traditionalist Yule logs, but also like to mix it up a bit for some crazy flavours.
Les Givrés, a new ice-cream parlour on St-Denis, has five special desserts for the holidays, including a “campfire” bûche with caramel, chocolate glaze and grilled homemade marshmallows, and an “igloo” (not a bûche, but still awesome) made of vanilla-macaroon ice cream and maple ice cream.
Patisserie Rhubarbe, a tiny patisserie tucked away in the Plateau, offers a whole menu of holiday treats that are twists on traditional French recipes: There’s a St-Honoré cake (choux pastry and buttercream) made with clementines and chocolate, and another made with chestnuts, as well as a pear-yogurt–hazelnut bûche and a caramel-coffee-chocolate bûche. And trust us, their treats are worth the trip.
Fous Desserts on Laurier have a famous chestnut-and-shortbread bûche, as well as a whole host of other flavours. They do holiday degustations and recommend that you book your buche ahead. And finally, a beautiful, classic Bûche de Noël can be purchased at bakeries like Patisserie de Gascogne, which has locations all over the city.
Happy holidays and Bonne Bûche!