I figured it was too late to post about my first bûche de Noël experience before I left NYC to spend the holidays with my family in Ohio, but since Blondie & Brownie revealed that Financier is still selling them, it looks like I’m good to go.
Being from the Midwest and being very much culturally sheltered, I had no idea what a bûche de Noël was until my office decided on a whim to order a couple of cakes from the downtown Financier Patisserie the week before Christmas. When I called at 3 p.m., the order-taker told me that they were down to a couple of roll cakes, one in white chocolate and one in Grand Marnier. I told her I’d take them, but she kept stressing that these were not normal cakes and kept asking if I was sure I wanted them. I was like, “Lady, cake is cake.”
But no! A traditional bûche de Noël is a French sponge cake rolled up with frosting to resemble a log, complete with buttercream bark, meringue mushrooms, and protruding branches (made of chocolate, in this case). The Grand Marnier version was entirely untraditional, but the mound of berry-flavored mousse was no less delicious.
I usually think Financier’s cakes are too light and fluffy to really count as a decadent dessert (because I’m a glutton), but the yule log was a total exception and one that I’ll look forward to next year. It seems like the woman at Financier shouldn’t have been warning me about the cake but should’ve been asking why I wasn’t buying all three.
Is this something normal, non-Midwestern people often eat for Christmas?