Around the (Sofitel) World in 71 Bûches de Noël

By now you should know that I have quite a sweet tooth so it should come as no surprise that the highlight of my Christmas meal is always dessert. And not just any dessert… Since Pierre Hermé refuses to open a shop in the United States, I have learned to live without his wonderful limited edition golden Christmas-time foie gras macarons. But I couldn’t imagine the holidays without a (non-chocolate) bûche de Noël. Typically, this classic French dessert looks like a log ready for the fire, thus its American name of Yule Log. But the greatest pastry chefs take liberties with its traditional look and often create original masterpieces. One of my favourite bûche ever was this elegant bamboo-like collaboration between Lenôtre and designer KenzoAlmost too pretty to eat right? Almost 😉

Almost too pretty to eat describes many of the entries in the Sofitel Hotels’ Christmas Trophy 2012 competition. To introduce its guests to this delicious French tradition, the luxury hotel chain is pitting its different locations against one another in a sweet quest to see whose chef and culinary team can make the best and most original bûche in the world. While French in its core, every Sofitel Hotel is entrenched in the culture of where it is located. And with 200 locations in 53 countries, that local culture is reflected in many different ways and I think Washington did a great job this year creating a beautiful dessert that screams out we just had a presidential election! 

What do you think? 

Sofitel Lafayette Square’s 2012 bûche de Noël – picture courtesy Peter Stepanek for Sofitel

Cherry blossoms… elephants and donkeys, monuments… a little touristy and cliché, peut-être… but I still think pastry Chef Vincent Bitauld did a great job capturing the essence of the district. If you agree (or just want to support our very own Sofitel against the other 70 hotels competing) then become a fan on facebook and vote for it!! While you’re there, look at all the stunning edible creations these pastry chefs came up with. My favourites of all are actually the one from Fès, in Morocco, and the one from Sofitel Wanda Beijing in China… but chut, don’t tell Sofitel Washington, D.C. I said that 😉

ps: while you won’t be able to enjoy Chef Bitauld’s gorgeous creation on your Christmas table, he’ll make you a traditional buche in chocolate, coffee or Grand Marnier Butter Cream. if you’re a little more adventurous, there’s some original mousse flavours too like pear caramel (miam!)  or Green Apple Coconut and they’re not too expensive ($25 for 6 people and $40 for 12). Just call the Sofitel Lafayette Square to order. 

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