In the Times today, Steven Erlanger and Basil Katz weigh on the Parisian culture of the over-the-top bûche:
Lenôtre actually hires a prominent designer — this year, Hubert de Givenchy — to create a special bûche. Given that St. Hubert is the patron saint of hunters (and of mathematicians, by the way, but of course you knew that), Mr. Givenchy designed a cake with two stag heads at each end, cast in clear sugar like crystal, their antlers festooned with gold leaf like a Buddha and lighted from underneath by two tiny LED lamps that last 12 hours.Happy holidays!
The flavor is chocolate, sourced from Tanzania, Ghana and São Tomé and Príncipe, with a hint of Earl Gray tea. And it is swathed in chocolate colored and textured to look like maroon velvet.
There is a golden ribbon of pulled sugar, “like Murano glass,” and, of course, the Givenchy signature on a chocolate plaque. Don’t forget the light dusting of 22-karat gold.