Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Antlers festooned with gold leaf

For some reason I have been obsessed these last few weeks with the idea of eating a delicious slice of bûche de noël. Chocolate buttercream icing! Obsessed to the point that I have enlisted my friend E. to obtain one from a fancy bakery and bring it to Christmas dinner at my mother's house...

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.

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.
Happy holidays!


  1. Hunters and strange. I would say math is needed in farming while hunting relies on instinct. Doesn't the farm go hand in hand with complex architecture (pyramids, temples)? The farm also goes hand in hand with interest, as in bank interest. Faulkner, in The Bear, understands that the Compsons of the world invented farms AND banks so that they would not have to know "what this boy was born knowing." Then again, numbers are so important to the Nomads, many of whom are hunters, cf. Deleuze on Deuteronomy and the Book of Numbers. Good old St. Hubert, too complicated for me. Merry Christmas!

  2. I saw a beautiful one at Zingerman's a few days ago - pricey though!