The Christmas Log, by top French boulangerie-pâtisserie

The Snop House and its exclusive partner, Le Grenier a Pain are eager to demonstrate gastronomical French excellence

The Williams Christmas Log
The Williams Christmas Log

Just like many other countries, the festive months of December and January in France are a continuous joyful stream of family meals and public holidays.

The Snop House and exclusive partner Le Grenier a Pain are eager to demonstrate gastronomical French excellence by means of their products as well as their stellar hospitality. Here they are, to teach us about some facets of the French traditions, with the first being the famous Christmas Log.

Christmas remains a widely celebrated feast in France as a family tradition. For the occasion, a Christmas tree is decorated with baubles and garlands and nativity scenes usually feature, too.

On Christmas Eve, the French celebrate with a large family meal and then proceed to attend midnight mass. Christmas gifts are traditionally distributed after dinner of the following morning.

The shining star of the meal, presented as dessert, is the Christmas Log. The Christmas Log tradition was widespread in Europe, even before electricity was introduced. Originally linked to the winter solstice, many used to burn a large trunk or stump, on the longest night of the year. The selected piece of wood was usually selected from the woods, which was full to the brim with fruit trees, such as cherry, walnut, chestnut, olive and oak.

Leon Lhermite. Monde illustré 1884
Leon Lhermite. Monde illustré 1884

Depending on the religion, the log burnt on Christmas Eve or until Epiphany. Alternatively, it burnt until Epiphany or 12 days later, as a representative for the 12 months of the year. Then, the log was called Yule, Licht, ceppo or trefeu, depending on the region.

When did the Christmas Log appear as a dessert?

The cake we all know and love began making an appearance around 1870. Despite pastry chefs disagreeing about authorship, many had the idea of the Log being a rolled sponge cake, with the pattern of a tree branch, and forest decorations.

Facebook / Lenôtre
Facebook / Lenôtre

At the time, Christmas desserts were rich in terms of ingredients, such as thin pies or puddings in the UK, Stollen in Germany or Panettone in Italy. In France, many dishes are served on Christmas, due to the adage ‘abundance promises abundance.’ Nowadays, the Christmas Log is part of the old culinary traditions of the nativity celebration.

They were often made of buttercream and flavoured with mocha or ice cream. Nowadays, the cake is made in the form of a fruit mousse, chocolate sponge cake, iced nougat or tiramisu. Rendez-vous by The Snop and Le Grenier a Pain are definitely not afraid to take some risks in terms of their desserts. However, when it comes to the traditional Christmas Log, they offer dessert-enthusiasts four kinds of Logs, which will not only delight your eyes but your papillae too!

This year, the brilliant team of French pastry chefs at Le Grenier a Pain are excited for their versions of Christmas Logs to feature on your family Christmas table.

Presented either in single portions, or to share with your loved ones, in portions ranging from 4-6, to 8-10 people, the Logs are the following:

The Framboisine

Made with delectable pistachio financier, raspberry bavarois, raspberry jelly and pistachio mousse

The Desir

Made with crispy crumble, delicious vanilla sponge, vanilla and white chocolate bavarois and strawberry jelly

The Royale

Vanilla crème brulee, praline crispy feuillantine, chocolate mousse and chocolate macaron

The Williams

Delightful chocolate brownie, caramel fondant, caramelised pecan and pear bavarois

Have a different Christmas this year with Le Grenier a Pain and Rendez-vous by The Snop. You can pre-order your new favourite desserts online, two days prior, here.

Find them here: Rendez-vous by The Snop, 21 bis Victory Street, Senglea (Isla)

Or 58, Triq il-Kummerċ, Mrieħel Industrial Estate, Qormi

Or Balluta Buildings, Triq il-Kbira, San Ġiljan

Or Karizia Building, 69 Triq Ġorġ Borg Olivier, Mellieħa