A Parisian Christmas

A Parisian Christmas

Like most European countries, in France, the main celebration takes place on Christmas Eve. As you would expect, the French Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals are extravagant and elaborate. Most common starters will include smoked salmon, foie gras, pâté on toast or blinis, snails, oysters, prawns and many other varieties of seafood.

A popular tradition for French natives is petit fours, which are pastries filled with a variety of different ingredients – cheese, meat, salmon. Something that is very on trend in France is an amuse bouche “Verines”,a small glass filled with either sweet or savoury ingredients.

The main meal itself includes turkey with accompaniments such as roasted potatoes, vegetables, mash potatoes and homemade chips. But it is also very common for people to cook guinea fowl, capon, game bird and duck.

For dessert, the traditional “Bûche de Noël” would be served. Other common desserts would include a fruit salad, ginger bread along with any type of cakes/patisserie, chocolates and clementine's.

Bûche de Noël


  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • ¾ cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted, cooled
  • 2tablespoons caster sugar, extra
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam
  • 300mlthickened cream, whipped
  • Icing sugar mixture, to decorate


  • 180g block dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream


  1. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C (fan-forced).
  2. Grease a baking tray with sides. Line base and sides with baking paper.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar for 6to 8 minutes or until thick and creamy (mixture will form ribbons when falling from beaters).
  4. Fold in sifted flour and cocoa until just combined. Fold in chocolate. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading gently to level.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until just firm to touch.
  6. Meanwhile, dust a sheet of baking paper that's slightly larger than the pan with extra sugar. Turn out cake immediately onto paper. Remove lining paper. Using paper as a guide, roll up from 1 short end. Wrap in a clean tea towel and set aside to cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile, make the Ganache: Place chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a metal spoon every 30 seconds, or until smooth and combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until a thick spreadable consistency.
  8. Unroll cake. Trim edges to neaten, if required.
  9. Leaving a 2cm border, spread cake with jam, then top with cream. Roll up cake to enclose filling. Discard paper.
  10. Place on a serving plate. Spread ganache all-over cake. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until just starting to set. Run a fork through the ganache to resemble wood. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ganache is set.
  11. Dust liberally with icing sugar. Serve


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