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French Pastry Tradition: The Holidays

French pastries in Lafayette, LA are steeped in history, the epitome of elegance, , and (of course) full of flavor.  The French have enjoyed centuries of being at the forefront of high-end patisserie and revolutionized what the world thinks of as dessert, but there are few things that taste more delicious and bring the holidays home like traditional desserts made by a loved one or the talented pastry chef at a local small business.  Like many cultures, the French have their own holiday desserts and traditions, some going back centuries.  Traditional holiday French pastries in Lafayette, LA often include the croquembouche (a pastry made of crispy choux buns, filled with cream, and held together with caramelized sugar), the classic French madeleines (a wonderful, buttery, bite-sized cake with a distinct shape), and the folksy Buche de Noel (a soft, rolled sponge cake filled with chocolate buttercream and decorated like a fallen log).   

The croquembouche is a towering confection that is sure to impress in both flavor and stature.  Traditional at French weddings, this French pastry in Lafayette, LA has taken on the roll of centerpiece at the holiday table.  Historically gracing the tables of French nobility for special occasions, the croquembouche has become a global treat. 

The French madeleines are a special, bite-sized French pastry in Lafayette, LA that uses a special sponge cake batter known as a genoise sponge.  A genoise sponge gets its structure and light texture from whipped egg whites that are gently folded into the batter.  Madeleines get their distinct shape from pans with a shell-shaped depression.  A well-made madeleine has a slight hump in the center after baking and comes cleanly out of the pan.  These bite-sized pastries can be eaten dipped in coffee, espresso, or hot cocoa and make the perfect treat for your holiday mornings.

A folksy Buche de Noel simply screams holiday with its appearance.  Also called a “Yule log,” this French confection takes from the Pagan tradition of burning logs decorated with holly, ivy, or pinecones to cleanse out the old year and ring in the new.  As times changed, so did the tradition of the buche de noel.  This cake pays homage to this ancient tradition by being shaped and decorated like a yule log, complete with buttercream holly, meringue mushrooms, chocolate bark, and more.