French Christmas cake “Bûche de Noël” cooking in Oyamazaki – 大山崎町でフランスのクリスマスケーキ「ブッシュ・ド・ノエル」の料理教室

Alice from KPIC!

Tonight is Christmas Eve! How are you going to spend your evening?
I went back to France for the holidays this year, so tonight I will be eating the French traditional Christmas cake called “Bûche de Noël”. It’s shaped like a log and uses either chocolate or chestnut cream traditionally, even if recently you can find strawberry or white chocolate “bûches” as well.

In ancient times when there was no electricity, people needed to find a way to have light and warmth during the long Christmas Eve until Christmas day on the 25th. Therefore, people needed to find a big enough log to put in the fireplace that could last for many hours; and nowadays this tradition remains in the shape of the traditional Christmas cake.




Oyamazaki 14

Cooking the bûche ブッシュを作る

As the season was right, I decided to bake a bûche de noel with chestnut cream and sugar-coated chestnuts together with the participants in this month’s cooking class in Oyamazaki.
Christmas cakes seem to be popular because we had 20 people join this time. We first started by cooking the bûche because it needs to cool down as much as possible before eating it. Usually you should leave it in the fridge all night and eat it the next day but we only cooled it down for a few hours.

Participants were really eager to make a beautiful cake so they successfully completed the different steps and put the cake to cool down.


Oyamazaki 2014

Introducing Christmas habits in Europe ヨーロッパにおけるクリスマスの習慣について説明

In the meantime, I held a small presentation about Christmas habits in France and in Europe. In France, Christmas Eve’s meal always ends with the bûche. Everyone usually also has an advent calendar in their homes to enjoy chocolate or sweets every day until Cristmas. Recently, other brands have started making their own calendars, so you can find advent calendars with makeup, toys, tea or alcohol for example.


Eve calendar イブカレンダー

Eve calendar

Other European countries also have very interesting habits, such as Finland where people usually drop by the cemetery on Christmas Eve to light their dead ones’ tombs with candles, or Bulgaria where women use the occasion to give bread to the man they like. In the North of Europe, it’s often San Nicolas and not Santa who brings presents on December 6th, whereas it’s a witch called La Befana who makes children happy in January in the South of Italy for example.


Preparing the bûches ブッシュを飾る

Preparing the bûches

Bûche made by the participants 参加者が作ったブッシュ

Bûche made by the participants

We were then pretty hungry so we cooked the lunch menu, a meunière fish (cooked in butter) and some mashed potatoes.
It was then time to decorate the bûches. I had brought some cake decorations in sugar from France which were really popular among the participants. Everybody was so dedicated to decorate their cakes that time flew by and it was time to eat our artworks before ending the day.

Bûche made by the participants 参加者が作ったブッシュ

Bûche made by the participants


It was my first time to try and bake my own Bûche de Noël but it was a lot of fun to do it with everyone and see what kind of cake they would come up with in the end.
See you next year for more fun French cuisine!


Oyamazaki 2014

Merry Christmas! メリークリスマス!



French cooking class and seminar in Oyamazaki – 大山崎町でのフランス料理教室と理解講座

On December 18th, I did a French cooking class and seminar in Oyamazaki Town. Given it was my 3rd time going there I knew some of the participants and the atmosphere was really relaxed.


Preparing the vegetables 野菜を準備する

Preparing the vegetables

We first started with the cooking. This time I chose to do some “petits farçis niçois” or meat stuffed vegetables. It’s a typical meal in the south of France, especially around Nice or in the Provence area. It’s also really healthy given that you have meat, vegetables and rice all in the same dish.
We used tomatoes, zucchinis and red and yellow peppers that we stuffed with meat seasoned with garlic and Provence herbs. At the bottom of the dish you put some rice so it cooks together with the vegetables in the oven and develops a particular flavor as it absorbs the juices released by the vegetables when they cook.

まずは料理から始めました。今回は「Petits farçis niçois」という「ニースの野菜の肉詰め」を作りました。南フランス、特にニース市やプロバンス地域でとても人気な名物です。また、一つのおかずで野菜、肉、米が全て摂れるので健康的な料理となります。

Presenting the Gironde area - ジロンド県を紹介する

Presenting the Gironde area – ジロンド県を紹介する

While the food was cooking I did a short presentation about the Gironde area, the department where Bordeaux, my hometown, is located.
I started by presenting the different sceneries. Indeed, Gironde’s Atlantic coastline is more than 100km long and boasts many beautiful beaches that are famous for surfing. We even have a world surfing competition that takes place every summer.
The Gironde area is also famous for its wine, but also for its numerous medieval villages and historical ruins: while sipping wine in the various wineries along the way, you can visit many churches, abbeys and fortified towns as well to polish your knowledge of history.


Many events also take place throughout the year in the Gironde region too. Some events will take you back to the medieval ages (the Saint Macaire festival), others to the 20th century (Soulac 1900), others focus on culture with concerts, poetry, theater, dance or circus performances (Les scenes d’ete en Gironde), one gives you the opportunity to run among the vineyards in strange costumes (The Medoc Marathon) etc. Everybody can find something to enjoy!
The Gironde area also boasts many delicious treats. It is the homeland of duck cuisine (magret, confit and foie gras), caneles and almond macarons (you will never find those in Paris!).

また、ジロンド県では一年中色々なイベントが開催されます。例えば中世時代の祭り(サン・マケール市の祭り)もあれば20世紀にタイムスリップできるお祭り(Soulac 1900)もあります。コンサート、詩の朗読会、演劇、サーカス、ダンスなど文化を中心としたイベント(Les scenes d’ete en Gironde)があり、仮装して葡萄畑を走るイベント(メドック・マラソン)もあります。必ず好みに合うイベントを見つけることができます!

The food was then cooked so it was time to fry some French toast for dessert and enjoy our hard work! Everybody loved it, especially the lovely presentation of the vegetables – perfect when receiving friends for lunch or dinner at home.
Looking forward to meet everyone again next year!


Bon appetit! - いただきます!

Bon appetit! - いただきます!