Let’s start with the first word: what exactly is a “Yule?” Yule was a winter festival celebrated by Germanic peoples, which was later absorbed into Christianity and today has become synonymous with Christmas or the Christmas season.
The original Yule log was an actual log, more specifically an entire tree that was burned during Yule, with part of the tree placed in the hearth and the rest left sticking out into the room (I don’t recommend trying that).
At some point some very crafty, very festive individual decided to make a cake that looked like a Yule log and that became a classic Christmas-time dessert, known in France as bûche de Noël.
Traditionally Yule logs are made of genoise or sponge cake covered with chocolate buttercream and then rolled into a log. The outside of the cake is covered in more chocolate buttercream, sometimes textured to resemble bark, and other garnishes like powdered sugar and mistletoe are often added to bolster its wintery Yuleness.
If you’re interested in bringing a Yule log to any of your holiday get-togethers, you can pick one up at La Parisienne French Bakery in Morro Bay. Owner Debra Mouret offers four different varieties: a white cake Yule log with either raspberry, lemon, or coffee buttercream filling, or a chocolate cake Yule log with chocolate buttercream filling (anything that has chocolate and butter in its name should probably be purchased and consumed without hesitation). The Yule logs sell for $17.50 and are available now through Christmas.
La Parisienne is located at 1140 Front St. in Morro Bay and can be reached at 772-8530.
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