It is traditional in France to have a bûche for Christmas — a yule log in gloriously squidgy cake form. They are rather expensive and I didn't think we needed a whole one, so instead I bought a buchette each. These were two hefty slices from a Black Forest bûche, but buchettes also come in complete mini bûche form, decorated with silver miniature axes.
For this sort of fancy cake I always go to the boulangerie pâtisserie 'down the hill'. Aurelien, the young pâtissière, is a formidable pastry cook and Sophie, his wife, is a real sweetie. When I went in for the buchettes, and some meringues for our Christmas pavlova I was able to congratulate them on their latest achievement - a baby girl, born on 1 December and named Tia.