French Class: A Twist on Tradition
By April Stillwell, Class of 2025
Each year in my French class at Oakwood School, to celebrate the New Year, student volunteer bakers create a little twist on the traditional holiday cake, Bûche de Noël, by calling it Bûche de la Nouvelle Année. It is a delicious way to taste culture and create shared memories. This engaging experience adds a delightful and interactive aspect to our learning of the French language and enhances the overall class experience after the holiday break.
Over the past six years, I have had the pleasure of baking a Bûche de Noël for our French class. It is a classic chocolate cake that is shaped and decorated to resemble a Yule Log, often being made of a sponge cake rolled with a chocolate whipped cream. The Bûche de Noël’s baking process, while not lengthy, must be done with extreme care. Precision is crucial when dealing with egg whites in the cake batter in making sure to avoid being over-beaten or under-beaten, as it can adversely affect the cake. After baking, while the cake is still warm, you must delicately roll the sponge cake into a log shape. Rolling the cake before the frosting ensures the cake takes on a log shape without cracking when later rerolling. Once the sponge cake has cooled, you must unroll the cake, frost it with chocolate whipping cream, then reroll, and decorate it according to your desired appearance.
Have a look at our 2024 creations from our Chef Patissiers!
French I bakers:
French II bakers:
French III baker:
French IV baker: