BÛCHE DE NOËL
This yule log cake (essentially a sponge cake shaped like a log) is popular in francophone countries so, of course, Nadège Patisserie is making them this year, five kinds, in fact (each starting at $42, serving six).
Sculpted like modern works of art and in flavours like chocolate pecan brownie with a hint of maple and a creamy coffee panna cotta citrus biscuit with grapefruit, lime and orange coulis chocolate and pomegranate pistachio and cherry jam and lime and strawberry, they’re a sure-fire way to give your appetite a second wind.
780 Queen West, 416-368-2009 1099 Yonge, 416-968-2011 50 Bloor West (inside Holt’s) 3401 Dufferin (inside Holt’s), nadege-patisserie.com, @NadegeToronto
The German equivalent of the fruitcake is more akin to bread stuffed with dried fruit, nuts and marzipan (almond paste) and covered in powdered sugar. Head to local bread-maker Dimpflmeier Bakery‘s retail shop for a plain version and variations like rum and cinnamon that come in multiple sizes ($2.25 to $8.95).
26-36 Advance, 416-236-2701, dimpflmeierbakery.com, @Dimpflmeier
The dome-shaped sweet bread is an Italian favourite that’s also enjoyed in France, Switzerland, Spain and Malta and even as far as Peru. Italian bakery Sud Forno makes the classic version and a few others like a chocolate-hazelnut and lemon variety ($30) that’s beautifully packaged and ready to hand over to the dinner host.
716 Queen West, 416-504-7667, sudforno.com