Words and shots by Joe McPherson
“This is the first Buche I’ve made in Korea.”
Buche de Noel is a traditional French Christmas cake. Chef Hausser spreads freshly whipped raspberry cream into a mold, layers it with thin crumbly sheets of cookie and gelled raspberry coulis, covers it in even more cream and refrigerates it to set before finishing. As the head of pastry for Apgujeong’s authentic French bakery Guillame, he plans his series of buche to compete with the over-the-top Christmas cakes that are the centerpieces of Korean yuletide.
Eric Hausser has entered Korea with an extensive pedigree hardly matched on the peninsula. He’s made his reputation in Paris as a great patissier at the Royal Park Evian Hotel’s Michelin rated Evian-Les-Bains and the two-star Place de la Concorde at the Crillon Hotel. Queen Elizabeth II, Jacques Chirac and Bill Gates have each been delighted by his creations.
For the past five years, Chef Hausser has been globetrotting, and was invited to come to Korea by Guillame Diepvens in his quest to establish true French bakery and cafe culture in his adopted homeland. How hard has it been to create French pastries in a country where bread is merely considered a snack?
Chef Hausser explains that he tries to source as much as he can locally, but there are areas where he just can’t compromise. Guillame imports organic French flour. He has also been concerned that Korean cream and butter are not as rich with fat content as French dairy. He hopes to remedy that in the future. When he came to Korea months ago, he ran into the same conundrum that Diepvens did when he was involved with the KTX high speed rail project. It was pleasing to find so many French-themed bakeries and cafes, but none of them had French standards of quality.
The mission of Chef Hausser and the team at Guillame has been to showcase how real French pastry should taste so that locals will demand the great quality that they deserve. Guillame is still a young business in a highly competitive market. Yet if anyone feels empty and overwhelmed by gaudy ostentatious snowman cakes that lack any Christmas flavor, remember this lone bright light with its buche de Noel; comparatively humbler on the outside but with rich Christmas memories in each bite.
88-37 Cheongdam-dongÂ Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 02-512-6701
Buche de Noel
1. Mix 175g almond powder, 175g powdered sugar, 50g flour and 250g egg with a whisk.
2. Make meringue with 325g egg whites and 80g sugar and mix with 1.
3. Spread thin on a skillet and fry for 8 minutes at 200 ℃
Dacquoise Noisette Au Citron
1. Mix up 40g hazelnut powder and 30g powdered sugar
2. Make meringue with 50g egg whites and 15g refined sugar
3. Mix 20 grams of lemon jam with 1 and 2
Wild Strawberry Mousse
1. Put 60g wild strawberry puree, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, and 40g sugar in a double boiler and boil to 82 ℃
2. Add one pack of gelatin soaked in cold water to 1 and mix
3. Mix 60 grams of whipped cream with 1 and 2
Wild Strawberry Jello
1. Boil 200g wild strawberry puree, 20g sugar, and one squeezed lemon
2. After mixing 1 and 2 with 1 pack of gelatin soaked in cold water, spread flat and let cool
Wild Strawberry Jello (Garnish)
1. Boil 40g wild strawberry puree and 10g sugar
2. Mix 1 with one pack of gelatin soaked in cold water
3. Mix 60 grams of white chocolate with 1 and 2
1. Pour the wild strawberry mousse in a jelly roll pan and fill the pan with the wild strawberry jelly and dacquoise noisette au citron
2. After adding the biscuit joconde to the bottom, place in the freezer for 24 hours
3. After removing it from the pan, boil the garnish to 40 ℃ and finish by pouring it on the wild strawberry jelly
4. Garnish with wild strawberry macaroons