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Yule love these festive cakes
City Club Executive Pastry Chef Josh Cochrane reveals the latest trends in festive cakes.
Christmas cakes come in all shapes and sizes and are enjoyed across the globe, from the traditional English plum pudding to something lighter such as the Italian panettone.
“Lighter cakes like the Italian panettone are very popular this year,” says RACV City Club Executive Pastry Chef Josh Cochrane. “Perhaps because of our hot summer weather in Australia, the panettone is a better option than the heavier plum pudding.”
Panettone is an Italian sweet bread, fluffy in texture with dried citrus, candied orange pieces and raisins. You can also get a chocolate-chip version.
“It’s like the craze of banana bread we saw over winter, the panettone is very trendy in pastry right now,” Josh says.
RACV Club’s Le Petit Gâteau prefers to follow a French tradition. Its Christmas specialty is the Bûche de Noël or Yule log.
Created on-site by the Club’s passionate pastry chefs, last year’s offerings (pictured) were a dazzling mix of colours and flavours. This year, there’s a German influence.
“We have a competition every year among the pastry chefs to create the best Bûche de Noël flavour,” Josh says. “The pressure is on. We have a taste testing and then vote for the best one to offer customers.”
By popular vote, Le Petit Gâteau are selling Black Forest flavoured cakes this Christmas, with lashings of fresh cream, dark chocolate and tart cherries. The rich filling is based on the German classic, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.
With such an assortment of festive treats available, you might be wondering what is the most popular sweet at this time of year?
“Across the board, sweet mince pies are the most popular,” says Josh. “It’s like the hot cross bun at Easter, it only comes around once a year so you get your fill while you can.”
And what does a pastry chef enjoy on Christmas Day?
“Our family enjoys the Bûche de Noël at Christmas too, but I’ll probably be eating left-overs,” Josh says.
Le Petit Gâteau is located at 458 Little Collins Street at the rear of the RACV Club and open 8am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.