It's the time of year when there is usually a line tracing out to the door of Brentwood's Belwood Bakery. Employees are working fast and furiously taking and preparing orders for customers and dishing out one of the bakery's traditional holiday favorites, the Yule Log.
“It’s tradition,” said Derek Tran, manager of the bakery at 11625 Barrington Court, in Brentwood.
The Yule Logs come in several different flavors: hazelnut, mocha buttercream and Grand Marnier – Tran’s personal favorite. Belwood also offers the desserts in three sizes, a small six-inch portion, a medium 12-inch and a giant 20-inch which can easily serve up to 15 people.
The yule log or bûche de Noël is a traditional dessert that originated in France, according to Wikipedia. It is also popular in Belgium, Lebanon and Vietnam. The dessert is a sponge cake that has been spread with a variety of flavorings, then rolled into a log shape to look like the real yule log that is the part of many Northern European Christmas and Solstice celebration.
Belwood will prepare more than 30 logs of each size and flavor for last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve when the store will be open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Well, we say one o’clock but we’ll be here until three or four because people are still rolling through the doors, but we’re trying to go home ourselves, it’s Christmas and we need to get the rest of our shopping done,” Tran said.
Specialties like Belwood’s apple, apricot and peach tarts, tiramisu and breads shaped like wreaths also go fast during the holiday season.
Between bursts of rushes where the staff will chat with regular customers and take multiple orders at once – typical at Belwood – the staff restocks with freshly made goods that the shop is constantly baking. The family owned bakery, which has been open since 1994, is celebrating this holiday season for the first time without its leader Ken Tran who passed away earlier this year.
Normally, Belwood heavily markets the Yule Log, but because of loss to the family they have kept things simple this season.
“It’s been tense, so we’re just kind of taking it easy,” Tran said.
Belwood Bakery Cafe will be closed on Christmas day as well as New Year’s Day.