…Are you a fan of French desserts?
When people travel for the first time to France, their first stop isn’t the Eiffel Tower, as many might think, but they actually stop at a pâtisserie. That’s basically a bakery filled with delicious cream-stuffed éclairs, a classic and tasty tower of croquembouche, a bunch of colorful macarons, and some puffy crêpes. These confections are so good that it doesn’t matter how many grams of sugar they contain, or how many types of creams you actually eat in a day.
But while these French desserts are some of the most popular things in France, they are not the only sweets that deserve our praise. If you can’t go to Europe and indulge in these meticulous confections, we decided to bring them to you. From paper-thin crêpes, a creamy and light chocolate mousse, to a Tarte Tatin that’s filled with sweet and fresh fruit, we have some amazing recipes for you to try.
If you want to get a taste of a pâtisserie straight in your kitchen or if you have guests over and you want to impress them, these confections will turn you into the best pastry chef ever! Here are the 4 French desserts you need to make! Let’s start cooking!
1. Chocolate mousse
You’ve had a long and stressful day, you’re feeling tired, and all you want is a relaxing moment for yourself. Is there any better way to end your day other than indulging in a creamy and delicious cup of chocolate mousse? We believe not, because this one is light, tasty, and delicious!
For best results and an exquisite taste, use chocolate that’s very high in cocoa. The recipe requires rum, but if you’re not a big fan of it, you can swap it for something else, such as orange liqueur, whisky, or anything you like. Here’s how to make this perfect little treat!
- 6 eggs, separated;
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped;
- 6 tsp rum.
- Grab your chocolate and slowly melt it by using a double boiler over some hot water. With the help of an electric mixer, remove your chocolate from the heat and beat the egg yolks into it.
- Add your rum, or your liquid of choice, and allow the ingredients to combine their flavors for a few seconds. In a medium bowl, beat your egg whites to medium-stiff peaks. Grab a spoon and stir a generous amount of egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it. After that, carefully incorporate the leftover egg whites into the chocolate.
- Pour into serving glasses, then put it in the fridge for 4 to 5 hours, or until set. Your 6 cups of desserts will remain fresh for 4 days in the fridge, perfect for those moments when you crave something sweet.
2. Tarte Tatin
There is a legend saying that a woman named Stéphanie Tatin accidentally created a delicious tart at the hotel she ran in the central Loire Valley, France, along with Caroline, her sister.
One day, Stéphanie was very busy and stressed, and she didn’t pay enough attention when she was cooking, so she put her signature apple tart in the oven upside down. When it came out of the oven, looking beautiful, crisp, and caramelized, she left it alone and flipped it right side up. It became an instant hit, to the point when Maxim’s Restaurant in Paris sent a snoop to figure out the recipe.
Whether you believe that legend or not, you need to trust us when we tell you that Tarte Tatin will quickly become one of the best desserts you’ve ever eaten! It’s so thick, creamy, sweet, and caramelized that it will be your go-to during fall season!
- 3 Jazz or Braeburn apples;
- 1 egg, beaten;
- 1/3 cup butter;
- 1/3 cup caster sugar;
- 11 oz pack ready rolled puff pastry;
- 1 vanilla pod, and seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a medium pan that is ovenproof and melt the butter and caster sugar over medium heat. Add the vanilla pod and seeds and stir all the ingredients in the pan. Continue to melt until you notice that the sugar, vanilla, and butter have turned into a golden caramel.
- Grab your apples, peel them, cut them in quarters, and place them in the pan with the caramel. Be careful to cover the whole caramel surface in the pan with apples, so they can combine flavors and texture. Cook them for 8 to 10 minutes over low-medium heat, or until your apples become softer. Remove the pan from the stove, remove the vanilla pod and allow the mixture to cool down for 5 minutes.
- Unroll your puff pastry and cut out a circle that is 1 inch wider than the frying pan’s diameter. Place the pastry carefully over the heated apples and press down the sides to seal the fruit and extend the pastry to the edge. Use a fork and prick the surface a few times. Dip a pastry brush in beaten egg and brush your dough, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it’s all puffed and golden.
- Take your French dessert out of the oven and allow it to cool down for a couple of minutes. Place a serving plate on top, invert the pan, and use a small, sharp knife to cut between the pastry and the pan’s edge. Cut your tart into wedges and serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot custard, or whipped or poured cream.
Crêpes are originally from the Brittany region of northwest France, where they have been a favorite food since the Middle Ages. People all over the world try to recreate them at home, especially those who live in different places in Europe. The recipe is simple, and they’re made by spreading an eggy batter thinly over a heated pan or griddle.
Chefs usually flip them very high in the air and their crêpes perfectly land back on their pans. But don’t worry, this step isn’t necessary. You can flip them just a bit, as you would do when sauteing vegetables. These thin but delicious pancakes can be filled with all sorts of ingredients, such as sweet cream cheese, Nutella and bananas, fruit, jam, peanut butter, or even a dash of sugar and a squeeze of lemon.
This French dessert is usually made on a special day called Candlemas, on the second day of February. They also have a superstition around that holiday, which involves having a silver or gold coin in one hand and flipping the crêpe in the air with the other one. If the pancake lands on the pan on someone’s first try, the year ahead of them will be successful and it will bring them luck and prosperity.
…If you want to see if you’re lucky, make sure to cook this French dessert on the second day of February! May luck be in your favor!
- 1 cup milk;
- 2 eggs;
- 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil;
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour.
- Get your blender and add your milk, eggs, flour, salt, and oil, and process them until you have a smooth consistency. Cover the mixture with something and put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Grab a skillet, heat it over medium-high, and brush it with a bit of cooking oil. Put 1/4 of the mixture into the pan. Tilt your skillet so the batter can cover the whole surface. Cook it for 2 to 5 minutes, then flip it to the other side. Repeat the process until you have no batter left.
…How would you combine these crêpes? We would love to eat them with Nutella and bananas or with strawberries and cream! Simply yummy!
4. Yogurt Cake
If you’re feeling lazy but you still want to treat yourself to something sweet but not too sweet and that won’t take ages to cook, we have the perfect French dessert for you! It’s so good that you can eat it as dessert, as a snack, or even at breakfast, with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea.
Yogurt Cake, or Gâteau au Yaourt, as people in France call it, is a simple confection that is typically ready in less than an hour. What’s interesting about this is that is typically the first cake French kids learn how to cook. If you have your grandchildren over and you want to spend some time together and also learn something new, put your aprons on, because it’s time to cook!
…What’s great about this French dessert recipe is that you don’t have to waste time measuring your ingredients as your container cup will do that for you!
- 1 container plain yogurt (5 ounces);
- 2 large eggs;
- 1/2 yogurt container vegetable oil;
- 1 1/2 yogurt containers white sugar (you can use brown sugar to make it a bit healthier, as the taste will be the same);
- 1 3/4 yogurt container of all-purpose flour;
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder;
- 1 tsp vanilla extract;
- 1 pinch of salt to bring all the flavors together;
- 1 tbsp of butter.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a round springform cake pan that has a 9-inch diameter and grease it with butter.
- Put the yogurt into a mixing bowl and use the container to measure the oil, then add it to the yogurt. Rinse your container and wipe it with a paper towel so you can use it again for the next steps.
- Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract to the bowl that contains the oil and yogurt. Beat all the ingredients until they’re well combined. Now add your dry ingredients: baking powder, flour, and a pinch of salt. Stir them together until you have a thick dough. Pour your mixture into the butter-greased cake pan and spread to level the top.
- Put the cake pan into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the power of your oven. You’ll know it’s done when the top has a beautiful golden-brown color. A quick way to be sure that your cake is well cooked is to insert a toothpick in the center, and if it comes clean, you can take it out and let it cool down for a couple of minutes.
If you want to be really fancy and take this French dessert recipe to the next level, you can add some chocolate chip cookies the next time you make the dough. It will taste even better than this one! You can enjoy this simple and light cake exactly how it is, or you can put some powdered sugar on top, or a few berries and some whipped cream. It’s the best!
…What do you think about French cuisine? Would you make any of these French desserts at home? We are curious to know what you think, so let us know in the comments!
…If you love cake as much as we do, we have a lot more recipe ideas for you! These are perfect if you have guests over, check them out: 3 Celebration Cake Recipes That Are Here to Impress Everyone!