We’re going to go out on a limb and say that desserts are most people’s favourite course. There’s something about the sweet decadence and unbridled calorie content of them which awakens the inner child in us all, making us sit at the table nearly jumping up and down with excitement.
No-one does dessert better than the French, with their elegant, complex pastries, and bit-sized sweetness in the form of petit four. In fact, the word dessert actually comes from the French word desservir, meaning to ‘un-serve’ the main components of the meal. In classical French cuisine, dessert is taken after every meal, even lunch! While that may sound overly decadent, other courses are often smaller in size, so a several-course meal may not slow you down for the rest of the day.
We’ve got a huge number of French desserts that we absolutely love, and in this article, we’re going to tell you about a few of our favourites!
Classic French Desserts
A clafouti is a classic French dessert. It’s a traditional puffed custard cake, and cherry is the most well-known variation on that classic theme. In France, it’s actually customary to serve this dish with the cherry stones intact, so be careful when you’re taking a bite!
In modern French cooking, leaving the stones in or taking them out is actually a matter of contention. Leaving the pits in favours tradition, but if you take the pits out, you can make the cherry flavour much more intense! Also, it can help to prevent the cherry juice from leaking and colouring the batter.
Apple Tarte Tatin
A Tarte Tatin is a wonderful example of a simple French dessert. It’s un up-side down, caramelised apple tart. There is one rule for eating Tarte Tatin, which is scrupulously observed. It must be served warm, so the cream melts on contact. The dish got its name in an unconventional way. The stories say that in 1880, Stephanie Tatin was cooking at the hotel she owned with her sister, Caroline. She was a particularly fine cook but not the most observant person. Her specialty was an apple tart, served perfectly crusty, caramelised and which melted in the mouth. One day during the midday scramble, Stephanie placed her tart in the oven the wrong way round. The pastry and apples were upside-down but, nevertheless, she served this strange dessert without giving it time to cool. It was a huge success and quickly a sought after dessert by patrons coming from far and wide.
La Tarte Tatin became a regular fixture on the menu of the sisters Hotel Tatin and can now be found in almost every brasserie, bistro and restaurant of France.
This dessert is a wonderfully silky and decadent course that can be eaten at any occasion. It’s made up of rich, creamy custard, topped with its own caramel. The rich smoothness of it may mean it lends itself well to finishing off an over-indulgent meal, while the small portion size means that it won’t break your belt.
The simplicity of this dessert is also one of it’s redeeming features. It doesn’t require any kind of additional sauce, it is simply plenty on its own, and deserves to be eaten slowly, allowing you to savour the smooth taste.
We absolutely love French desserts, and we’re proud to offer such a selection of delicious desserts suitable for any mealtime. Next time you’re nearby, make sure you stop in for a quick bite, and we’ll be happy to provide you with a dessert set to tantalise your tastebuds.