Some people may say that the best desserts are from the UK, whereas other people say that Italy and Germany also have the top sweets in the world. But we can never discount France when it comes to food, as you can see from these 16 delicious puddings!
Blancmange (recipe) is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin and cornstarch, and often flavoured with almonds. It is usually set in a mould and served cold. Although traditionally white, blancmanges are frequently given alternative colours.
Bombe Glacée (recipe) is an ice cream dessert that is frozen in a spherical mould so as to resemble a cannonball, hence the name. It was invented in the 19th century.
Clafoutis (recipe) is a baked dessert of fruit, traditionally black cherries, arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm, sometimes with cream.
Crème Brûlée (recipe) is a dessert from the 16th century consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served at room temperature. The custard base is traditionally flavoured with vanilla, but can have a variety of other flavourings.
Crêpe Suzette (recipe) is a dessert consisting of a crêpe with beurre Suzette, a sauce of caramelized sugar and butter, tangerine or orange juice, zest, and Grand Marnier or orange Curaçao liqueur on top, and served flambé.
Éclairs (recipe) are oblong pastries made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry is then filled with a vanilla, coffee or chocolate-flavoured custard, or with whipped cream, and then iced with fondant icing.
Macarons (recipe) are sweet meringue-based confections commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam that is sandwiched between two cookies. The intricate confection is characterised by a smooth top, a ruffled circumference, and a flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth!
Madaleines (recipe) are a traditional small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in stores specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines.
Mendiant (recipe) is a traditional French confection composed of a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits representing the four mendicant or monastic orders of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans, and Carmelites. Each of the nuts and dried fruits used refer to the colour of monastic robes with tradition dictating raisins for the Dominicans, hazelnut for the Augustins, dried fig for Franciscans, and almond for Carmelite.
Mille-Fuille (recipe), also known as the Napoleon, is a French pastry whose exact origin is unknown. Its modern form was influenced by improvements of Marie-Antoine Carême. Traditionally, a mille-feuille is made up of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of pastry cream. The top pastry layer is dusted with sugar, cocoa, and pastry crumbs.
Mousse (recipe) incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture. It can range from light and fluffy to creamy and thick, depending on preparation techniques. Dessert mousses are typically made with whipped egg whites or whipped cream, flavoured with chocolate, coffee, caramel, puréed fruits or various herbs and spices, such as mint or vanilla.
Opera Cake (recipe) is made with layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze.
Peches Melba (recipe) is a dessert of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. The dish was invented in 1892 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honour the Australian soprano Nellie Melba.
Pralines (recipe) are a form of confectionery containing at a minimum nuts and sugar, with cream being a common third ingredient.
Profiteroles (recipe) are filled choux pastry balls with a typically sweet filling of whipped cream, pastry cream, custard, or (particularly in the US) ice cream. The puffs may be decorated or left plain or garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Tarte Tatin (recipe) is an upside-down pastry in which the fruit (usually apples) are caramelised in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.
These French sweets make me want to revisit France again! I think the Mille-Fuille is my favourite, closely followed by the macarons! What are your favourite French fancies?