French Desserts have been famous for thousands of years. France is often seen as the dessert capital of Europe, and a worldwide leader in top-shelf desserts.
From the classic Napoleon to the pastry to the more modern Tiramisu cake, French desserts have attracted foreigners to Paris, the city of Lights, and throughout the country of France for centuries.
In the spirit of the holiday season, and the never-ending dessert season, here is BonPastry’s list of the top seven most famous and delicious French desserts, along with a little about their origins and the perfect wine and coffee pairing for each one.
The mille-feuille, or Napoloen, is a three-layer French puff pastry. The top layer is covered in a powdered sugar, or glazed with icing in alternating white and brown stripes.
Napoleon is typically remembered for his French conquests as emperor, and his historical legal code. However, the name Napoleon has also survived through one of France’s most popular desserts, the Mille-feuille, also known as the Napoleon.
Wine: Red wine goes well with the Napoleon, especially Italian reds like the Recioto della Valpolicella. For the adventure seeker, a fruit beer is also an intriguing option.
Coffee: Try matching the Napoleon mille-feuille with a light French espresso.
The origins of this special French pastry is mysterious and hotly debated. Some people trace the mille-feuille, or Napoleon to ancient times; others claim the pastry developed in Hungary in the 16th century. Regardless of its origin, it is a great French dessert popular in the 21st century, and for many years to come.
Macarons are delicious and light “cookies” made with almond meal and filled with mocha Kahlua or chocolate ganache.
Ingredients: almond meal, amaretto, eggs, sugar, and your choice of sugar chocolate ganache, mocha Kahlua, or vanilla bean.
This delicious dessert was brought to France from Italy during the European Renaissance to mark the marriage of Catherine De Medici and Henry II of France. When Catherine de Medici moved to Italy from France, she brought her Italian pastry chefs and this centuries-old Italian tradition to France. It never left.
Wine: Macarons pair well with a variety of wines, but especially with Moscato.
Coffee: Try pairing the French macaron with a delicious Colombian coffee, or Café del Cauca.
The French clafoutis is a very moist and light fruit cake. It is made with fresh fruit and yogurt. It comes with your choice of apple, pear, peach or cherries (when available)
This baked French dessert is a French original: from the Limousin region of France. This dessert’s origins are murky, but its popularity spread throughout France in the 19th century.
Wine: The French clafoutis goes well with light dessert wines, such as Monbazillac.
The black forest cake is a moist chocolate cake filled with French vanilla Chantilly and fresh strawberries. This delicious cake is topped with European Cooca powder and finished with milk chocolate shavings.
The black forest cake, or forêt noire, is popular in France, but originated in Black Forest region of Germany. This 16th century dessert remains very popular today.
Wine: Syrahs, ports, and zinfadels are some of the many popular wine pairings that go with Bonpastry’s black forest cake.
Coffee: Try a dark roast coffee to boldly enhance the black forest flavor.
This Italian custard dessert cake delicacy is made with savoiardi (lady’s fingers) and dipped in a mix of Italian espresso and French Cognac. It is filled with a mix of mascarpone and chantilly, and finished with European Cocoa Powder.
Tiramisu (literally “cheer me up) is a delightful dessert of Italian origins. A relatively recent development, this Italian custard dessert dates back to 1960’s Italy, and a French apprentice appropriately named Tiramisu.
Wine: Tiramisu pairs well with sweet wines and sherries.
Coffee: Try pairing with a Columbian dark roast for a mix of flavor combinations.
The tarte tatin is a delicious upside-down pastry filled with fruit, caramelized with butter and sugar, and baked to perfection. True to its name, it is then turned upside down and served.
The tarte tatin is an upside-down pastry has its origins in 1880’s France. According to one legend, the Tatin sisters, who ran a busy hotel, accidentally overcooked an apple pie. Frantically, they turned it over, served it to their guests, who surprisingly loved it. Suddenly, the tarte tatin was born.
Wine: Popular pairings include Australian and German rieslings, French calvados, and French sweet wines
Coffee: Try an Ethiopian coffee along with the tarte tatin.
The Sable are hand-made butter cookies filled with your choice of apricot, lemon, raspberry, strawberry, or nutella. Topped with ganache, come in different shapes or sizes of your choice. Perfect for any occasion.
The sable cookies originated in 17th century France. Sable is the French word for sand, appropriately named as they crumble in your hand and melt in your mouth.
Wine: The sable cookies pair well with sauvignon blancs, pinot grigios, and sparkling wines.
Coffee: Sable cookies go great with a blonde roast, with endless possibilities available.
Come visit Bonpastry at the Carlsbad Downtown Farmer's Market on State Street from 3 - 7 PM every Wednesday rain or shine! Bonpastry offers a full selection of gourmet French desserts at the Downtown market in Carlsbad. See you there today!
Bonpastry is proud to announce French Tea Party Catering for the Holiday Season! Our pastry Chef Christiane Stephano trained in France at Le Notre and Alain Ducasse and has brought back the art of baking Brioche, a lightly sweetened bread, used for cocktail sandwiches. Call our pastry Chef Christiane Stephano today to make a catering order for your next tea party event in Southern California!
The history of the macaron has been one of controversy and excitement. Rumored to have been developed by an Italian pastry chef of the famed Renaissance noblewoman Catherine De Medici, the macaron was supposedly introduced to France at her royal wedding to King Henry II of France in 1533. From this dynastic union, the French macaron was born, and its taste fitting of royalty has been developed over the years. The pastry has spread worldwide, with its international appeal growing into the 21st century. From its mysterious beginnings, the macaron has been transformed and perfected over time to become the sweet confectionary of BonPastry that it is today.
For Christiane Stephano herself, owner and head baker at BonPastry, her personal journey mirrors that of the macaron itself. Born and raised in Paris and Lebanon, Christiane began baking at a young age. As a young woman, Christiane moved to Paris, France, and learned the art of baking and preparing tantalizing French pastries. It was there that her love of the macaron began, and she soon traveled extensively through Europe, absorbing the culture and developing her culinary talents. Christiane was inspired further by her experience exploring the dessert world of Cannes in the French Riviera, and decided to bring her knowledge of French desserts to America.
The Macaron has quickly become BonPastry’s most famous and popular item. These “bites of heaven”, as Christiane calls them, are delicious and light cookies made with almond meal and filled with mocha Kahlua or chocolate ganache. Baked with passion and love, the final and most important ingredients, the macarons provide a true taste of France that would make even Catherine De Medici proud.
Special Tips For Giving Holiday Season Food Gifts
By Byron Winick from BonPastry.com
The holiday season is upon us, and your family is all over the country! The stress of choosing the right presents for everyone can be overwhelming, but sometimes the simplest presents go a long way. To keep the holiday cheer going, send some holiday sweets to your loved ones. This shows them you care, and provides them delicious snacks for the holidays!
Here are five tips to sending great food gift items to family and friends in the spirit of the season.
1) Order your gifts 7 days in advance to ensure timely delivery during the holiday season.
The holiday season is a crazy time for packages. Ensure your items arrive on time by tracking your package and leaving plenty of time for delivery to reduce risk of a holiday crisis.
2) Send items that will last at least 72 hours without proper refrigeration.
Too often people choose items that they think their friends or family will like, without thinking about whether or not they will go bad before they are delivered. Be sure to choose food with a long shelf life. .
3) Use a reputable online bakery such as www.bonpastry.com.
Ordering gifts online is a simple solution to the stress of holiday shopping. Choose items, personalize greetings, and ship to loved ones, all with the click of a mouse!
4) Ask the merchant if they will send a holiday gift card for an additional cost.
Adding a card to a holiday gift adds a personal touch that family and friends will enjoy.
5) And last always make sure to call your recipient and with them a Happy Holidays!
Sending a gift is important, but so is talking to your friends and family! Give them a personalized call to show them how much you care. It is the holiday season after all!
Use these tips, and your family and friends will be delighted by your wonderful gifts! After all, it is the thought that counts.
BonPastry is a Carlsbad bakery specializing in gourmet French desserts. Check out www.bonpastry.com for special holiday deals and dessert packages for the holiday season.
For all your holiday dessert gift needs, consider BonPastry. We offer extensive dessert choices including our signature bite sized French fruit tarts, custom-shaped sable cookies, and Belgium chocolate ganache hearts. Our pastries and desserts are all prepared fresh daily by our specialized French dessert caterers at our commercial kitchen in Carlsbad, CA.
A Word From the Pastry Chef
This is Christiane wishing you a fun time this holiday season. I look forward to working with you to make your special day a success. For parties interested in our services, we offer a complimentary tasting arranged in a beautiful setting on fine China with French champagne so that you can taste our high quality pastries.
So please feel free to call me at (760) 494 - 7512 so that we can set a special time to talk about your wedding or engagement party.