In the United States, there’s a day for everything! So today on October 14 we celebrate National Dessert Day to indulge in delicacies without guilt. The word “dessert” originated from the French word “desservir,” which means to clear the table or the last course to serve. On this day, let’s indulge in French desserts, why don’t we. By that, I mean the real classic desserts or gâteau like l’Opéra. Here are a few of my favorites:
L’Opéra cake is made with layers of almond sponge cake – aka Joconde in French soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee or Grand Marnier, French buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze.
Mini tarts made with buttery pâte brisée, some almond frangipane layer or crème pâtissière, topped with seasonal fresh berries .
A Mille-Feuille, vanilla slice or custard slice, is made up of three layers of puff pastry pâte feuilletée, alternating with two layers of pastry cream crème pâtissière.
Baba au Rhum can be made full-size like a Bundt cake or mini individual size. It is a small yeast cake saturated and oozing in syrup made with rum and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream.
A Paris–Brest is a French dessert, made of choux pastry and a praline flavored rich cream. This round pastry looks like a wheel and was created to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race in the 19th century.
Le Fraisier reminiscent of a strawberry shortcake is a mousse cake to celebrate strawberries with layers of genoise sponge cake, vanilla cream mousseline, marzipan, and fresh strawberries.
There are so many more regional specialties such as la Charlotte, le St Honoré, la Tarte au Citron Meringuée, le Moka, la Tarte Tatin.
Other beloved goodies like Madeleines, Financiers, Palmiers, and of course Macarons are all delicious but they fall in the petit gateau categories or pastries, not desserts. So, which are your favorite French desserts?
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