Who does not like dessert, at Kastbergs we are very fond of dessert and have therefore written this article with our views on the best French desserts.
In fact, the French word dessert has existed since the Middle Ages, and was absorbed into the Danish language in the 18th century after a strong influence from France. The meaning of the word is to enjoy something sweet at the end of a meal.
In the history of French desserts, we owe the legendary French chef, restaurateur and writer Georges Auguste Escoffier a mention and big thanks. In the 1900s, he founded the concept of Haute Cuisine and with it much of the art of cooking, which is the cornerstone of modern cuisine. One of his most distinguished achievements was the development and description of the 5 basic sauces. In addition, it was Escoffier who developed the concept of a kitchen brigade, where the individual chefs were given roles to match their function and authority.
- Garde Manger: The position where a chef is responsible for preparing cold dishes
- Entremettier: The position where, among other things, vegetables are prepared by a chef
- Rôtisseur: This chef prepares roasts as well as grilled and fried items
- Saucier: This chef prepares, among other things, delicious soups and sauces, and has a very high status in the kitchen
- Pâtissier: This position in the kitchen is responsible for pastries and desserts
Undoubtedly, Escoffier has had a great effect on French cuisine, both on spreading it to the rest of the world, but also on the way you work by organizing and specializing the chefs. One of the specialists is Pâtissier, who, together with many talented chefs de cuisine, has created some brilliant desserts, which today are served in both original and interpreted versions in restaurants around the world.
Below is a list of Kastberg’s 16 favorite French desserts and their history, in random order:
Table of Contents
1. Chocolate soufflé
The chocolate soufflé is a dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. The earliest known recipe for this dessert dates back to the 18th century, when it was popular in France. The word soufflé comes from the French word for “breath”, which aptly describes the light and airy texture of this dessert, which is only successful when it rises well during baking and holds its shape after the oven is opened. While the chocolate soufflé is traditionally served as a dessert, it can also be enjoyed as a breakfast or snack. Whether you enjoy it plain or topped with whipped cream or ice cream.
2. Île Flottante
Île Flottante, or Floating Island dessert, is a classic French dessert that dates back to the 18th century. The dish consists of a soft meringue base, in which a creme anglaise sauce flows. There are many different versions of the dessert, but the classic recipe is still the most popular.
The dessert became famous under King Louis XVI, who was known for his love of food. After the French Revolution, the dish fell out of favor with the elite, but it remained a favorite among the common people. Today, Île Flottante is enjoyed by people all over the world and is considered one of the most iconic French desserts.
3. Tarte Tatin
Tarte tatin is a classic French dessert that has a layer of caramelized apples topped with a puff pastry crust. The dish is said to have been invented by sisters Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin, who ran a hotel in the Loire Valley of France in the late 19th century. According to legend, the dessert was created by accident when Stéphanie forgot to put the dough on top of the apples before putting the dish in the oven. Realizing her mistake, she quickly turned the pie over and served it upside down. The dessert was an instant hit with hotel guests and quickly became known as the signature dish of the Tatin sisters.
4. Mousse au Chocolat
Wonder if most people have something nice to say about chocolate mousse or Mousse au Chocolat. The dessert has been enjoyed for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to France, where it was first mentioned in a cookbook in 1692. The original recipe called for only three ingredients: chocolate, water and sugar. It wasn’t until the 19th century that eggs were added to the mix, creating the light and airy texture we know today. Mousse au Chocolat quickly became a favorite of both the aristocracy and the general public, and it remains one of the most popular desserts in France. In recent years, it has also gained popularity in other countries, thanks to its rich taste and simple ingredients. Whether you enjoy it for its history or its taste, Mousse au Chocolat is sure to satisfy.
Madeleine is a small, round cake that is most often associated with the French city of Lille. According to legend, the cake was created by a baker who tried to recreate the shape of a shell that he had found on the beach. The cake quickly became popular and it wasn’t long before bakeries across France were selling their own versions of the Madeleine. Today, the Madeleine is one of France’s most beloved desserts and can be found in bakeries and supermarkets across the country. If you’re lucky enough to try one, you’ll see why this little cake has such a huge following!
6. Crème brûlée
Crème brûlée is a dessert that originated in France. It consists of a cream base topped with a layer of “hard” sugar. The sugar is usually caramelized using a blowtorch. Crème brûlée is believed to have first been produced in the 17th century. The earliest known recipe was published in 1691 by François Massialot, a French chef. The dessert became popular in the United States in the 1980s. In 1985, it appeared on the menu at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York City. Today, Crème Brûlée is enjoyed all over the world.
Paris-Brest is a classic French dessert with a light, airy choux pastry filled with rich, creamy custard. The dessert takes its name from the Paris-Brest Cycle Race, which was originally held in 1891 to celebrate the opening of the first direct rail link between the two cities. Today, Paris-Brest is enjoyed by sweet tooths all over the world. The dessert can be found on the menus of exclusive restaurants and cafes as well as more humble bakeries and bistros. Whether you’re in Paris or Brest (or anywhere in between), make sure you try this delightful treat!
8. Tarte aux Citrons Meringues
The history of the dessert is long and varied, but Tarte aux Citrons Meringuees is a dessert that has a particularly interesting background. This dessert was created in the 19th century by Antonin Carême, a French chef who is considered the father of modern cuisine. Carême was known for his creative and elaborate dishes, and Tarte aux Citrons Meringuees was one of his most famous creations. Today, Tarte aux Citrons Meringuees are enjoyed by people all over the world and it remains one of Antonin Carême’s most important culinary contributions.
9. Gâteau Victoire au Chocolat
Gateau Victoire au Chocolat is a dessert that originates from France. The cake is named after the French army’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo. It is made of chocolate and sponge cake, and can be served with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Gateau Victoire au Chocolat was first created in 1815 by Jean-Georges Vodaine, a pastry chef from the city of Tours. The dessert became popular during World War II when it was served in cafes and restaurants throughout France. Today, gateau Victoire au Chocolat is still a popular dessert in France and can be found in many bakeries and grocery stores.
10. Gateau Marcel
This chocolate masterpiece was created by French chef Michel Michaud. In 1985 he was in St. Tropez with a younger colleague and chef named Marcel Manoy, who together tried to create a chocolate cake without flour. After a lot of trial and error, Gateau Marcel was created. Michel has lived much of his life in Denmark and later introduced the dessert to the Danes. However, he never imagined how popular it would become, and he has said that if he had known how popular it would become and that it would become one of the classics in Denmark, he would have named it Gateau Michaud after itself. Naturally.
11. Cannelés bordelais
Cannelés bordelais is a dessert originating from the Bordeaux region of France. The dessert is made by baking a cream-like dough in small molded molds. The resulting delicacy is characterized by its thin, dark brown crust and soft, airy center. According to legend, Cannelés bordelais was created by mistake when a baker added too much rum to his dough. Nevertheless, the dessert has become a firm favorite in the Bordeaux region and beyond. Today, Cannelés bordelais are enjoyed by people with a sweet tooth all over the world.
Crépes are a type of thin, unleavened pancake that originated in France. They are first believed to have been made in the early 13th century, Crépes were originally made with buckwheat flour and water. Because buckwheat was a common food among the poor, Crépes were often considered a poor man’s food. At this time they were often filled with honey or fruit. In the 19th century, crêpes became associated with Candlemas, as it was tradition to eat them while making a wish. Crêpes continued to grow in popularity throughout the 20th century, and today they are enjoyed all over the world. Whether enjoyed as a simple snack or an indulgent dessert, crêpes are a delicious way to add a touch of French flair to any meal.
13. Pear Belle Helene
Pear Belle Helene is a dessert of French origin, consisting of a poached pear, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. The dish is named after the 19th century opera heroine, Helen of Troy. It is said to have been created by the 19th century French chef Antonin Carême. The dessert was first mentioned in print in 1864, in Carême’s cookbook, L’Art de la Cuisine Française. Pear Belle Helene became a popular dessert in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was featured in several cookbooks and appeared on the menus of fashionable restaurants in Paris and London. Pear Belle Helene fell out of favor in the mid-20th century, but has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years.
14. Crème au Caramel
Creme au Caramel is a dessert that originates from France. It is made with a cream base and a caramel topping. The first recorded recipe for this dessert dates back to the 18th century. It is believed that Creme au Caramel was created by accident when someone spilled burnt sugar on a pan of cream. The dessert gained popularity in the 19th century and has since become a classic French dessert. Today, Creme au Caramel is enjoyed all over the world. It is often served with a dollop of whipped cream or a quenelle of ice cream.
Profiteroles are a dessert that originated in France. It consists of small, round balls of dough that are fried and then coated with sugar. The dessert is said to have been created by a chef at the court of King Louis XIV, and it quickly became popular among the nobility. In the 18th century, Profiteroles began to be made with cream instead of dough, and they became known as cream puffs. These cream puffs were often filled with fruit or jam, and they quickly became a favorite dessert among the upper classes. Today, Profiteroles are still a popular dessert in France and have been adopted by many other countries as well.
16. Camembert Frit
Camembert Frit is a dessert originating from the village of Camembert, France. The dish consists of a deep-fried camembert cheese served with a sweet or spicy sauce. The cheese is coated with a batter made from eggs, flour and milk, and then deep-fried until golden brown. Camembert Frit is believed to date back to the 18th century, when the village of Camembert was known for its dairy products. In those days, it was not uncommon for villagers to fry leftover cheese to make it last longer. Today, Camembert Frit is a popular dessert served in restaurants and cafés all over France.
It cannot be denied that France is a country that knows its desserts. From sugary delights, delicate macarons to decadent chocolate mousse, the French have a dessert for every occasion and they are some of the most loved in the world. This has been evident among all the above delights. French cuisine has had many prominent personalities who have had a great impact on the way gourmet chefs cook today, and they have even contributed a great many classic and delicious desserts that we still eat with great pleasure to this day.
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