8 mouth-watering French desserts

 

It’s no secret that I have an affinity for France and its culture.  Having spent a significant portion of my life in France, and mastering the French language, only solidifies my favoritism.  One thing which I have found the French done exceptionally well is mastering the culinary arts beautifully.  From their breads to their meals to their desserts, they always manage to take decadence to another level.  When it comes to indulging and wreaking havoc on your diet, nothing beats the French desserts.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself salivating during your read.  Here are my favorites.

Dessert plate in Provence

Crème brûlée

I’ve had many versions of this dish in my life, but nothing beats the authentic fare you find in France.  After a hearty meal, I often find myself scouring the dessert pages for this particular option.  Often the most widely recognizable French dessert, crème brûlée is the perfect blend of richness with a punch of understated flavor.  The delicious dish consists of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting top layer of crunchy brûléed sugar.  While it is traditionally flavored with vanilla, you can always opt for a more adventurous route and enjoy everything from coffee to green tea flavored crème brûlée.  With a melt in your mouth texture, you can’t help but savor every bite.

Madeleines

While this dessert pales in decadence when compared to some, I can’t help but add these to the list.  Easily identifiable by their shell-like shapes, madeleines are the quintessential French dessert.  Lighter than air and created from genoise cake batter, the sponge cake offers a distinctly pronounced lemon taste.  It is the perfect pairing for a cappuccino or as a sweet note after a heavy meal.  Without a dollop of cream madeleines are the perfect way to sweeten the day without going overboard.  Now this is a cyclist’s dessert.

Mocha pots de crème

This rich, pudding-like chocolate confectionary invention is a perfect cap to a romantic meal.  You know that sweet, melt-in-your-mouth texture inside certain chocolate truffles?  That’s ganache, and the chocolate mocha pots de crème is basically a soft, coffee-flavored chocolate ganache topped with thickened cream and dusted with cocoa.  Who wouldn’t enjoy this dissolving taste of heaven?

Macarons

What I love most about macarons is the large variety of flavors in which they can be made.  This sweet treat is a meringue-based confection and is commonly filled with ganache, butter cream or a jam filling sandwiched between two “biscuits”.  I’ve enjoyed many macarons in my life.  So easily devoured, and yet so perfectly satisfying, you can indulge without feeling weighed down.  I can’t tell you how many time I have left a coffee shop, sweetly satisfied, yet ready to tackle a hard ride.  The best dessert for any cyclist!

Strawberry dessert in Bordeaux

Profiterole

I know, as a cyclist, we’re told to watch what we eat… but sometimes I just can’t help it!  If you’re going to be bad, you should be bad the right way. That’s why I love profiteroles.  Also known as choux a la crème, the profiterole is a French dessert made of a pastry ball filled with whipped cream, pastry cream or even ice cream.  Often garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel or a dusting of powdered sugar, these desserts are the epitome of French decadence.  So rich, creamy, and filling, they should not be missed!

Crêpe

Many people consider the crêpe to be too simple a dessert for this list.  What do I have to say to them?  It’s not simply the crêpe but how you serve the crêpe that makes the dessert.  A thin, light pancake-like dish, you can pair crêpes with the most sinfully decadent toppings (think rich dark chocolate, whipped crème, ice cream and berries).  The texture of the crêpe also perfectly soaks up the flavors of what it is mixed with, making each bite drip with flavor.  The best part, if you’re in France, crêpes are so readily available you’ll just have to dig in.

Crepe dessert In Brittany

Lemon soufflé

A soufflé refers to a light, airy dish that holds its shape but isn’t too stiff.  Some feel best way to truly savor a soufflé is to puncture the top and fill it with warm chocolate.  I, however, enjoy the ice cream soufflé which pairs a soufflé with ice cream and a hot, rich sauce.  A mouth-watering blend of textures and temperatures.

Crème caramel

Similar to the crème brûlée, the crème caramel is also a custard dessert.  The difference is that it is topped with a layer of soft caramel.  Often garnished however the chef sees fit, the crème caramel makes one delicious dessert.  Small and flavorful, the dessert is not too heavy or overwhelming.  If you don’t have too much of a sweet tooth, the crème caramel will surely satisfy.

A sweet treat in Tuscany

Andy Levine is the President/Founder of DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Larry says:

    France does food so well, and dessert is no exception! Creme brulee is one of my favourites as well, though a good chocolate mousse make for a slowly enjoyed treat as well!

  2. noel says:

    Ah yes, can I sample one of each please, they all look so yummy…great photos of each dessert – made me want to lick my lap top!

  3. Tease, tease, tease! That’s pretty all I have to say about this post.

    Honestly, all of these desserts look delectable. I have a real soft spot for caramel so the profiteroles and the creme caramel are particularly appealing to me but I don’t think I would say no to any of these.

    During our recent trip to Paris over Christmas, we were able to sample some of these delicacies on the local Christmas markets on the Champs-Elysees which was a really awesome experience.

  4. Mmmm! They do all sound delicious but the Mocha pots de crème sounds particular good and it’s the only one I don’t think I’ve ever had. I’ll have to out that right before too long!

  5. Andy Levine says:

    Larry, I absolutely love chocolate so I fully agree with your chocolate mousse recommendation.

    Noel, I’m glad you agree with my choices!

    Chris, if you want to sample these desserts, why not try them out on one of our DuVine tours? Visit our website and check it out!

    Kathryn, it’s an amazing dessert, you won’t be disappointed.

  6. Kathrin says:

    Only a few months ago I had the chance to visit Marseille. I’ve been to France before but this time we have been pampered with the best food ever!

    They just know how to cook! Not only desserts but everything else!

  7. Christina says:

    Oh, yum! The French sure know how to do both gorgeous AND delicious desserts and pastries. Those macarons… picture perfect.

  8. Andy Levine says:

    Kathrin, French food is some of the best in the world, I couldn’t agree more. I’m glad you got to go back for a culinary experience.

    Christina, I think the presentation adds to the flavor as well!

  9. Claire Verneil says:

    Yes we har and make the best pastries ( and of course we frenchies are modest!), come to visit us for these traditionnal and more desserts, pastries, delicacies…bon appetit!

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