French confectionery is so full of details and rules that there is not a single person in this world (generalizations are dangerous, I know, but ah! The subject in question deserves a special affection) that resists a sweet made with such dedication. For centuries, kings, queens and nobles hid some of the desserts from this post so that only they could enjoy the unique moment that is eating. But as what is good falls into the mouth of the people at one time or another, here we are, sharing recipes and licking the lips of joy for always trying something different.
In addition to the following sweets, there are countless others that complete the list of French creations, but I chose to tell a little of their history due to the series of recipes that Dani made on the channel in November. I hope you like it and bon appétit à tous!
CRÈME BRÛLÉE (read crrrém brrruilê)
They say that happiness is in the simple things in life and this dessert proves every word of that sentence. Although it is considered French, its origin is somewhat uncertain. The fact is that France, Spain and England vie for the honor of boasting about the origin of the vanilla cream covered by a mirrored and crunchy layer of burnt sugar – delicate and unforgettable. Crème Brûlée, Crema Catalana and Burnt Cream are the different names of the same candy.
As for historical evidence, the first mention of the cream, made by the French chef François Massialot in the book “Le Nouveau Cuisinier Royal Et Bourgeois Ou Cuisinier Moderne”, in 1691 is taken into account. Who could have had the idea first?
MILLE FEUILLE (read míie fôie)
Five careful turns in a dough filled with butter, each made in time to rest between a brush of flour here, another there. The folds made symmetrically stretch, stretch, stretch until the dough becomes as thin as a sheet of paper. In fact, there are many leaves; 729, to be exact. The confectioner Antoine Carême (1784-1833), known as “the chef of kings and the king of chefs”, rounded the number down to a thousand and created a dessert that interspersed three crunchy layers and two layers of cream (simply the perfect combination of textures). Success was immediate.
The origin of the puff pastry, however, is more towards Greece and the Middle East. They say that she comes from Baklava, that sweet (incredible) made with nut paste, pistachios or almonds, honey and puff pastry. I feel that we owe eternal gratitude to whoever had the brilliant idea of creating something like this.
LEMON MOUSSE PIE WITH CRÈME AU CITRON (it reads crrrém ô citrrrôn)
Lemon is widely used in French confectionery and, as you well know, these people cannot resist a cream in any gastronomic preparation, be it salty or sweet. Centuries ago, they found that citrus flair combines with sugar and butter in a special way. Voilà, the crème au citron was born. Another passion of the French is the pies and mousses, so in this recipe there was the union of the useful to the pleasant, from the buttery to the creamy sour. What about?
ÉCLAIR (read êclérr)
It emerged in the 16th century as a novelty, so to speak, to the traditional “choux”, which used to be filled with confectioners’ cream and drizzled with chocolate. Does it remind you of something? If you thought of profiteroles, bingo! The confectioner Antoine Carême, the same as puff pastry, innovated again by giving a new shape to pâté à choux. The éclair was born (known only 20 years after Carême’s death).
In fact, pay attention to the great curiosity about the name, which gained fame due to a slogan: “Et un bon éclair se dévore toujours en un éclair!” (And a good bomb is always devoured in a flash!). The Portuguese name, in one way or another, makes a similar reference. It’s always an explosion of flavors, right? That one, filled with crème brûlée, so…
MACARON (read macaroni)
It originated in Italy, where the meringue discs were consumed without the filling. Hence the name “maccherone“, Which means“ thin crust ”. The person responsible for spreading this divine cookie was the Italian Catarina de Médici, when he went to live in France to marry Duke D’Orleans, future king. All of this happened in the 16th century and the recipe was kept secret so that only the nobility would enjoy it.
The story goes that the first French women to produce macarons were the nuns of the Saint-Sacrement convent. Only after the French revolution, in 1789, the sweets started to be made outside the convents. The final version, as we know it today, was designed by Pierre Desfontaines (in the 19th century), no one else, no less than the confectioner of the famous Ladurée in Paris. He decided to join the two meringue discs with creamy fillings. Isn’t it very successful?
FRAISIER (reads frrrésiê)
How does the Larousse Gastronomique, the fraisier is made up of a genoise (classic French cake made without yeast – click here to see the recipe for the Pavê de Sonho de Valsa using genoise) soaked in Kirsch, a drink distilled from black cherries. On top of the cake, a generous amount of mousseline cream and, as a decoration, a layer of marzipan on top and juicy strawberries on the sides. Who popularized the dessert was Lenôtre, in the 60s, but with a different touch; the genoise was green, because of the pistachios. It was named Bagatelle, so it is common to use that name when preparing a fraisier.
In this beautiful recipe, Dani chose to finish the dessert with a layer of strawberry gelatin. What about?
So, do you already have a favorite? Smacks and see you next time!
Sources: Paradis, Living in Delights, Food Timeline, Brotherhood of the Baron of Gourmandise, Gourmet Show