Celebrate Bastille Day With 10 So Very French Desserts

Kim Conte
12

chocolate souffle dessert for bastille dayAt some point in the recent past, it became trendy for Americans to celebrate Bastille Day -- the French national holiday that commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison and start of the French Revolution in 1789. Hey, we'll find any excuse for a party, right?

If you're in need of inspiration for your Bastille Day menu, look no further than this irresistible list of 10 French desserts. It bypasses the more obvious ones -- chocolate mousse, pots de creme, creme brulee, etc. -- in favor of some really traditional confections that are so very delicious and so very French. Bon appetit!

-It's time to get over your fear of the Chocolate Souffle -- a puffy fragile pudding made of egg whites and melted chocolate. As someone who's successfully prepared this recipe in her own kitchen multiple times, I promise it really is easier than all the rumors would have you believe.

Easy Chocolate Souffle adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (plus a little extra)
  • 4 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 4 egg whites

Instructions

  1. Grease insides and rims of four 6-ounce ramekins. Sprinkle with sugar and set on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Stir in cream until smooth. Divide in half. Cover and cool to room temperature.
  3. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
  4. Gently fold half of the cooled chocolate mixture into the beaten egg whites until combined. Spoon mixture into prepared ramekins. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 400°F until puffed and golden.
  5. Serve immediately. To serve, open the centers of the souffles with two spoons and pour in remaining chocolate mixture.

 

-If you've ever seen Cherry Clafoutis, you would agree it's one of the prettier French desserts: rosy red cherries suspended in pancake batter-like dough with almonds and Amaretto.

-And, speaking of pretty, is there anything more aesthetically pleasing than little multi-colored macarons?

-Profiteroles are a perfect end to any French meal: It's just a fancy way of saying cream puffs that are typically filled with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce.

-On the lighter side, a financier is small, moist Parisian teacake often served with whipped cream and fruit. I like the idea of actually flavoring the batter as in these Strawberry and Pistachio Financiers.

-Similar to the financier is the Petite Madeleine, a pretty little soft French cookie shaped like a scallop. You can make them plain or chocolate-flavored.

-Tarte Tatin is an upside-down fruit tart usually made with apples. Before it's baked, the fruit is caramelized in butter and sugar, which makes it all gooey and delicious.

-Of course, we're all familiar with the traditional crepe, but what about the Crepe Cake? It's layers of thin delicate crepes and chocolate pudding.

-The fancy-sounding Gateau Basque is actually a traditional crumbly tart from the Basque region that's filled with pastry cream and berries. This extra-special version calls for brandied cherries.

-Last but certainly not least is the ever-trendy Mille-Feuille, which is layers of crisp puff pastry stacked with pastry cream and fruit -- in other words, a Napoleon.

What's your favorite French dessert?

 

Read More