Easy French Desserts Recipes

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Canneles Bordelais Recipe Recipe

Canneles Bordelais Recipe

07.30.10 by Jackie

Cannelés Bordelais are French miniature sweets from Bordeaux. The batter is very similar to crêpe batter; butter is melted in warm milk, then eggs, rum (I used Cointreau liqueur), vanilla, citrus zest and flour. The two most difficult steps are to be patient about letting the batter rest and to bake the cannelés at the right temperature or they can deflate rapidly.

The traditional baking method requires a special fluted copper mold, greased with beeswax (I used butter) for a golden outer crust and easy unmolding. I use silicone molds, which are not quite authentic but the results are just as delicious. After baking, the tiny desserts will have a thick, caramelized crust and a tender custard center. The contrast is very nice, and they're wonderful right out of the oven.

Canneles Recipe with Picture


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Tarte Tatin aux Pommes (Upside down Apple Pie) Recipe

Tarte Tatin sounds like a fancy dessert, but really, it's just an upside down caramel apple tart. I made a simple tart shell using dough called pâte brisée. Instead of filling the shell though, I placed slices of apples that were cooked in a caramel sauce into the mold and then covered them with the tart shell. The tarts then went into the oven to cook the shell. 

You really should eat these treats almost as soon as they come out of the oven. To plate, just flip each mold and the apples will now be on top. If you wait too long, the caramel will harden and it will be difficult to unmold.  If you flip the tart out and let it sit, the crust will get soggy. This has never been a problem at my house because the smell of freshly baking apples always manages to gather the entire family in the kitchen.


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Matcha Green Tea Creme Brulee Recipe

Matcha Green Tea Creme Brulee

12.09.09 by Jackie

This dessert combines two of my favorite things, crème brulée and green tea. I love the natural jade color of matcha green tea powder, along with its distinctive flavor. It's an ingredient I use a lot in desserts. Whether it's in cookies, madeleines, pound cakes, crème pâtissière or chocolate truffles, the result is always a success.

My personal favorite application for green tea powder though is crème brulée. One could probably add spinach to crème brulée and it would still taste great, but there's something special about the flavor of green tea that cuts the decadence of the dessert while enhancing its elegance.


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Coffee and Cardamom Flavored Creme Caramel Recipe

Crème caramel is one of my favorite desserts. It's basically a rich custard with a layer of soft caramel. I dressed this one up with a little espresso powder and cardamom.

Making these desserts reminded me of my childhood. My mom would tell me every day not to eat anything before dinner, but after coming home from school, I would always make a beeline to the refrigerator when she wasn't looking. I would get one crème caramel, flip it onto a plate, and let the delicious caramel flow in every direction. It didn't last very long; I would inhale the dessert and lick all the caramel off the plate before I got caught. You would think that I wouldn't really have enjoyed the dessert because I ate it so fast, but there was something thrilling (and delicious) about sneaking a bite without anyone knowing.  Maybe that's why I named my site Pham Fatale.  I've been in the (food) espionage business for a long time!

These covert operations inevitably would make me too full for dinner. I know I was a terrible child! My parents always wondered why I never ate, and have probably been unaware of my antics until now. Sorry Mom!

I think, in America, crème caramel and flan can be used interchangeably.


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