French Dessert Recipes

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Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe Recipe

Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe

04.09.10 by Jackie

I've been waiting for the lavender in my garden to blossom to be able to make my own Herbes de Provence mix. I had so much extra lavender that I thought I'd make our family's favorite dessert. Yes, crème brulée strikes again! Lavender has a strong floral taste, so a little bit goes a long way. To enhance the lavender aroma, I added lavender extract that I bought at Sur La Table store in Palo Alto. I really thought that the unusual flavor would turn off the kids but my little munchkin loved the lavender dessert the most and kept saying "It tastes like a flower, I love it!"

It's the third season we're planting lavender in our garden and I've learned that the variety most commonly used for cooking is English lavender, not French! So be on the look-out English lavender the next time you stop at the nursery.

If you're searching for a fancy French dessert for your next dinner party, try this recipe! On the practical side, you can make the cup dessert 'way in advance and create the sugar crust at the last minute. That way you can focus on your guests instead of dessert while still serving something fabulous. Your guests will be in awe.

Fresh Lavender Picture


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Blackberry Creme Brulee Recipe

Blackberry Creme Brulee

03.11.10 by Jackie

Crèmes brulées are my mother-in-law's pêcher mignon, which literally translates to "cute fault" in French (which means guilty pleasure). I keep telling her that these custard desserts can be flavored with anything and she keeps challenging me. She brought home a whole case of blackberries from our local market and asked if I could make her favorite dessert cups with them.

So after flavoring crème brulée with lemon, cherry, butterscotch, matcha green tea and masala chai, I was able to prove to her that I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.  It has occurred to me though that maybe her "challenge" is just an excuse to get me to make more crèmes brulées. As long as I can come up with more flavors, I'll keep playing along. After that, she'll have to come up with a better reason!


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Tarte Poire Noisette (Pear Tart with Hazelnut Cream) Recipe

Tarte aux poires et à la noisette sounds like a fancy-schmancy dessert but really, it's just a French tart made with hazelnut cream and ripe pears. That's about it. The only other embellishment is that I enhance the flavor of the nut cream with a little green anise.

Green anise seeds are usually infused in tea as a medicinal treatment for children's stomach aches. It's a pretty common remedy in Northern Africa. I love the sweet fragrance and the strong notes of licorice. You don't have to add the aromatic seeds to the nut cream but I think they pair wonderfully with pears.

Being French, it still is really remarkable to me that in America, French sounding names make products sound more luxurious (and expensive). I've even seen some products that have names that don't make sense in French, but I guess evoke a sense of elegance. Now that I've let you in on the secret, don't be fooled by fancy French names anymore! However, if you prepare this recipe for your friends or family, make sure that you use the French name to impress them. Better to be the "fool-er" than the "fool-ee!"


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Masala Chai Creme Brulee Recipe

Masala Chai Creme Brulee

02.05.10 by Jackie

This version of crème brulée is flavored with the spices that are used in masala chai. Cloves, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon give the dessert the distinct flavor of masala chai combined with the richness of a French custard. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but after the first bite it has become my favorite flavor. Don't get me wrong; lemon, butterscotch and green tea are great flavors, but the masala spices are absolutely intoxicating.

I'm not a big tea drinker, but whenever we have a party and serve masala chai, I end up drinking all the leftovers. What can I say, I'm addicted. Even though the flavors of this drink are fabulous, it's probably good that I don't drink this particular tea that often because of its high caffeine content. Masala chai crème brulée has as much caffeine as a cup of masala chai, along with all the fat that is found in a crème brulée. Something else to keep me awake at night!

Chai Tea Creme Brulee Recipe with Picture


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Crepe Party: La Chandeleur Recipe

Crepe Party: La Chandeleur

02.02.10 by Jackie
Today (February 2nd) is La Chandeleur and crêpes are part of the French celebration. For those who don't know, a crêpe is a very thin pancake. The legend says that if you catch the crêpe flat (without it being wrinkled) with a pan after tossing it in the air with your left hand while holding a coin in your right hand, you will have a prosperous year until the next Chandeleur.



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