23 French Pastries You Should Try Before You Die

posted on April 10th 2014 in Blog & Living in France with 2 Comments

I have to make a confession today. I’m officially in love with …. French Pastry.

At my first visit to the shop, I’ve thrown out 20 euro without any second thoughts for a box of various tartlets, éclairs and all that other mouth-watering treats. I had no idea how most of them were named and which taste it’s going to have, but you know what? I haven’t made a single wrong choice!

Each and every piece was so utterly delicious that I came back the next day, and the next day and almost every day after that…. I’ve just recently got over this addiction to try each and every pastry they make here at Besançon as each patisserie has a few peculiar types of cake that you won’t find at the competitors place next door.

So, after a delicious meal of seafood and wine, don’t forget to grab one of the next French pastries for desert.

You’ll never know the real taste of France, till you’ll try one of these pastries! 

1. Éclair au Chocolat

French Eclair Photo by bionicgrrrl//Flickr

I don’t know how they manage to have this amazing moisture filling that soaks the whole éclair with deep chocolate taste… And the icing is firm on the top and starts melting in your mouth once you make the first bite. Check out the story of how éclairs were invented here.

There’s nothing better than grabbing a few of these + espresso and enjoy your morning on a café terrace doing my favorite thing – people watching.

2. Tarte Framboise 

6994028151_a39774c527_k
Photo by Ruth Hartnup//Flickr

Fresh raspberries placed on top of amazing crème bedding. A beautiful mixture of sourish berries and sweet cream!

3. Tartelette aux fraises

Tartelette aux fraisesPhoto by Guillaume Brialon//Flickr

Amazing twin sister to the previous one, Same delicious crème bedding and lots of strawberries on top.

4.  La Figue

figues

A greenish delight to be found almost at every patisserie. Sweet gooey icing hides thick milky cream inside. Loads of cream :)

5. Opera Cake

Opera Cake
Photo by Jenny Wenny//Flickr

Served in small rectangle bars, it’s an amazing treat consisting of few layers of cake, well-soaked in coffee syrup and layers of chocolate paste + coffee butter cream.

It was originally created in 1955 at Dalloyau patisserie in Paris and named after a dancer from the Opera House, who came to the shop and appealed to the wife of the owner.

6. Macarons

Macarons
Photo by Robyn Lee//Flickr

Of all colors and tastes! Strawberry, mango, floral, pistachio – you name it!

There are more combinations that you can imagine! With Laduree and Pierre Herme being the most luxurious and well-known brands, there are still lots of other bakers who mastered the skill of creating perfect macarons. I’ve discovered amazing ones in Dole.

7. Brioche Praline Rose 

Brioche Praline Rose
By M.D.//Flickr

Made of light and buttery dough and generously sprinkled with candied nuts in rose syrup (my guess) and occasionally covered in sugar powder. Mmm. Pure delight!

8. Tarte au citron

Lemon TartPhoto by Gwendolyn Richards//Flickr

For all  lemon-flavor lovers like me. A crunchy basket full of amazing lemonish (not that sour!), jelly-like filling.

9. Tarte au chocolat

Choco TartPhoto by Dani Lurie//Flickr

The same thin crunchy basket filled with rich-flavored chocolate pasta.

10.  Paris-Brest

Paris-Brest
Photo by Robyn Lee//Flickr

A cake sandwich made of two beagle-like buns and lots think coffee cream inside and thin peanut slices on top. The name was given after a bike race between Paris and Brest as someone said the cake resembled a bike wheel (huh?)

11. Religieuse

Reliquese
Photo by Mark Manguerra//Flickr

Consists of two tries of pastry and filled in with yummy cream. Covered with various icings of all colors and beautiful cream decorations, so that each one reminds me of a cute cream castle.

12. Tarte Tattin

Tarte Tatin
By Sarah Lewis//Flickr

An apple tart, that’s baked pastry side upped and flipped back before serving, so that the delicious brown sugar and butter covered the apples in a caramel crust.

13. Marie Antoinette 

marie antoinnet

By ParisPatisseries

Did you know that Marie Antoinette never said that famous phrase “let them eat cake!”? It was someone of her biographers who later made it up.

This desert’s made of two pink macaron shelves with fresh raspberries and vanilla (or rose cream) sandwiched in between.

14. Mille-fueille

Mille-fueille
Photo by Zachary Georges//Flickr

Now, you’ve probably seen and even tried this pastry more commonly known as Napoleon, but the French version is fantastic too! With layers of buttery pastry and pastry cream and liquid icing on top with chocolate leafy deco.

15. Salambo

SalamboPhoto by Eliu//Tumblr

I’m not talking about Flaubert’s book now, but of utterly delicious pastry similar to éclair in dough and filling, but with colorful icing and choco sprinkles.

16. Crème Caramel

Creme Caramel
Photo by umami//Flickr

A milky pudding generously covered with liquid, gooey caramel.

17. Petits four 

Petite Fours
Photo by NICE CROISSANT//Flickr

A collection of various small cakes, usually served after a meal. A perfect gift box for a sweet-toothed like me.

18. Tutti Frutti 

Tutti Fruttivia Pinterest

A pastry pedestal with colorful fruit balls of dragon fruit, mango, kiwi and other exotic yummies on top. That’s a total eye candy that melts at your mouth at the same time.

19. Mango Tarte

Mango Tart
Photo by Amasou Umasou//Flickr

I’ve tried this one at La Pâtisserie des Rêves in Paris and the taste was so close to fresh mangoes I’ve eaten back in Indonesia.

20. Grand Cru

Grand Cru
Photo by Miss Prisi

For everyone who are officially having long, solid relationships with chocolate. The desert consists of numerous layer of chocolate, chocolate biscuit and a thin layer of praline.

21 Chocolate Bouchons 

Chocolate BouchonsPhoto by Arthur Almassy//Flickr

You just make the first bite and you don’t notice how the whole box of these little choco devils is gone…

22. Le Merveilleux 

Le Merveilleux
Photo by Island Gourment

Marvelous pastry that consists of meringue, delicate chocolate mousse mixed with floral crème, all coated in the thinnest white or black chocolate slices imaginable. A floating desert disappears in your mouth within seconds with a light after taste making you crave for more.

23. Saint-Honoré 

Saint-Honoré
Photo by City of Annie

Saint-Honore is considered to be the patron of all French bakers and pastry chef. ( I’m not that surprised that they have one!)

This desert consists of a round pastry at the bottom, topped by a pile of crème cheboust and whipped cream. What make the desert so special are tiny cream puffs, dipped in caramelized sugar and added at the sides of the desert

Have you tried any of it? What are your favorite sweets from anywhere in the world?

 

  • Ugh this makes me want to go back to France.

    Maybe it’s because they look so classy, but I have always been fond of Mille-fueille. Outside of France I would say that Morocco has amazing pastries -they combine the style of French patisserie but add their own unique ingredients, including almonds, dates, figs, and various spices.

    Reply
    • Oriental sweets are fantastic too! The best baclava I’ve tried was in Turkey, but I’m sure Moroccan isn’t worse :)

      And yes, french pastry looks like a tiny work of art!

      Reply

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