There is something special about French desserts. Not only are they very tasty and appealing, but they also prove the fact that it is possible to create art by simply combining a few ingredients. There are many French desserts that one can think of, starting from crêpes to the renowned crème brulée or macaroons. You don’t even need to have a sweet tooth to try these delicacies. Their heavenly taste will make you feel like royalty.
The French are experts at preparing tasty treats, and it goes without saying that their creams are just as diverse. Even though the ingredients are sometimes very similar, such as eggs, milk, sugar, flour or even starch, French bakers can create a variety of textures and tastes with them. That is why for the simple dessert lover it might be difficult to make a difference between crème pâtissière, crème anglaise, or crème Chantilly and associate it with the traditional custard cream.
All of these require a different method of preparation, and they have different uses. They can be served on their own (crème anglaise) or in cakes (crème pâtissière). Also, another aspect that differentiates these desserts is how they are consumed. Since custard cream is very popular, a lot of people consume it either cold or hot, but crème pâtissière is only eaten cold, in cakes or pasties.
The first cream that French pâtissiers’ use as a base for their desserts is the renowned crème pâtissière. In order to prepare it, one has to combine eggs, milk, sugar and a bit of starch. This cream has a dense consistency, being a great base for fruit tarts, but it is just as important when preparing choux pastry for religieuse or éclairs. This thick cream can be combined with whipped cream for a lighter texture, which makes it great for adding to fruity desserts.
The irony about this next cream is the fact that although the French consume crème anglaise (English cream, if translated word for word) on a regular basis, it is less known and much less consumed in England! This delicacy is often used in layer cakes, in cream pies or even in parfaits. The main ingredients are sugar, milk and egg yolks, but it is possible to add whipped cream or even gelatin to create other consistencies (such as crème diplomat) and use it for other recipes. As it’s quite runny, it can be piped, and if you’re willing to prepare it, your guests will be pleasantly surprised by it.
Crème à Flan
The following specialty is crème à flan. In order to add a bit of flavour, it is possible to add caramel, vanilla, chocolate, or fruits besides the main ingredients that are milk, sugar, egg yolks, flour and even starch. The flan has a rich flavour and a silky texture. On the other hand, the sauce needs to look like golden caramel. French often serve it on top of a pie crust, just like specialists do when preparing their pâte sucrée.
Crème Chantilly is the last cream on this list, although very important for the French pâtisserie! This delicacy is whipped cream sweetened with sugar and a hint of vanilla for unforgettable taste. The rich whipped cream is very familiar to every French kitchen. What makes it so special is that it can be used in génoise cakes, tarts, pasty or even as a decoration, such as the Swan at Délices or gâteaux. Your creativity can guide you when adding in those fancy liqueurs that you received as a gift.
Happily, you can find these delicious desserts at Délices. Here in Bedford, you’ll find the most classic and traditional French cakes, tars and incredible combinations that will indulge the senses.