Today, Just a Lil’ Lost is being graced with the presence of THE Cupcake Queen, Wendy (A Cupcake and a Latte) who is here to talk about, what else, delicious sweet french pastries!
So without further ado, here’s Wendy to whet your appetites w/this yummy guest post! (Might I add that while I’m preparing to schedule this guest post in advance, I am STARVING just looking at all the pictures!)
Taste-bud Heaven ~ French Pastries
At the very moment you’re reading this, the wonderful Michele from Just A Lil’ Lost is over in Paris enjoying some decadent Parisian goodies among some of the most romantic and historic sites in all of Europe. Color me jealous because that’s exactly what I am, but I’m not here to boast about how much I wish I hid myself in her suitcase and flew on over to the rightfully dubbed “City of Love”. I’m hear to talk about the goods, the yummies, the mouth-watering sugary goodness that all adore – the pastries!
France has always been known for it’s exquisitely delicious cuisine and it’s pastries are no different! The legendary Croissant, Eclair, Pain au Chocolat, Chausson aux Pommes, Beignet, Tarte, and Macarons are among some of the most widely and beloved pastries to come from France. Today, as the guest blogger on Michele’s Paris Month event, I’ll be talking about the wonderful world of French Pastries!
The Croissant! Do you remember the first time you took a bite of a Croissant? I certainly do! I was about 3 at the time, at an outdoor cafe, and spotted one of my siblings eating the oddly shaped baked loaf. Curiously I asked them what it was and then took a bite. It was love at first bite, literally! There’s just something about eating a soft croissant that does not compare to the rest. As the years went on I began to discover that there were different ways of preparing the Croissant. Chocolate, cheese, cream, meat; all wonderful additions one could have rolled into the dough prior to baking that would accentuate it’s taste. Truly, by far, my favorite has to be chocolate!
Eclair! Have you ever had a chocolate eclair? If not…you’re certainly missing out. Eclairs can be easily compared to that of a typical donut. However, there’s a fine but distinct line that separates an eclair from a standard donut – OPTIONS! A sugary top coating, why lower your expectations to something so simple? Why not spoil yourself with a pastry with a sugary top coating AND an addicting cream filling? My recommendation; spoil yourself with a freshly baked Chocolate Eclair with an equally fresh cup of coffee. Use the eclair for dipping, you just can’t go wrong with that combination =)
Pain au Chocolat! As surprising as it may sound, the first time I had a Pain au Chocolat was actually during one of my visits to Lisbon Portugal. As the dubbed “cousin of the croissant”, it does not disappoint! With an outer layering quite similar to that of a croissant, the squarish shaped pastry is filled with mouth watering chocolate that leaves you begging for more. I absolutely love having Pain au Chocolat with a fresh cool glass of milk during the evenings, particularly during periods of relaxation. There’s nothing better than reading a good book with a Pain au Chocolat!
Chausson aux Pommes! Apple pie lovers – this is one pastry you absolutely must try! However, be warned, don’t blame me if you become addicted 😉 Much like the croissant, Chausson aux Pommes also features the same texture. However, the really appetizing thing about these half moon shaped goodies are that they can be filled with apple chunks and apple sauce, much similar to a standard apple pie! Small, portable, manageable! In my opinion, it’s absolutely perfect for eating after lunch while at work (I’ve packed one away for myself a few times during the summer!)
Beignet! I’ve have yet to meet someone who has not had a Beignet, however I have a strong feeling that in the comment section I’ll be meeting a few who haven’t yet (no worries, I’ll convince you!) Beignets, like eclairs, are quite similar and comparable to typical donuts. However, despite being a deep fried pastry, like the croissant they have the power of OPTION! In addition to being covered in deliciously sweet powered sugar, Beignets can also be found with mushroom, meat, or cheese filling. After having a Beignet you will, without a doubt, question why you’d never had one before!
Tarte! I’ve actually only had tarte on only a few occasions but every single time I have yet to be disappointed. Very similar to Chausson aux Pommes, tarte can be easily compared to American pies. Tarte are usually flat, topped with delicious fresh fruit, and layered with custard. However, I’ve been witness to several different recreations of the tarte.
Macarons! Have you ever had a Macaron? No? *points at the door* Get out! No, just kidding, but in all honesty…you have NO idea what you’re missing. You’re missing out on absolute taste bud heaven! Not only are Macarons colorful and fun, they’re also delicious! Shaped much like a small round cookie, Macarons are pastries that take on the form of a sandwich. With two layers of mouth watering wafer-like meringue and an equally delicious layer of flavored icing (oh yes, it comes in MANY flavors), this has to be one of my absolute FAVORITE french pastries. Moist or crispy, you can never go wrong with a Macaron. Additionally, Macarons are known for making excellent party and gathering finger foods! In fact, you can even color co-ordinate them to match your color theme at the party. Black and red themed party? Get yourself some black and white colored Macarons!
With that said, french pastries are absolutely phenomenal. No matter your hankering or taste bud preference, there will always be a french pastry for you! Hopefully I haven’t made many of you hungry, however I am hoping I inspired a few of you to perhaps try out some of these delicious treats. You’ll thank me later!