7 Most Popular French Desserts

I love desserts. Who doesn’t? For the French, it is as important as the rest of the meal. In fact, for many people, it is the most anticipated part of dinner. Now here are the seven most popular French desserts you can try for those French dinner parties you might be planning with your fellow Francophile friends.

1. Tarte de Pommes a la Normande (French Apple Tart)

Recipe: allrecipes.com
This delicious tart is perfect for an after dinner with friends. I can just imagine me baking this for my girlfriends; that is, if I ever get my hands on an oven that works. Haha. But yes, I know a couple of gals who would love this tart, especially because of the almonds. It would even make a perfect treat over coffee or tea.

2. Charlotte Russe au chocolat (Chocolate Charlotte)

Recipe: allrecipes.com
If you know lady fingers, then you know this cake could only be delicious. Obviously I love lady fingers. And more than that, this cake also has chocolate! Yummy! And the recipe doesn’t really require a lot of work. But even if it did, if the end product is as delicious as this, who cares about the hard work. Right?

3. Éclair

Recipe: allrecipes.com
This one is actually one of my personal favorites, which may not really be saying much since I have a sweet tooth and I love almost all sweet things. Still, who could resist eclairs? I, and a lot of my friends, certainly can’t! Plus, if you put them all in a row, they would make a lovely presentation. Perfect for those after-dinner parties.

4. Madeleines

Recipe: allrecipes.com
As I’ve mentioned before, in another post, this mini cake owes part of its popularity to Marcel Proust’s book. But if you ask me, I think it owes a bit of its fame also to its scrumptious deliciousness. If you think I’m just exaggerating, then you have never tasted these sweet confections before, which means you are missing out on a pretty sweet gastronomic adventure.

5. Dessert Crepes

Recipe: allrecipes.com
I just love how these thin pseudo pancakes are so versatile. They can be paired with almost anything. And they are even more delicious when paired with fresh fruits and a dollop of whipped cream. Now, if you want a healthier treat, you could dispense with the cream and just have the fruits as filling. Fruits are, after all, full of fiber and vitamins. Either way, it sounds so yummy, doesn’t it? In fact, just thinking about them is making me hungry.

6. Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Recipe: foodnetwork.com
There has been some debate as to where ganache was really invented, in France or Switzerland. If you ask me, it doesn’t matter where it really came from. What matters is that it’s one of the most delicious things in the world. And you can put it as a filling or glaze to almost any pastry! Amazing, right? And the cupcake recipe here is so easy it’s adorable. More than that, I’m a big fan of coffee, chocolate, butter, and cream. So getting all of these tasty flavors in one yummy treat is, for me, pure indulgence. Just amazingly delicious!

7. French Meringues

Recipe: allrecipes.com
Now this one is an old favorite of mine. I’ve been eating these things even before I could read or write! I’m serious. These confections are very easy to prepare and they just melt in your mouth like dollops of snowflakes, only sweeter. And you could make them in different colors, too. You just add some drops of natural food coloring into the mix. But if you ask me, I prefer the white ones. I don’t know why but they look more delicious to me than the colored ones.

Do you love desserts as much as I do? Well then, try out some of these recipes and treat yourself to any of these sweet confections today.


7 Easy to Make French Appetizers

An appetizer, according to encarta dictionary, is a small dish of food served at the beginning of a meal to stimulate the appetite; hence the name. In French cuisine, every part of dinner is essential. But if you ask my opinion, I think appetizers might be the most important part, since they sort of prep people for the rest of the meal. Now here are seven easy-to-make French appetizers.

1. Tranches au Fromage (Cheese Toast)

Recipe: epicurious.com
Who doesn’t love toast?! It’s one of the yummiest and easiest foods that you can prepare. And this recipe has cheese and mustard, which are both equally delicious. Plus, this recipe requires only a few minutes to prepare, which makes it doubly amazing. Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering, black bread is another term for rye bread. So yes, the ingredients are easy to find, the instructions are easy to follow, and the end product is pretty delicious. More cheese toast, anyone?

2. Tarte au Fromage (Cheese Tart)

Recipe: frenchfood.about.com
This is another deliciously excellent cheese appetizer. It might take a bit longer than most to prepare, but you wouldn’t regret making it. And yes, it is very easy to prepare. There are no complicated processes or cooking techniques needed. You just need to set the dough for a couple of hours. But other than that, it’s a breeze to prepare.

3. Seafood Fondue

Recipe: cdkitchen.com
I’ve always found fondue recipes cute and fun. And this recipe let’s you see that fondue is not just fun to eat, it is also fun to prepare. Seriously, the whole thing is reminiscent of when you were a little girl playing chef with your little pots, pans, and stove. Who said preparing appetizers has to be all business, right?


Top 10 French White Wines

France is popular for its rich cuisine and its cuisine wouldn’t be complete without its complementary wines. Now here are top ten French white wines for those out there who prefer fish, seafood, or fowl over red meat dishes.

1. Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut NV

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $32.99
Champagne is one of the most popular drinks you will most often find in parties. Now this one has rich tones of peach stones, orange blossoms, and lemon zest with a hint of almonds. This lively wine would complement pescetarian dishes really well.

2. Le Meurger Bourgogne Chardonnay 2008

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $18.99
Burgundy is a place that’s famous not only for its Pinot noir grapes but also for its Chardonnay. So knowing that this bottle came from there could only mean good things for anyone who gets their hands on this. This wine has hints of cinnamon, honey, butter, and nuts. It would complement risotto and pasta dishes.

3. Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling 2006

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $15.99
This wine was made from Riesling grapes and has subtles traces of sweet melon, peach, and honeysuckle. It is a popular vintage because it is just lively and sweet enough for an entire dinner. It would complement a variety of chicken dishes quite well.

4. Domaine de Bellivière Jasnières les Rosiers 2004

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $29.99
This bottle was made from Chenin Blanc grapes, a not so popular variety. It has hints of tropical fruits such as pineapples or guava but has obvious traces of other flavors such as honey, marzipan, peach, and quince jelly. It would complement grilled or spicy fish, or other seafood dishes.

5. Château Le Grand Verdus Ct-6 Bordeaux Blanc Aoc 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $23.63
This white wine from the Bordeaux region has rich traces of reserved fruits and could be excellent for cooking. It also tastes a bit lush and a tad sweet on the tongue. It would go well with creamy pasta and rice dishes.

6. Paul Blanck Gewürztraminer Alsace Altenbourg 2000

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $15.00
This bottle of of white wine was made with Gewürztraminer grapes from the Alsace region of France. It has traces of very ripe fruits and could have hints of lychees. It also has roses, passion fruit, and other sweet floral aromas. It would complement any fowl dishes particularly ones with turkey or chicken meat.

7. Château Puysserguier, Saint Chinian White, 2008

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $19.74
This bottle is a blend of Grencache Blanc, Maranne, and Vermentino grapes. It has subtle hints of honey and spice , and acacia flowers. This wine would complement vegetable or pasta dishes quite well.

8. Picpoul de Pinet, Fougeray de Beauclair 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $8.93
This wine from the Burgundy region of France was made with Picpoul (or Piquepoul) blanc grapes. It has subtle traces of nuts, cinammon, dry herbs and spice, and even ripe orchard fruits. It goes well with fish and shellfish dishes.

9. Cote Tariquet Vin de Pays des CĂ´tes de Gascogne 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $7.99
This table wine is a blend of a variety of Chardonnay grapes from Armagnac region of France. It is filled with the taste of rich tropical fruits and is a good complementary wine for vegetable or rice dishes.

10. Domaine Josmeyer Mise du Printemps Pinot Blanc Alsace 2008

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $4.99
This bottle is full of rich white fruits and beautiful grape and peardrop aromas. It would complement seafood dishes, particularly shrimp, or a plate of spicy tomato salad.

So, are you convinced yet that white wine could be as great for dinner as the red? You should try whipping your favorite fish or chicken dishes today, pick up a bottle of white wine to go with it, and be surprised by how good the combo is. Bon appetit!

7 Easiest Recipes from French Cuisine

One of the common misconceptions about French cuisine is that it has expensive and uncommon ingredients and that it involves really complicated preparation and cooking procedures. Well, that might be true for some dishes but most experts say that French home cooking is not actually riddled with complicated recipes. Now, here are the seven easiest French cuisine recipes.

1. Vichyssoise (Potato Leek Soup)

Recipe: delish.com
This is quite a popular French soup. It takes just about an hour to prepare and the ingredients are quite easy to find, too. It is usually served cold. I know that sounds a bit unusual but it is delicious. It could be because I just love potatoes and butter but trust me, it really is.

2. Aubergines frits (Fried Eggplant)

Recipe: easy-french-food.com
One of my favorite vegetables is the eggplant. And to find a very easy, albeit a little messy, recipe for it is a rare gem. The recipe only has a few ingredients and it’s unbelievably easy to follow! Whoever said French cuisine is complicated have surely never tried this recipe before.

3. Canapes

Recipe: easy-french-food.com
Now who doesn’t know these pretty little things? These things are one of the most popular hors d’oeuvres people serve in parties. This recipe has everything you might need to know to prepare lovely and delicious canapes. It has a list of classic combinations and tips on how to make your canapes the talk of the party. All right, that might be a tad exaggerated. But still, this recipe rocks! And it’s quite easy to follow, too.


Top 10 French Red Wines

Wine is a very essential part of French dinners. And who could blame the French? Dishes do taste way better with the right glass of wine, don’t they? Now, I bet you’ve heard that when it comes to red meat, red wine is best. So here are the top ten French red wines for all those delicious red meat dishes you’re contemplating to serve.

10. Mouton Cadet, Bordeaux Rouge 2007

Product link: france44store.com
Price: $9.99
This red wine is full of a variety of fruit flavors including cherry, blackberry, red currant, and plum. It also has traces of several spices that makes this table red an excellent complement for main dishes with red meats such lamb, veal, and even duck.

9. Bouchard Aine, Bourgogne Pinot noir 2008

Product Link: snooth.com
Price: $10.97
A bottle of Pinot noir is among my favorites and this one is a lovely bottle with a cherry red tinge. It’s a rich fruity plump wine with a hint of wood and has a mix aroma of cherry, mint, and lime. It would complement roasted red meats such as prime ribs or roast beef, fowl such as turkey, or mild cheeses.

8. Château Peynaud 2006, Bordeaux Superieur

Product link: bordeaux-undiscovered.co.uk
Price: $12.43 (£7.72)
Bordeux wines are quite popular around the world. And this one was bottled by one of the old vintners in the Aquitaine region of France so no doubt this one would be quite good. Now, this bottle is a dark red claret with hints of plum, black currant, and berries. This would complement any red meat dishes, fowl, or strong cheeses.

7. Château Mont-Redon, Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge 2005

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $13.90
This red wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault or Mourvedre grapes. It is a bold, rich, and fruity wine that would complement roasted or grilled red meat dishes quite well.

6. Château Barreyres, Haut-Médoc 2005

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $15.84
This rich dark red has poignant traces of ripe berries, specially dark cherries, cranberry, and black currant. Moreover, wine connoisseurs only have good things to say about this vintage (a.k.a. wine production year), so this bottle could only be good. It would go well with roasted meat and potatoes.

5. Château Paul Mas Clos des Mûres Coteaux du Languedoc 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $16.02
This full-bodied wine is a dark red with hints of blackberry, cherries, spices, and some roasted coffee. It also has traces of vanilla in it. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre grapes. This table red would complement lamb dishes, grilled red meat, or soft cheeses.

4. Irouleguy Rouge Domaine Ilarria 2006

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $20.71
It is a dark red that is a blend of Tannat, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. And it has hints of black raspberries and spicebox. It is made with organic ingredients and experts says it is good for your health. It is best served with spicy dishes with lots of pepper, or barbecued lamb.

3. Moulin-a-Vent, Domaine Richard Rottiers 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $25.99
This bottle of dark red is made from a variety of Gamay grapes. It has hints of dark red fruits, particularly blueberries. It has traces of a fruity aroma with hints of violet. It would be great with country hams or grilled red meat dishes.

2. Louis Jadot, Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $24.99
This is another, albeit more expensive, Pinot noir. It is made with Pinot noir grapes. It is a smooth dark red wine that has hints of spices and fruits, particularly ripe red berries. It is best served with grilled fish, vegetables, or simple salads.

1. Cotes du Rhone, Reserve Chartreuse de Bonpas, Louis Bernard 2007

Product link: wine-searcher.com
Price: $25.26
This dark ruby red wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes. It has hints of ripe berries, cherries, and spice. It would complement almost any red meat main dishes, and it can even be perfect as an aperitif (an alcoholic drink that is served with appetizers).

So, have you made up your mind what wine to get for you dinner party, yet? Well if you haven’t yet, I’m sure people at your local wine shops would be glad to help you choose the perfect wine for your menu. After all, you don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to pick the perfect bottle. You just need to know someone who does.

7 Most Famous Kinds of French Cheese

One of the things I love about French dinners is that cheeses actually have their own place in them. I mean, where else would you be served cheese between the main course and dessert? And you would be served not just one yummy French cheese, but four! I tell you, French dinners are delectablyly charminng. Obviously, I love cheese. Now, here are seven most famous kinds of French cheese.

1. Camembert

Product link: amazon.com
Price: $8.80
Camembert is made from usually pasteurized cow’s milk. In France, however, they prefer to use raw unpasteurized cow’s milk. It is soft, gooey, and creamy inside with a white dry rind outside. It is said to have been invented in Normandy, in a town called Camembert. But some experts say this could just be a popular local myth. Another interesting tidbit about this cheese is that the famous surrealist painter Salvador Dali mentioned it was the inspiration behind his most famous painting of a runny clock entitled “The Persistence of Memory”. Experts say Camembert goes well with red wine.

2. Brie de Meaux

Brie de Meaux
Product link: amazon.com
Price: $19.99
Brie is made from whole or skimmed cow’s milk that could be pasteurized or unpasteurized. It looks a bit like Camembert and it also uses the same species of mold but it is more solid on the inside. If your Brie looks as gooey as a Camembert, it is most probably overripe, which you don’t really want. It was invented in Brie, the province for which it was named after. Although this type of French cheese is usually white, there is a type of Brie that has a brownish and drier rind called Brie Noir. It is drier and has a daker color because it is aged longer than the typical Brie. Like Camembert, Brie is served with red wine.

3. Roquefort

Product link: amazon.com
Price: $25.49
Roquefort is a popular blue cheese made from ewe’s milk. It is made, like most French cheeses, in rounds and is white in color with spots of blue green, which is actually mold, all over it. The production of this cheese is quite curious because it is aged inside caves that can only be found in Mont Combalou in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Originally, the mold for this cheese was taken directly from the cave soil but now it is cultured inside labs. Moreover, technically this cheese can be made outside of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon but they cannot take the name Roquefort because the label is protected by French law. Quite snobbish, right? And in my opinion, so French. I read somewhere that Zinfandel goes well with Roquefort.

4. Boursin

Product link: amazon.com
Price: $7.25
Boursin is a cream cheese that is made from cow’s milk mixed with salt, spices, and herbs. It was invented by, and named after, a French cheesemaker named Francois Boursin from Normandy in 1957. Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs, the original recipe only has milk, cream, salt, pepper, garlic, chives, and parsley. This variety continues to be the most popular one today. Most people eat this creamily delicious cheese with bread, usually a baguette. It goes well with a bottle of fruity red wine.

5. Reblochon

Product link: amazon.com
Price: $84.00
Reblochon is a soft cheese from raw or unpasteurized cow’s milk. It is aged in caves or cellars in the mountains of Haute Savoie. There is a charming anecdote regarding this cheese’s name and origin. The story goes that during the Middle Ages, farmers paid their taxes with milk from their cattle. But in order to pay less, the farmers do not fully milk their animals. (I guess nobody really likes taxes, even then. I sure don’t.) And after the tax collectors go, the farmers milk their cattle again. The much richer milk they get with the second milking is the one they use to make Reblochon. In fact, the word Reblochon comes from the French word “reblocher” which means “to milk the cow’s again”. Reblochon is said to have a nutty taste and a strong herby smell. Similar to Boursin, a bottle of fruity red wine would complement this yummy cheese.

6. Munster

Product link: amazon.com
Price: $13.99
Munster is a soft white cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk from cattle found in the mountain range in northeastern France called Vosges. It is said to have been first made by monks who lived in Munster Valley, who came from Ireland. Munster is rubbed by hand with a cloth soaked in a rock salt and water solution. Then it is left outside for a week. After a week, the cheese is brought inside the caves where they are left to age. However, the cheese is washed and brushed every two days. Munster cheese has quite a strong flavor and smell, and it is usually paired with red wine.

7. Pont l’Evèque

Pont l'Evèque
Product link: amazon.com
Price: $16.19
Pont l’Evèque is a pale yellow cheese with a white orange rind. It is considered to be among the world’s oldest cheeses. It is known to have been first produced during the Middles ages, around the thirteenth century. It was first known by the name of d’Angelot. Centuries later, it was mainly manufactured in a community called Pont l’Evèque in Normandy. And that was how it later adapted the name. It is often made from pasteurized cow’s milk. It is a soft creamy and buttery cheese with a rather strong aroma or odor. Some say it goes well with Pinot Noir, while others say it is perfect with Champagne. My advice? Try both and decide for yourself which one complements Pont l’Evèque best.

Is your favorite French cheese in this list? If it’s not, what is your favorite French cheese? What wine do you usually serve with it? Do you know any interesting stories behind your favorite French cheese?


7 Best Books on French Cuisine

ime of mine since high school. And when I grew older I collected more hobbies; such as photography, knitting, and of course cooking. So to be able to combine two of my favorite activities (and about a favorite subject, too!) is pretty much a great blessing. And what favorite subject is that? Why, French cuisine of course! So ladies, here are 7 books on French cusine that are “must reads” for any Francophile out there.

1. La Bonne Cuisine by Madame Evelyn Saint-Ange

La Bonne Cuisine by Madame Evelyn Saint-Ange
product link: amazon.com
Price: $29.20
It is one of those time tested books about French cuisine. It was first published in 1927 in French and was finally translated into English in2005. It contains detailed recipes, and cooking techniques and preparations of many classic French dishes. It is even cited as among the favorite books of famous chefs, expecially the renowned Ms. Julia Child. According to her, this tome greatly influenced her studies of French cuisine. And if you’re going to believe anyone about French cuisine, it would be the late Ms. Child, wouldn’t it?

2. Bistro: The Best of Casual French Cooking by Gerald Hirigoyen

Bistro: The Best of Casual French Cooking by Gerald Hirigoyen
product link: amazon.com
Price: $12.99
Bistro, according to the dictionary, means a small restaurant or bar. This means that the recipes here are of dishes that you could get from typical small restaurants in France. This book gives out simple cooking instructions of fifty-six recipes that are quite easy to follow. And it has full-color photos of dishes, so at least you know how they’re supposed to look when you’re done. Lastly, it has recipes for almost all parts of dinner, from appetizers to desserts. What more could you ask for?

3. La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking by Francoise Bernard

La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking by Francoise Bernard
product link: amazon.com
Price: $29.70
For those who love French cuisine, this book is quite a delightful treat. First off, it was written by one of the most notable names in the field of French home cooking, Madame Francoise Bernard. Second, if you are acquainted with Madame Bernard’s other books, you will know that she loved simplifying French cuisine, which means the recipes would be relatively easier than what most people think of typical French cuisine. Lastly, the book contains a thousand recipes, which would cover you for over two years of simple French homebcooking, and that is if you don’t find a favorite that you might want to make over and over again! So if you love French cooking as much as I do, this book is definitely a “must read”.

4. Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
product link: amazon.com
Price: $24.82
Dorie Greenspan is a great lover of French home cooking and she has quite the credentials for it since she lives in Paris some parts of the year. Actually, she has three houses, one in New York, one in Westbrook, Connecticut, and another one in Paris, France. She says she travels to the three homes often. Quite dizzying, don’t you think? Anyway, her book, which was just recently published, does not just contain 300 recipes but also some stories about her life in France. So this is sort of a double treat. You get to learn some French home cooking, and you get to read some stories of how it is to really live in France at the same time. Tempting, right?

5. French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David

French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David
product link: amazon.com
Price: $23.07
Elizabeth David was, according to critics, not just an expert on French cooking but also a really good writer. In fact, she won many awards ofr her writing. Now, in this book you would see that knowing the recipes was not the only concern of Ms. David. Aside from her deliciously simple recipes, she also included histories and traditions behind the said dishes. And her narratives for each region’s cooking style or recipe ingredient is quite delightful to read. It is also interesting to note that Ms. David was a contemporary of Ms. Julia Child. In fact, Ms. Child wrote forewords for two of Ms. David’s cookbooks, including this one. Clearly, these two great ladies were in agreement when it came to French cuisine.

6. The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan

The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan
product link: amazon.com
Price: $45.00
This tome is another unique treat for Francophiles out there. Why? Well, just like Elizabeth David’s book, this one not only talks about recipes, it also gives background histories about the dishes and the regions where they came from. And it doesn’t just have lovely photos of delicious dishes but also of everyday life in French villages, public markets, and homes. All in all, it is a delightful collaboration of Anne Willan, an award-winning cookbook author, and France Ruffenach, an equally award-winning photographer.

7. Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set) by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

product link: amazon.com
Price: $51.97
Now, who wouldn’t have this two-volume set in their list of great French cookbooks? These tomes are among the great cookbooks of French cooking in America today. It is no wonder these are among the bestselling cookbooks out there. Well yes, the set is a bit pricey. But these two books are worth every penny. Believe me. This set is a collaboration of three great women who were not only authors and cooking teachers but were also the forerunners of French cuisine in America and founders of L’école des Trois Gourmandes, a cooking school in France in the 1950s. The set has over 700 recipes of French dishes and cute illustrations of instructions on how to prepare them. If I were to buy these as a gift for a friend, I’d probably end up keeping them and buying my friend something else. Most probably!

Do you already own or are still planning to get one of these French cuisine gems? Or are you one of those who just recently discovered the interesting world of French cooking? Well, whichever one you might be, any one of these gorgeous cookbooks would be an excellent reading material for you.

Baguette Delicious White French Bread


Baguette, with its crunchy, crisp crust and a soft, delectable center, is a traditional white bread served in France, and a staple of French cuisine. French “une baguette” is translated into English as a “stick”, which truly describes the unique form of this most popular French bread – it is shaped as a wand of about 60 cm long, and weighs 500 grammes (about 1 pound).In some areas of France, this bread is still delivered to the customers’ door every morning, together with traditional milk and cream. In big cities, people go to the local “Boulangerie” (hot bread shop) at least once a day themselves, to get a fresh loaf which is eaten at all three meals.

What to do if the nearest to you Boulangerie is as far as France? Do not despair, but try to bake baguette at home! It certainly takes a little time, effort and patience to master baking good baguette by yourself – but only until you become forever addicted to its terrific taste. We recommend the following recipes of this authentic, home-made French bread:

French Bread – Allrecipes
Bakers Yeast Bread
Country sourdough-yeast bread
French Bread
French Bread – baking911.com
Authentic French Bread
French Bread – About.com