After Benedetta’s article on Italian sweets, I thought that French cakes – some famous and less famous ones – deserve to be under the spotlight as well. Here is my personal selection of ten cakes and pastries originally coming from different regions of France.
This is one of my favorite cakes, it’s just so easy to make and so tasty! The ingredients are ladyfingers, fruits and custard or whipped cream. It is served cold and requires no baking. You can use any seasonal fruit as a filling. The most famous one though is made with strawberries.
This is an upside-down tart made with caramelized apples. The tarte Tatin was created by accident – in one of the stories explaining its origins, the baker had forgotten to use dough and baked the apples alone, then added the dough on top of them.
The texture of macarons is amazing: it just melts in your mouth! This is due to the biscuit being a meringue, and the filling most of the time butter cream. Usually the biscuit and filling are of the same flavour, but you can also find two-flavour macarons. Nowadays you can find new flavours, such as matcha tea or even foie gras.
Canelés come from the Bordeaux area. Their crust is caramelized, and the inside is quite spongy. You can enjoy them for breakfast, at the end of a meal or with your afternoon tea/coffee… or for all three options! As they are quite small, you won’t have to feel too guilty about them.
Gâteau de Savoie
You may come across the name biscuit de Savoie instead of gâteau de Savoie – we may not agree on its name, but this cake definitely makes everyone happy. Thanks to whisking the egg whites, it is so light and soft!
Originally from the Limousin region, clafoutis is made with black cherries and a flan batter. It tastes better when served lukewarm. Of course, other fruits can be used instead of cherries.
As its name suggests it, the far Breton comes from Brittany. It is very similar to clafoutis in the making, both cakes have the same batter. The far Breton though is traditionally made with prunes or raisins. It is very quick to make and is a good option when you have last-minute guests.
Biscuit rose de Reims
The origin is in the name: this biscuit comes from the city of Reims. Its beautiful color comes from a pink dye, cochineal. Enjoy them with some champagne, as locals do!
The tourteau fromager is another regional cake. It comes from the Poitou region. Made of fresh goat cheese, it surprises by its very soft texture. The top of the cake is purposely burnt.
The tarte tropézienne was created by a Polish baker who used a family recipe. He set up a shop in Saint-Tropez, and the cake became famous in the fifties when he cooked for the whole cast of a movie being shot there. The actress Brigitte Bardot loved the cake, and it suddenly became famous. It is made out of a brioche cake cut into two and filled with a mixture of butter cream, pastry cream and heavy cream.