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Posted on June 22, 2020

Summer Sweet Tooth: Classic French Desserts to Try This Season

Summer is here and so are the sweets! When it comes to French cuisine, we often think of classic savory dishes like coq au vin or any of the legendary Julia Child’s recipes. But one area of French cuisine is in need of some attention — desserts and pastries. At Le Manhattan Bistro, we offer various desserts, such as crème brûlée and chocolate mousse, and we’re here to share.

Crème Brûlée

This sweet treat has been around for centuries; its first recording was in a 1691 cookbook and the recipe is quite similar to the modern version. Though many people think of this dessert as entirely French, its origins have long been debated by many European countries.

To make a classic, modern-day crème brûlée, courtesy of celebrity Chef Alton Brown, you need the following ingredients:

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water

Before starting this recipe, preheat your oven to 325°F. Begin by heating the heavy cream and vanilla bean (including its pulp) in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil. Then remove the pan from heat, covering the pan and letting it rest for 15 minutes. Once the time has passed, remove the vanilla bean from the pan.

Next, add a ½ cup of sugar and the egg yolks to a medium-sized bowl and begin whisking. As you blend the mixture, slowly incorporate the cream. Once you’ve added all of the cream and everything is mixed, pour the mixture into your ramekins, or small ceramic bowls. Place the ramekins into a roasting pan and fill it with hot water, stopping once the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Then bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Once they are finished baking, remove the ramekins from the pan and place them in the refrigerator. Allow them to sit as little as 2 hours or up to 3 days. 30 minutes before serving, remove from the fridge and evenly distribute the remaining sugar on top. Finally, using a torch, brown the sugar on top until it is a brown color. There you have it, classic crème brûlée!

Chocolate Mousse – One of the Most Delicious French Desserts

Chocolate mousse came about in America during the 1930s. According to The Nibble, savory mousses originated in Europe during the late 18th century and dessert mousses finally came into existence during the second half of the 19th century. To make a chocolate mousse, courtesy of celebrity Chef Bobby Flay, you need a few things, including: 

  • 5 1/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 14 ounces cold heavy cream
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1-ounce sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish, optional
  • Shaved bittersweet chocolate, for garnish, optional

First, you need to melt your chocolate. Then fill a large bowl halfway with ice and place a medium-sized bowl within it. Add your heavy cream to the smaller of the two bowls and beat it until small peaks form. Once that is finished, set it aside and begin mixing your egg whites with a mixer until they too form small peaks. Next, slowly add in your sugar and whip until firm. Place your melted chocolate in a bowl and fold in the egg whites. Then, fold in the whipped cream and cover, refrigerating for an hour. When serving, you may garnish with additional whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

Authentic French Cuisine – French Desserts

Le Manhattan Bistro is proud to serve authentic French cuisine. We invite you to try making your own versions at home! We look forward to serving you again in the future.