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Posted on February 17, 2020

The Art of Making French Pastries

When we think of French cuisine, we think pasties. The more buttery and flakey the better, too! But what goes into the making of French pastries? Let’s take a look at some iconic French desserts and how they become the delicious sweet treats we know and love. 

Croissant

The quintessential French pastry–the croissant. Though we know this treat originated in Austria, the French ended up adopting and adapting the croissant to what we know it as today.

The trick to making a decadent, buttery croissant is patience and a whole lot of butter. To give the pastry it’s flakey, airy texture, fold butter into the dough and continuously refold. This helps not only with the external texture but for the soft dough inside, too. 

Macarons

This beautiful little treat is quite particular to every outside element which is why many just opt to purchase them from bakeries instead of making them. French macarons are so finicky because of their sensitivity to humidity–specifically too much moisture in the air.

Some tricks of the macaron trade include using older eggs since the egg whites will be less moist. Some bakers also suggest using powdered food dye instead of a liquid to limit the added moisture.

If ingredient cost and not being able to control humidity stresses you out, we suggest you just purchase these sweet treats. 

Éclair

The French éclair was born (or should we say baked) at the turn of the 19th century. The word éclair is French for lightning because the pastry glistens after being coated with a ganache glaze.

The key to a perfect éclair is choux pastry which is made from bringing milk, water, sugar, salt, and butter to a boil, adding flour and eggs once cool. Through high heat, the dough is steamed giving it the puffy texture. The temperature is then lowered to complete the baking process and give the pastry it’s golden brown look. 

Opéra Cake

This next pastry will give you something to sing about. Made of thin, coffee-syrup soaked cake, the opéra cake is layered with coffee buttercream and topped off with a chocolate ganache. 

The cake was a creation by French pastry chef Cyriaque Gavillon who had hoped to create a dessert where you would taste the entire creation in one bite. Gavillon’s wife said it reminded her of the French opera and the name stuck.

Today, bakers throughout France will give their own spin on the treat. If you plan to make this treat yourself, we suggest using a standing mixer and having a bit of time on your hands! Though preparation itself is only 30 minutes, the baking time takes much longer. 

Enjoy French Cuisine Right in Wilkes-Barre at Le Manhattan Bistro

Have you always wanted to experience the foods of France but don’t have the budget to leave Wilkes-Barre? Le Manhattan Bistro is the place for you. With exquisite dishes prepared by our own executive chef Jonathan Minor, your taste buds will have a fanciful experience.  

Reserve your table today to enjoy some of the best fine dining Wilkes-Barre has to offer. 

We look forward to serving you outstanding cuisine at all of our fine establishments:                                        

The Beaumont Inn;

The River Street Jazz Cafe;

Grico’s;                                              

Kevin’s;

Cork Bar & Restaurant;

Le Manhattan Bistro;

Fire and Ice

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