French Pastries You’ll Find at Your Local Pâtisserie
The French know a thing about a thing when it comes to baking. They have a real knack for whipping up snazzy cakes, tarts, and various cream and chocolate-filled treats. If you’ve ever perused the counter at a pâtisserie (a bakery specialising in pastries and delicious cream-filled treats) and wondered what the fork all those golden, buttery creations are, then you’ve come to the right place. We list some of the most common French pastries that you’ll find at most bakeries, so you can wonder no more.
Every human on this planet will know the humble croissant. Delicate, rich, buttery and crisp all in one seemingly simple traditional pastry. Making croissants is a timeous task and a testament to the importance of butter in French baking. This flaky creation is yielded by adding outrageous amounts of butter into the pastry dough followed by lots of folding and refolding. The result is a light and airy masterpiece laced in rich buttery flavours with a distinct cracking exterior.
Cheat’s Croissants with Bacon, Cheese and Caramelised Onion
These flaky beauties aren’t exactly the easiest to make, but these Cheat’s Croissants with Bacon, Cheese and Caramelised Onion are absolutely worth the effort.
Baked Caramel Custard Croissant Pudding
If you prefer getting your flaky fix from the bakery or have a couple of croissants lying around at home, this Baked Caramel Custard Croissant Pudding is the ultimate indulgence.
Pain au Chocolat
Okay, so this is basically just a chocolate croissant, but its reputation is deserving of its own independent feature. Pain au chocolat encompasses the same soft, rich, buttery and crisp attributes as croissants, with the addition of rich, dark chocolate encased in the centre. Eaten warm, it will melt your heart and stomach.
These elongated cream-filled treats are another well-recognised French pastry, even from your childhood days. Éclairs are traditionally made with a choux pastry with crème pâtissière piped inside and topped with a chocolate icing, these days though they come in a variety of forms and flavours. Try your hand at making them with one of our recipes.
Simple, delightful and filling — what more could one ask for?
Chocolate Meringue Éclairs
This recipe combines three of your favourites — eclairs, meringue and of course, chocolat!
Pain aux Raisins
The French rendition of a good-old Chelsea bun, minus the icing. This spiral-shaped brekkie pastry translates as ‘raisin bread’ and is made with a leavened butter pastry, dotted with raisins and filled with a creme patisserie and frangipane (almond) filling. Yum!
If food could represent love, the macaron would definitely be the ambassador. These elegant meringue cookies are delicately sandwiched around a flavoured creme filling. What they are most famous for is their unique and tricky-to-master texture. The macaron has a paper thin crispy exterior that follows through to a soft, chewy centre that’s quite literally, irresistible. Macarons — not to be confused with macaroons — can be tricky to make but we’ve got your back in the macaron-making department.
Lemon Macarons with Lemon Curd
Deliciously light and perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the macarons and tart lemon curd filling.
Fruit Mince Macarons
We married our love for fruit mince pies and our love for macarons for one tasty teatime treat.
This famed Bordeaux dessert is recognised for its caramelised exterior and soft vanilla centre. These sweet treats are quite small, so if you’re anything like us, you’ll be able to throw a couple of them back. Delish served with chantilly cream.
This wheel-shaped praline pastry was created to commemorate the Paris to Brest bicycle race in 1910 and we’re thrilled that it stuck around. It’s made with a ring of choux pastry filled with a buttery hazelnut creme patisserie and topped with flaked almonds and icing sugar.
Hailing from Brittany in France, this crunchy pastry is conjured up with a croissant-like dough consisting of loads of butter and added sugar. The name literally translates to ‘butter cake’ and that’s the most perfect pair of words we’ve ever seen. It’s basically a crunchy caramelised croissant and we’re 100% onboard.
Tarte Tatin is one of the most classic French pastries and was famously named after sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin, who accidentally created this delicious pastry. Apparently, Stéphanie, was so overworked one day and intended to make a traditional apple pie, but burnt the apples in butter and sugar. She then tried to salvage the apples by placing pastry over the top. Much to her surprise, hotel guests raved over the dish. This upside-down tart has since won the hearts of pastry-lovers, all over the world. Traditionally made with apples, the tart is baked pastry side-up, so that all the golden sugar and butter drip onto the caramelised fruit once flipped over before serving.
Honey & Fig Thyme Tarte Tatin with Raspberry Ice Cream
Delicate flavours of honey, fig and fragrant thyme work beautifully in this tarte Tatin. The raspberry ice cream is an absolute delight too.
Plum & Vanilla Tarte Tatin
Satisfyingly tart plum and smooth, creamy vanilla — what could go wrong?
Pineapple Tarte Tatin with Rum Caramel
Pineapple may not be the traditional tarte Tatin topping, but the tarte pineapple and rum caramel flavour pairing make this tarte sublime!
Shallot Tarte Tatin
The beauty of tarte Tatin is that it could be either sweet or savoury and this shallot tarte is the perfect example and great addition to lunch or dinner table.
The mille-feuille is basically a French version of a Napoleon and translates as ‘thousand leaves’. This is most likely to represent the very many layers of paper-thin puff pastry, which usually sandwich rich pastry cream or mousse.
Brush up on your pastry knowledge with our list of different types of pastry you can bake and cook with.
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