Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ooh la la French desserts

When my favorite thrift/estate store had a big sale in preparation for moving one of my treasures purchased was a stack of cookbooks.  I already have many, many cookbooks so I patiently poked thru their selections and grabbed several that I didn't already have.  Included in my choices was a small paperback book called Simple French Desserts that had been published in 2000..  I love all things kitchen related so many of the tools and dishes needed for these desserts were things that I had already been collecting.  I have individual souffle dishes, individual tart dishes  for creme brulee, other small dishes suitable for pots de creme and I had recently found a coeur a la creme mold and a kitchen torch.  I was set to go.

I didn't make the souffle, that will be for next time.  But this weekend provided a couple of opportunities for trying other recipes from the book.  On Saturday my brother was visiting at my parents and so we got together for supper.  My sister and her daughter and daughter's boyfriend joined us and I brought creme brulee for dessert.

On Sunday my son and his girlfriend were visiting and we got together at my parents' house again for dinner and this time I brought two versions of pots de creme, one chocolate and one coffee.

I did also make a coeur a la creme but it needed to drain for 24 hours so it wasn't ready for the weekend due to my not planning ahead. I also decided that since many of the dishes required separated eggs and I had whites left over that it was a good time to make another French goodie, macarons, with the whites.   Once I had a refrigerator stocked with the extra desserts it only made sense to arrange them on a tray and take a couple of pictures.

None of the dishes were particularly difficult but they did involve several steps and seemed to create a mountain of dirty dishes.  The pots de creme and the creme brulee are essentially custards and so they require egg yolks to be separated from the whites and beaten with sugar, cream that is heated, then strained, and then mixed with yolks and then once poured into the little individual dishes they are baked in the oven in a bain marie or water bath. They were served with creme Chantilly, a sweetened whipped cream.  The coeur a la creme required both whipped cream and whipped egg whites and the macarons, whipped egg whites.  My mixer got a work out. I must have washed that bowl and beater five or six times.  For the chocolate pots de creme the heated cream was poured over chocolate to melt it.  For the cafe au lait pots de creme the broken coffee beans were steeped in the hot cream to infuse the cream with a coffee flavor and then strained before mixing with the eggs.
creme brulee

crunchy sugar topping

cafe au lait in an espresso cup

cafe au lait, creamy coffee color

pot de creme

coeur a la creme with blackberry coulis

tasted good but difficult to serve prettily

macarons with meyer lemon buttercream

I love fussy cooking so this was right up my alley.     


Not exactly a tablescape but still joining BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday here.


  1. I am so totally impressed. I can barely scrape together a meatloaf and boxed brownies!! Ha! ;) Your desserts always amaze me and leave me with a watering mouth. Man, if we lived closer, I would be knocking on your door all the time!! Fabulous.

    1. Thanks Kim. They were fun to do. It would be fun to live closer and get together to eat and craft and thrift.

  2. Everything looks so yummy! I have always liked pots de creme and don't serve it often enough. Wishing you a blessed Easter.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    1. Thanks Susan and Bentley, I found your blog for the first time today and looked at your blog post about your darling miniature Easter decorated dollhouse this morning before leaving for the day and without having a few minutes to add a comment. Now that I have the evening free I will be coming back to add my thoughts. Thank you for visiting and for leaving a nice comment. Blessed Easter wishes to you as well. Lorri

  3. Wow I admire you for making all these! Creme brûlée is a favorite of mine. All the other recipes look delicious- what a treat if must have been to taste them all!

    1. Thanks Liz, it was fun. They were all good. Not sure if they tasted like an authentic French dessert but I liked them and they were fun to do.