The first time I visited Paris was almost 20 years ago. It gave me chills. A place that I had seen in movies and pictures only. Standing under the Eiffel Tower for the first time felt surreal. I didn't realize I could walk up the steps of the Arc de Triomphe, but I did. Walking along the sidewalks of the Champs-Elysées felt as though I was in some movie. Visiting the Notre Dame, or riding a boat along the Seine River doesn’t get old. Every time, you notice something new.
For our first time clients, we make sure to book those “must-do sightseeing” excursions - Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Siene cruise. For those returning clients, we want you to see a little more - maybe Sacré-Cœur Basilica, or the neighbourhood of Montmartre, or do a bakery tour, followed by a pastry class. The French love their baked goods!!!
Paris is sweet on the eye, sweet on the romance, and sweet on the palette. It is a sugar lovers' dream, and the only problem you'll have when it comes to these delectable French desserts is which one to choose. To help you navigate that yummy last course, we've broken down the top 10 must-try desserts for your visit to France. And if you have to eat more than one a day to get through them, well... c'est la vie! Now, I'm lucky enough to live in Cambridge, Ontario where there is a small bake shop that has some of these treats. I must say, Tiny Cakes (www.tinycakes.ca) will satisfy your sweet tooth and curb the craving until you get to Paris. And no, I was not paid to say this. I have been given permission to steal the photos below from their Facebook page (You should check it out). I genuinely think their sweets are out of this world and it has become a weekly tradition in our home since 2011.
10 Sweet Treats to Eat While Visiting Paris
The Tartes Aux Fruits – The tartes aux fruits are prepared with fresh fruit inside a buttery pastry. The fruit sits atop a heavenly Chantilly cream. You can enjoy these tartes in both miniature and pie sizes.
The Éclair – The éclair is a popular dessert in Paris. The long French choux pastry can be filled with either a rich custard or pastry cream and topped with a sweet fondant. By definition, the term éclair means lightning in French. Go figure!
Croissant – This buttery, flaky wonder is a signature French pastry. There are so many ways to top it; you can use fruit, chocolate, fondant, or a compote of your choosing. You will not be disappointed. Also a famous variation is Pain au chocolate. Can't go wrong with a nice croissant filled with chocolate.
The Paris Brest – This pastry was created to celebrate the Paris to Brest bicycle ride in 1891. Naturally, it's circular and contains praline flavored crème and choux pastry.
The Tarte Au Citron – Tarte Au Citron, also known as the lemon tart, are also very popular. Donning a pastry crust and delicious lemon filling. The filling, however, is not made with fruit. The cream is a mixture containing lemon juice, lemon zest, and of course, eggs and sugar.
Macaron – Macarons are undeniably delectable. There are so many flavors to choose from. The base ingredients include meringue and almonds. Be sure to not confuse with coconut macaroons, in which the English added the -oon to the word in the 16th century.
The Mille Feuille – This fluffy treat comes in a vanilla or custard slice and is comprised of several layers of puff pastry. Between the puff pastry lies an additional two layers of pastry crème. Another name for the Mille Feuille is the Napoleon.
The Tarte Tatin – Named after the hotel that serves the dessert (Hotel Tatin), the tarte Tatin is a unique upside-down pastry. Its ingredients include caramelized fruit prepared with sugar and butter. It pairs famously with a bit of tart crème Fraiche.
The Choux à La Crème – These cream puffs are created using puff pastry as well. They swell while cooking and are hollow. The oozing center can be either whipped cream or custard. Interestingly enough, once you add chocolate as your topping, it then becomes a profiterole. There are various toppings you can add to this pastry, from ice cream to fruit and even spun caramel.
The Petits Four – Translated, petit four means small oven, and are also known as mignardises. The fours are little bite-sized pastries that can also be savory if you choose. The sweet option includes a sugary glaze atop a crispy biscuit. These pastries are perfect for tea parties.
So, are you a sweets person? Which of these treats have you had? Which treats are calling out your name? I can talk sweets for hours. I love treats!!!
Let me help you plan a tour through Parisian bakeries, or take a pastry class. Let's start planning your Parisian sweets tour. Send me an email at email@example.com
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