Category Archives: Recipes

Holiday recipe: Chocolate-covered candied orange peel

The practice of preserving fruit in sugar dates back to antiquity. More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Romans preserved fruit in this way using honey. During the Crusades, Europeans arriving in the Middle East discovered pâtes de fruits, jams and candied fruit. These sweet and flavourful confections eventually made their way to France by … Continue reading Holiday recipe: Chocolate-covered candied orange peel

The florentine, a 16th-century cookie fit for a queen

Florentines (florentins), the crunchy almond cookies with a chocolate base, are said to have been introduced to France during the reign of King Louis XII (1462-1515). King Louis’s second wife was Anne, Duchess of Brittany (1477-1514). A master pastry chef who had worked for the Medici family in Florence came to Brittany and brought with … Continue reading The florentine, a 16th-century cookie fit for a queen

Petites Madeleines (madeleine cakes)

The invention of madeleines, the small, rich shell-shaped cakes popular throughout France, is believed to date back to the 18th century, when they were first made in the town of Commercy (Lorraine region). In 1755, Madeleine Paulmier, a servant of the marquise Perrotin de Baumont, is said to have created some little scallop-shaped cakes for … Continue reading Petites Madeleines (madeleine cakes)

Summer Desserts: Mousse au Chocolat

What could be more divine than  chocolate mousse? Light yet satisfying, silky smooth and flavourful, it is the perfect finish for any meal. This classic French dessert has been served in France since the early 19th century. Alexandre Viard, a chef to Louis XVI and Napoleon, described it in the 1820 edition of his culinary encyclopedia, Le cuisinier royal … Continue reading Summer Desserts: Mousse au Chocolat

Pierre Hermé’s coffee macaron recipe

A review of Macarons, by Pierre Hermé (Grub Street, 2011), would not be complete without whipping up a batch of scrumptious macarons from among the many delicious recipes presented in this fabulous collection. With dozens to choose from, I decided on coffee macarons, one of ten flavours Pierre Hermé has grouped together under the heading “classics.” (The … Continue reading Pierre Hermé’s coffee macaron recipe

Clafoutis aux poires et au chocolat (pear and chocolate clafoutis)

Clafoutis is a speciality of the Limousin region of France, a simple flan traditionally made with black cherries. The name clafoutis (sometimes spelled clafouti) is said to come from the Occitan word clafotis, in turn derived from verb clafir or claufir, which means “to fill.” And a filling dessert it is. Made with just a … Continue reading Clafoutis aux poires et au chocolat (pear and chocolate clafoutis)