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5 easy French pastry recipes to amaze your friends!

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Do you like French pastry but it's hard to find near you? Try these 5 recipes at home!


If you've been following me for a while, you must know that I LOVE to cook! I spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing sweet and savory recipes. I know that French cuisine has a reputation for being difficult, but you will see that you are able to make simple but delicious cakes! 😍


1. "Le financier" (small almond cake)


Pronounce /financié/ (no "r" sound at the end). The financier is a small biscuit made from ground almonds and egg whites.

You will need financier molds, like these.


Ingredients (for 8 financiers)

  • 25 g ground almonds

  • 65g icing sugar

  • 45 g wheat flour T65 (white flour)

  • 2 egg whites

  • 45g of butter

+ For decoration: 10g slivered almonds or 8 raspberries (optional)


Preparation


  1. Mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and flour. Add the egg whites and mix again.

  2. You are going to prepare a "nutty butter". It's butter that we're going to heat until it browns. It will then have a slight nutty taste. To make this hazelnut butter, melt the butter in a saucepan until it has the color of caramel (light brown). Filter it through a colander.

  3. Add the hot hazelnut butter to the previous preparation (ground almonds, icing sugar, flour) and mix.

  4. Let the preparation rest for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

  5. Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Lightly butter the financial molds and fill them with the batter using a spoon.

  6. Drop a few slivered almonds on each financier or insert a raspberry into each financier (optional).

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

The financiers are done when they are lightly golden around the edges.


Financial cookie


2. Madeleines


The madeleine is a small soft shell-shaped cake.

It owes its shape to the mold, like this one.

The madeleine also has the characteristic of having a "bump" on the top. This bump is formed during baking, thanks to the thermal shock between the dough and the heat of the oven.


Ingredients (for 20 madeleines)

  • 190 g of T65 flour

  • 190g soft butter

  • 160 g of sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 17g baking powder

  • 3g of salt

+ A vanilla bean (optional)


Preparation


  1. In a large bowl, mix the soft butter, the sugar and the salt.

  2. Add the beaten eggs and mix to obtain a homogeneous paste.

  3. Optional: Split the vanilla pod in half and scoop out the vanilla beans. Add them to the preparation.

  4. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix again.

  5. When the mixture is smooth, let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

  6. Preheat the oven to 210ºC (410ºF).

  7. Butter the madeleine molds and spoon the batter into them. Do not completely fill the molds because the dough will swell during cooking and may overflow!

  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

The madeleines are cooked when the bump has formed and they are lightly golden.


madeleine cookies


3. Apple pie


Apple pie is a classic French dessert. Each family has its own recipe, I share mine with you!

Ingredients


The shortcrust pastry:

  • 170 g of T65 flour (white flour)

  • 70 g of sugar

  • 100g soft butter

  • 1 small egg (35 grams)

The filling:

  • 100 g applesauce

  • 3 apples (of your choice)

Optional: for the greediest, a knob of butter and a little sugar


Preparation


The shortcrust pastry:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and sugar.

  2. Add the soft butter cut into small pieces and mix with your hands until you get a "sandy" consistency.

  3. Then add the egg and mix again with your hands until you obtain a homogeneous paste.

  4. Put the dough in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes for the dough to harden.

  5. Flour the work surface and roll out your dough with a rolling pin.

  6. In a pie pan, place a sheet of baking paper and your shortcrust pastry.

  7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (356ºF).


The filling:

  1. Spread the applesauce over your dough.

  2. Peel the apples and cut them into fairly thin slices.

  3. Arrange the apple slices on the compote in the shape of a rosette.

  4. Optional: Sprinkle the apples with sugar and put a knob of butter on them so that the apples caramelize during cooking.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

The pie is done when the pastry is golden brown and the apples are caramelized.


Apple pie


4. The marbled cake


Marble cake is a classic French snack! Young and old love it!

This is a cake prepared with 2 doughs (one vanilla and one chocolate) which are placed one after the other in the mold to obtain "marbling" (stripes) when cutting.


Ingredients

  • 3 eggs

  • 200g of flour

  • 100g of sugar

  • 8 g baking powder

  • 120 g of butter

  • A vanilla pod or vanilla extract

  • 25 g plain cocoa (unsweetened)

  • 100ml of milk

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (356ºF).

  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.

  3. Add the melted butter and milk. Whisk again.

  4. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix again.

  5. Using another mixing bowl, separate the dough into 2 equal parts. In a batter, add vanilla. In the other, add the cocoa.

  6. Beat the egg whites. Separate them into 2 parts and gently mix each part with each batter (the vanilla batter and the cocoa batter). So you have 2 pastes of 2 different colors.

  7. Butter a cake tin.

  8. Add a layer of vanilla batter, then a cocoa layer, a vanilla layer, etc...until you have no more batter.

  9. Bake for about 40 minutes.

To know if the cake is cooked: insert the blade of a knife into the cake. If it comes out intact, the cake is baked. If there is batter on the blade, continue cooking.


vanilla chocolate marble cake


5. The cherry "clafoutis"


Cherry clafoutis is one of the easiest French desserts to make. The base resembles pancake batter that is mixed with cherries and baked.


Ingredients (for 8 people)

  • 40 g of butter

  • 100g of flour

  • 60 g of sugar

  • 200ml of milk

  • 4 eggs

  • 600 g of fresh cherries

  • A pinch of salt

  • A little icing sugar to sprinkle


Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC (410ºF).

  2. Wash and dry the cherries. The traditional recipe is to keep the pits of the cherries, but I prefer to remove them. In this case, pit the cherries.

  3. Melt the butter.

  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the eggs one by one.

  5. Gradually add the milk, beating well. If you have lumps, you can mix your preparation.

  6. Add the melted butter and mix. You should get a smooth paste.

  7. Generously butter a square or rectangular baking pan.

  8. Put the cherries in the bottom of the dish and pour the preparation.

  9. Bake for 10 minutes at 210ºC (410ºC) then lower the oven to 180ºC (356ºF) for 20 minutes.


The clafoutis is ready when the edges are golden and the preparation is firm. Serve warm or cold, dusted with icing sugar if desired.


If you don't have cherries, you can make the clafoutis with other fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, apricots... depending on the season and what you have on hand!

cherry clafoutis


Did you like these 5 easy French pastry recipes? 😍 Leave me a little comment with your opinion!


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