'French' on Serious Eats

Sweet Technique: How to Make Croissants

The croissant (and its cousin, pain au chocolat) embodies of all the techniques I love most in the world of pastry. I find the lamination process, with its series of well-timed folds and turns, challenging, meditative and satisfying. And, on the other hand, I also respect the need for flexibility and the attention that must be paid to a yeasted dough, by adjusting for variables like ingredients and temperatures, for proper dough development and rise. I also love eating them. More

Let Them Eat: Tartouillat (Cherry and Rum Cake)

This recipe jumped out at me from Jean Ferniot's French Regional Cooking, one of several French cookbooks my mother-in-law has given me. Tartouillat, a cherry and rum cake from the region of Burgundy, sounded right up my alley: ripe cherries and a generous pour of rum baked into a cake that is served warm. My mind drifted to a house in the French countryside, where I enjoyed the falling evening and chilly air while eating tartouillat... More

Three Amazing French Chocolatiers: Debauve & Gallais, Patrick Roger, and Jean-Paul Hévin

My globetrotting parents spent the past week and a half in Paris and were generous (read: willing to shut me up) enough to bring me back some treats from a couple of the roughly 17 stores I recommended they visit. Now I'm not going to offer superlatives, or start ranking chocolatiers by country in any way, but what the French do with chocolate is transcendent. This is what I got to experience from Debauve & Gallais, Patrick Roger, and Jean-Paul Hevin. More

Pet de Soeur Pastries, AKA Nun's Farts

So, why a flatulence reference for such a delicious pastry? There are a few theories. One points to the noise that doughnuts make while being fried. Another explains that a nun farted in a kitchen causing another nun to crack up so hard, she dropped some pastry in hot oil and hey whaddyaknow, it tasted pretty good. More

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