Are you feeling hungry? France has some of the best desserts in the world, many of which you can find at any Parisian bistro.
These famous desserts in Paris are sweet and delicious and the best part is – you can get them at a reasonable price!
The list includes French desserts, which are popular in Paris but can be found in other parts of France as well, some Parisian cakes, which originated in Paris, and other recipes like tiramisu and ice cream (scoops served on a plate, with crème Chantilly).
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Best Parisian Desserts
Desserts in Paris are easy to come by, but some stand out as the best of the best. The nine detailed below are some of the best desserts in Paris, and you should try them all if you can!
1. Tarte au Citron
Tarte au Citron is a tart lemon pastry with a soft filling surrounded by a crust similar to that of a pie. Sometimes the dessert is topped with meringue, which is called a Tarte au Citron Meringuée.
This dessert is a classic of French cuisine. There is not too much cream on the inside of the crust since it has such a strong lemon taste, and too much would make it taste sour. But, the creamy lemon inside is still the predominant flavor over the cookie-like crust.
2. Fondant au Chocolat
Fondant au Chocolat is a chocolate cake that is served warm, sometimes with vanilla ice cream or a fruit sauce. It should be noted that a Fondant au Chocolat does not have a center with melted chocolate that oozes out when you cut into it. This is another cake named Moelleux Mi-cuit, which is often presented as a small cake, with custard (we call it “crème anglaise”).
The Fondant Chocolat is a very popular dessert in Paris during the cold months, as a way to warm up inside. It becomes more difficult to find on the bistro menus during the summer months.
3. Crème Brulée
If you have heard of any of the Parisian desserts before, chances are it’s Crème Brulée. The French people first found the recipe in a 1691 cookbook by chef François Massialot.
Crème Brulée is a baked tart with a soft custard in the middle. When made right, the Crème Brulée will crack on the top when tapped, and the custard will start to ooze out.
In the Crème Brulée, you will taste a mix of vanilla, which comes from the inner custard, and caramel, which comes from the outside crust. The inside is typically served cold, and the top warm. The combination of flavors gives it a subtle sweetness that makes it so popular.
4. Crêpe Suzette
Crêpes Suzette is a famous French dessert that you can enjoy at any time of day. They are served warm with a sauce on top made from sugar, orange juice, and liquor.
The dish was created at the end of the 20th century by the famous Parisian chef Henri Charpentier when he was still a young assistant chef working at a restaurant in Paris.
The Crêpe Suzette’s sauce is tangy and sweet, which hints of sweet, sugary caramel, and orange/tangerine flavors.
Flan is a custard dessert that is popular all over the world, but you’ll find some of the best in France. The name flan comes from the old French word “flaon,” which means flat cake.
Similar to other Paris desserts above, Flan has a caramel taste, but the texture is different in that it is more creamy and smooth.
You can serve flan at any temperature. Some people prefer it cold, but it is creamiest and gooiest when eaten warm.
6. Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin is a simple apple dish that is served warm and upside down with the crust on top. The dish is said to have originated in 1888 at Hotel Tatin when the Tatin sisters were baking an apple tart, and they put the tart in the oven upside down.
Tarte Tatin is one of the apple-flavored desserts in Paris. The top will end up being flaky and crispy, with all the flavored caramelized apples on the inside.
The Paris-Brest, as the name suggests, is a Paris specialty. This Parisian cake is a circle-shaped pastry with cream on the inside.
The outer layer of the cake is a crispy layer, but inside is the creme where all the flavor comes from. The crème has flavors of hazelnut, paired with almonds sprinkled on top which gives it a nutty taste.
One of the best desserts from Paris, the Paris-Brest was named after a bike race that ran from Paris to the city of Brest in Brittany. Louis Durand, a local pastry chef, created the pastry to promote the race in 1910, and the name has stuck ever since.
8. Café Gourmand
Café Gourmand is the little dessert trend in Paris, the kind of dessert that everybody loves! Launched a dozen years ago in Paris by the restaurant chain La Criée, the café gourmand consists of a coffee – usually an espresso – plus a selection of pastries and desserts in bite-sized form.
The dessert tray, filled with pastries and ice creams, contains a little bit of everything, then you get to taste more than one! There’s something chocolate, something with fruit, and a mini madeleine or mini-pastry (canneles, financiers, macarons, meringue…). Pastry chefs like to play with the hot /cold contrasts, that’s why it often comes with a scoop of ice cream.
9. Profiteroles au Chocolat
The final of the best desserts in Paris on this list is Profiteroles au Chocolat. They are little pastry buns served warm with melted chocolate on top, and they are often served with crème Chantilly on the side.
Profiteroles au Chocolat are said to have originated in France when King Henry II married an Italian woman, Cathérine de Médicis. Her chefs brought profiteroles to France, then French chef Antonin Carême started filling them with creme, which is what made them so popular.
Profiteroles au Chocolat have a creamy inside surrounded by a crispy shell which prevents it from getting soggy. The chocolate on the top gives it a sweeter flavor.