11 Delicious Classic French Desserts

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Bring the magic of a Parisian patisserie into your kitchen by creating any or all of these classic French desserts. With the simple instructions from each recipe, you'll learn time-honored French techniques and create some rich and sophisticated desserts and pastries like croissants, creme brulee and soufflés. Bon apetit!

(Image: Demand Media)

Chocolate Stout and Mixed Berry Galette

If you've been too intimidated to attempt making this pastry in the past, you're in luck! This recipe for chocolate stout and mixed berry galettes breaks down the process into simple steps. You can use the basic galette recipe and concoct your own fillings, buy do try the chocolate stout and mixed berry -- it's a fantastically rich, sweet and tart combination.

Impress friends and family at your next brunch by making a chocolate stout and mixed berry galette.
Impress friends and family at your next brunch by making a chocolate stout and mixed berry galette. (Image: Jackie Dodd)

Traditional Crepes

Thin and delicate crepes are like French pancakes that you can stuff with sweet or savory filling. Crepes traditionally use wheat or buckwheat flour, but this version simplifies the process by using pancake mix for crepes. With a myriad of filling options, crepes are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Many restaurants serve sweet crepes with strawberries, bananas and Nutella.
Many restaurants serve sweet crepes with strawberries, bananas and Nutella. (Image: Angela Wenum/Demand Media)

Nutella Crepe Cake

Blow your guests away with an elegant, sweet and light Nutella crepe cake. Whipped Nutella frosting holds this delicate cake together and adds to its delightful fluffiness. The most time-consuming portion of this recipe is in making the crepes, but you can always buy ready-made crepes from the freezer section at the grocery store. Either way, you'll end up with a beautiful, sophisticated and delicious cake.

(Image: Jennifer Farley)

Classic Croissant

Reward your family and yourself after a long, hard week with classic croissants from scratch. If working in the kitchen relaxes you after a stressful day, this recipe is just for you. Due to the time it takes to pre-ferment and chill the risen dough, it requires a few days to prepare these croissants. But fear not! Each step is broken down with easy instructions so even a novice cook can make mouthwatering, rich, buttery and flaky croissants at home.

The time and effort to make classic croissants is totally worth it.
The time and effort to make classic croissants is totally worth it. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Almond Croissant

Traditional almond croissants, or croissant aux amandes, are made out of day-old or stale croissants -- so this is the perfect way to use up any leftover classic croissants. A sweet and buttery frangipane cream filling, a dusting of powdered sugar and a few brushes of brandy syrup make this a divine and indulgent delight.

Almond croissants are nutty and rich.
Almond croissants are nutty and rich. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Chocolate Soufflé

Competitive cooking shows would have you believe that soufflés are incredibly difficult to make. Although timing is very important in the execution of this dessert, the process is actually very simple. Follow this guide on how to make chocolate soufflé for a light, fluffy and superbly decadent dessert.

A chocolate soufflé is a sublime end to a romantic dinner.
A chocolate soufflé is a sublime end to a romantic dinner. (Image: Pamela Follett/Demand Media)

Creme Brulée

Four ingredients is all you need for an irresistibly creamy and rich creme brulee. The beauty of this dessert lies in the textural difference between the smooth custard underneath a layer of brittle, caramelized sugar. Try to use real vanilla beans for a deep vanilla flavor.

Creme brulee is also called burnt cream, crema catalana or Trinity cream.
Creme brulee is also called burnt cream, crema catalana or Trinity cream. (Image: kayako sareen/Demand Media)

Pain au Chocolat

You can make chocolate croissants, or pain au chocolat, from scratch or by using ready-made puff pastry. Either option will result in a sinfully decadent treat. Dark chocolate provides a lush, complex and bittersweet finish to this delightfully flaky and buttery pastry.

Making these at home gives you control over how much chocolate you devour.
Making these at home gives you control over how much chocolate you devour. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Chocolate Macarons

Sophisticated and utterly charming chocolate macarons are surprisingly easy to make at home. The textural contrast between the crisp, chewy chocolate-and-almond meringue cookies and the luscious dark chocolate ganache will make you giddy for this classic French confection. The hardest part will be waiting for the macarons to chill before serving.

Chocolate macarons don't take long to make.
Chocolate macarons don't take long to make. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Butterscotch Pots de Creme

Butterscotch pots de creme present a beautifully silky cross between pudding and custard. Humble ingredients compose this creamy, rich and ultra-decadent dessert that is ready to serve with 12 simple steps. Finish it off with a dollop of tart creme fraiche and a sprinkle of sea salt to balance the sweetness of the butterscotch.

Make butterscotch pots de creme with creme fraiche and sea salt for a truly elevated dessert.
Make butterscotch pots de creme with creme fraiche and sea salt for a truly elevated dessert. (Image: Thalia Ho)

Palmiers

A palmier or elephant ear is a classic French cookie made of puff pastry and filled with anything from a sprinkling of sugar to fruit jam or Nutella. These caramelized cookies have a satisfying crunch to its bite and a lovely finish as the browned sugar dissolves on your tongue.

Make these elegant and mouthwatering elephant ears for your next brunch or picnic.
Make these elegant and mouthwatering elephant ears for your next brunch or picnic. (Image: Thalia Ho)

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