English Vs French Confectionery Treats
In the battle between English and French baked goods, everyone is a winner. You might have seen these light, delicious treats while passing by your local pastry shop or come across them during one of your online pastry courses. Finding out more about what these two countries can offer and then doing some field work is an experience you won’t easily forget.
The tart has been a European pastry standard since before the Renaissance. Generally, it is baked with a short crust with either a sweet or savory filling. Modern fillings can be fruit- or custard-based
Liverpool tarts have a distinct sugary and citrusy flavor. To make the signature lemony, flakey, buttered crust, shredded lemon is added to the dough. The filling – made by melting dark muscavado sugar and butter – is then allowed to cool and is spooned onto the top of the doughy base.
Traditional Normandy tarts have a have a sweet crust and are filled with apples, sliced almonds and custard. Variations of the toppings include sliced almonds in an apple frangipani mixture or sliced apples in an creamy custard filling covered in an apple brandy sauce.
The history of these confectionery delights goes back to the 1900s, when the almond meringue cookies of Italy and Spain, called the amaretti and amarguillos respectively, were all the rage throughout Europe.
The traditional English coconut macaroon is shaped like an ordinary cookie.
- It is basically a mixture of egg whites and sugar whipped into a heavy meringue.
- Coconut shreddings are folded into the whipped batter and then spooned onto a cooking sheet. These are baked until the outside is a crisp, crunchy shell bursting with coconut flavor and is just barely tinged with a golden brown hue.
The Parisian macaron is also a whipped mixture of egg whites and sugar, but this time, the batter is transferred to a pastry bag where it will be piped onto a cooking sheet in exact rounds.
- The perfect macaron has a shiny, domed shell and a crinkled base.
- The possibilities for filling a macaron are only limited by your imagination. One favorite is chocolate ganache made with heavy cream, finely chopped dark chocolate and butter. The cream is boiled, with the chocolate and butter whisked in until the mixture is smooth and creamy
Scones v. Profiteroles
Another group of bakery standards, these two items can be found in nearly every bakery, coffee shop or restaurant in Europe and the U.S.
Scones – Scones are single-serving baked goods made of wheat, barley or oatmeal. Sweetened scones can come plain, frosted or fruit-filled. Savory scones are filled with cheese, onions, and certain types of meat like bacon.
Profiteroles – These French pastries are light, airy and usually filled with some kind of whipped, pastry or ice cream.
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