10 Petite French Desserts That Are Oh-So-Cute And Tasty

With these tiny desserts, you can taste more than one, or have a dessert-tasting party to try them all.

french desserts
© Evan Sung

The French way is the petite treat. Just two delicious bites of a dessert – a madeleine, sablé, nougat, or macaron – is all you need to get a punch of flavor. Authors , a professional baking instructor and chef, and food writer , PhD, explore the world of mini-sweets in their book "," with recipes to encourage your sweet tooth. Warning: You'll go back for seconds and thirds.

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1 Black Pepper–Sour Cream Madeleines
french desserts
© Evan Sung

You will not eat them thinking that black pepper and sour cream belong on a baked potato; rather, you will marvel at the imperceptible elements that make them unique.

Makes 12 large madeleines

INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1⁄3 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean

2 large eggs

3⁄4 cup sour cream

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄3 cup almond flour

3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Vegetable oil cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it melt. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.

2. Place the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of a paring knife into the sugar. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment, set the bowl, add the eggs to the sugar, and whisk
until the mixture reaches a ribbon stage, where the whisk leaves a strong, three-dimensional shape.

3. Whisk a little bit of the egg mixture into the sour cream to loosen it, then add the sour cream to the mixing bowl and whisk until combined.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt until just combined, about 30 seconds. Fold in the melted butter. Spoon the batter into a piping bag (do not cut an opening yet), tie the bag closed, and refrigerate the batter overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a nonstick 12-cup madeleine pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

6. Cut a 1⁄4-inch (6-millimeter) opening straight across the tip of the pastry bag. Pipe the madeleine batter into each cavity of the pan, filling it nearly to the top. Immediately place the pan in the hot oven and bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the edges
of the madeleines are golden and their top is puffed up. Remove from the oven and unmold immediately by inverting the pan onto a wire rack. Eat the same day.

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2 Chai Langues de Chat with Blueberry Cream Filling
french desserts
© Evan Sung

These cookies are great on their own, but you can also sandwich them with your favorite ganache recipe, or as suggested here, with a blueberry cream filling.

Makes about 50 cookies or 25 sandwiches

COOKIES

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon finely ground black tea

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 large egg whites

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup cake flour

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves

1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat the honey and tea in a small saucepan over medium heat until the honey begins to boil, then remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Stir the egg whites into the honey mixture.

5. In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose and cake flours, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper. Alternating between the flour and the honey mixtures, add the dry and wet ingredients to the mixer a little at a time, only mixing until just combined before adding more. Begin and end with the dry ingredients.

6. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch round tip (alternatively, cut a 1⁄2-inch opening in the bag). Pipe the batter into 3-inch-long ovals (cat tongues) on the baking sheet, 1 inch apart, until the batter is used up. If not all cookies fit on the prepared baking sheet, keep the batter in the bag until the first batch has baked, or use a second lined baking sheet.

7. Bake for 7 minutes, until the cookies are golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The baked cookies, without filling, can keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

FILLING

1⁄2 cup blueberry purée or fresh blueberries (boil for 1 minute and purée with an immersion blender)

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8.8 ounces white chocolate finely chopped, preferably Opalys (about 12⁄3 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the blueberry purée and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour in the chopped chocolate, and shake the pot so that the chocolate is submerged. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk rapidly from the center of the pot outward in a spiral shape until the chocolate is fully melted. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and refrigerate to let it set, about 1 hour.

2. When the mixture is firm, spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄4-inch round tip (alternatively, cut a 1⁄4-inch opening in the bag). Pipe a strip of filling over the length of one cookie, and top it with another, slightly pressing the top cookie so that the sandwich is tight. Once filled, eat them the same day.

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3 Chocolate-Prune Tea Cakes
french desserts
© Evan Sung

I first came across the intriguing combination of chocolate and prune in a David Lebovitz macaron recipe. They go together brilliantly, with depth and complexity.

Makes 18 to 24 cakes

INGREDIENTS

1⁄2 cup prunes, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons dark rum

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 3⁄4 cup chopped)

3⁄4 cup almond flour

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the cut prunes and rum in a small bowl or container and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line mini muffin pans (or other similarly sized molds) with aluminum foil or paper baking cups.

3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, then remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces, shaking the pan so that the chocolate is completely
submerged. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then whisk from the center until it is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the almond flour, granulated sugar, and eggs on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth, then mix in the all-purpose flour and salt until just combined, about 30 seconds.

5. Spoon or pipe the batter two thirds of the way into the lined cups and bake until the centers have risen and the cakes’ edges are slightly colored but still soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cups to a wire rack and let cool completely. Wrapped tightly in
plastic wrap, they will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator and 1 month in the freezer.

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4 Chocolate-Dipped Éclairs With Pastry Cream
french desserts
© Evan Sung

The pillowy interior and crisp exterior of Pâte à Choux combined with soft, rich pastry cream is as close to a perfect sweet bite as they come.

Pâte à Choux

The amount of eggs needed in pâte à choux varies. For this recipe, you’ll need somewhere between two and three eggs, so the best thing to do is to whisk three eggs together and pour that mixture into the dough a little at a time, rather than risk cracking whole eggs directly into it and having too
much with a whole third one.

Makes about 30 éclairs

INGREDIENTS

3⁄4 cup 1 tablespoon milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt

3 large eggs

3⁄4 cup 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 scant tablespoon granulated sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Combine the milk, butter, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. While the mixture is heating, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Once the milk boils, remove the pot from the heat and immediately add the flour and sugar all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon until a smooth ball forms.

2. Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running at medium speed, pour in two thirds of the eggs and mix until smooth. Draw a spatula through the dough; it should flow without leaving a shape in the dough. If it doesn’t, pour in a little more of the eggs, mix, and test again.

3. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch round
tip (alternatively, cut a 1⁄2-inch opening in the bag). Pipe and bake.

To Pipe Éclairs: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Holding the pastry bag at a 45-degree angle above the parchment paper, pipe the dough into a 3⁄4-inch-wide, 2-inch-long strip. Maintain a consistent pressure on the bag as you squeeze it. When you reach 2 inches, stop the piping pressure and do not pull the bag up. Space the éclairs 1 inch apart. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. A cooked éclair feels light, with a firm shell, when you pick it up. Let cool completely.

BASE PASTRY CREAM

Makes about 11⁄2 cups

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg

3 large egg yolks

1⁄4 cups cornstarch

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

11⁄3 cups milk

1⁄3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Fit an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.

2. Place the egg and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk in the cornstarch and salt.

3. Whisk together the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture, doing so vigorously to avoid lumps. Return the mixture to the pan and
bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. The bubbles will subside; the mixture will thicken, then begin to boil. Let it boil for 1 minute, whisking vigorously.

4. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of the prepared electric mixer. Beat in the butter and vanilla on medium speed, continuing to mix until the pastry cream has
cooled. If not using right away, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

To Fill Éclairs: Spoon the pastry cream or crémeux into a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄4-inch round or star tip. Make a small hole at the bottom of a choux or cut a slit on the bottom or side of an éclair with a paring knife, and pipe in the filling until full.

SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE GLAZE

Makes about 11⁄4 cups

INGREDIENTS

3 sheets gold gelatin

2 cups ice water

1.8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1⁄3 cup chopped)

2⁄3 cup granulated sugar

1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream

Edible gold leaves (optional)

INSCRUCTIONS

1. Soften the gelatin in the ice water for 3 minutes, then strain out the excess liquid through a fine-mesh strainer. Place the hydrated gelatin and the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.

2. Place the sugar in a medium saucepan, pour the cream around the edges of the pan, and swirl it into the center by tilting the pot. Stir carefully to dissolve the sugar, clean
the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water, and clip on a calibrated candy thermometer. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 219°F.

3. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Let cool completely at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate at least overnight or up to 1 week.

4. After glazing the éclairs, decorate with a gold leaf, if desired.

To Glaze Éclairs: Place the fondant or glaze in a bowl, following the directions of each recipe to make sure that it has the right consistency. Hold a éclair with one hand and dip it, top-side down, into the fondant or glaze. Let the excess drip off, dip again if needed, and then place the éclair, topside up, on a baking sheet or wire rack to set. If you’ve never done it before, the first ones you glaze might not be as beautiful as those you see in shops or online, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.

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5 Grapefruit and Cantaloupe Calissons
french desserts
© Evan Sung

Calissons traditionally are often made with candied melon. Here, I use grapefruit and cantaloupe instead.

Makes about 20 calissons

INGREDIENTS

11⁄4 cups almond flour

2⁄3 cup confectioners’ sugar, more for assembly

1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon apricot preserves

1⁄3 cup grapefruit confit, drained well

1⁄3 cup candied cantaloupe, drained well

2 sheets wafer paper

Orange Blossom Glaze

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the almond flour, sugar, salt, and apricot preserves in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 25 times, until a smooth paste forms. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every 5 pulses to ensure that all the ingredients are mixing
smoothly. Add the grapefruit confit and candied cantaloupe and pulse them in, 5 pulses more. You should be able to press the dough into a ball with your hands.

2. Place one sheet of the wafer paper on waxed or parchment paper, shiny side up. Place half of the dough on the wafer paper, sprinkle it with confectioners’ sugar to prevent the rolling pin from sticking, and roll it out into a rectangle about 11 x 4 inches and 1⁄3 inch thick. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough.

3. With a calisson or diamond cookie cutter, a chef’s knife, or a sharp pizza cutter, cut the dough into diamonds. If using a knife or pizza cutter, use a ruler to cut 3⁄4-inch-wide strips parallel to each other. Then place the ruler at the bottom left of the dough on a 45-degree angle. Measure 1-inch-wide strips parallel to each other, and then the cut diamond shapes that form. Use the diagram below as a guide.

4. Dip the tops of the calissons in the orange blossom glaze or use a toothpick to spread the glaze over the tops. The glaze layer should be about 1⁄16 inch thick. Return them to the waxed or parchment paper and let them air-dry for 24 hours. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

GRAPEFRUIT CONFIT

Makes about 1 cup in syrup, 13⁄4 cups drained

INGREDIENTS

Peel of 1 small grapefruit

Pinch of salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1⁄2 cup water

1⁄4 cup light corn syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut the grapefruit peels into 1⁄4-inch-wide strips, then cut those into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Place the peels in a small stainless-steel saucepan. Add the salt and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and blanch for 5 minutes once the water is boiling. Pour the mixture into a strainer and rinse in cold water. Repeat the blanching process 3 more times, without adding extra salt. The last time, leave the peels in the strainer and reserve.

2. Pour the sugar and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat with the corn syrup and blanched grapefruit peels. Once the mixture reaches a boil, lower the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it. Let the mixture cool overnight in the syrup. Store the cooled confit in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Drain the peel before the adding it to recipes.

CANDIED CANTALOUPE

Makes 11⁄2 pints in syrup, about 1 pint drained

INGREDIENTS

3⁄4 cup granulated sugar

1⁄4 cup water

Flesh of 1⁄2 medium-size ripe orange-fleshed cantaloupe, cut in 1⁄4-inch pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the sugar in a medium saucepan and cover with the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the diced cantaloupe. Lower the heat to low and let simmer
for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Drain the cantaloupe well before adding to recipes. It will keep in the syrup, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 month.

ORANGE BLOSSOM GLAZE

Makes about 1⁄2 cup

INGREDIENTS

2⁄3 cup confectioners’ sugar

11⁄2 teaspoons orange blossom water

21⁄2 teaspoons water

1 to 3 drops liquid, paste, or gel food coloring (as desired)

1 teaspoon glycerin

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir by hand, to avoid creating a lot of bubbles, until they form a homogenous mixture. Use immediately, or cover the glaze with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface so that the glaze does not dry before time comes to dip the calissons.

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6 Lapsang Souchong Cannelés
french desserts
© Evan Sung

Lapsang Souchong is one of my most favorite teas to have at afternoon tea in Paris. The tea’s subtle smokiness infuses nicely into milk, so it works particularly well in this eggy, dairy-based batter.

Makes 16 cannelés

INGREDIENTS

1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong tea

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1⁄4 cup grated beeswax

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sift the sugar into a medium bowl. Mix in the flour and salt, and set aside.

2. Place the milk and 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. At the boil, add the tea and let steep for 6 minutes. Stir, and thoroughly press the mixture through a sieve. Let cool slightly for 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg and yolk to combine them, then whisk in the warm milky tea. Whisk in the flour mixture in three batches, doing so gently until the ingredients are just combined. Strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve or a chinois into another bowl or a reusable container, cover, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.

4. Prepare your copper or stainless-steel cannelés molds by melting the beeswax and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave for about 1 minute. Brush the molds evenly and thoroughly with a 1-inch-wide pastry brush. Freeze the molds overnight. Preparing the molds this way every time helps the
texture of the finished cannelés and is worth the effort.

5. If using a silicone mold, coat it with vegetable oil cooking spray and use immediately.

6. Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange the molds on a baking sheet.

7. Gently stir the batter to recombine any settled solids. Pour the batter into a piping bag without a tip, and cut a 1⁄8-inch opening in the bag, or pour it into a cup with a spout, such as a measuring cup, and then pipe or pour the batter into the
prepared molds, filling them only three quarters of the way up. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400°F and bake for 20 additional minutes. Rotate the pans every 10 minutes, three times total.

8. Remove the pans from the oven and let the cannelés cool in them for 5 minutes, then unmold from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. If a cannelé is stuck, use a bamboo skewer to help release it. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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7 LAVENDER-VIOLET SABLÉS
french desserts
© Evan Sung

This quintessential French cookie relies mostly on using the highest quality butter, to barely hold together its crumbly texture. A European-style butter will have slightly more fat content, which helps give the cookie its char

Makes 16 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1⁄2 cup good-quality unsalted butter,
at room temperature

1⁄3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg yolk

3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1⁄8 teaspoon baking powder

1 packed teaspoon finely grated

1⁄2 teaspoon organic lavender buds

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, not fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Break the egg yolk with a fork and drizzle it in slowly. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the flour, salt, baking powder, and lavender buds, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.

2. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, and use your hands to spread it along the long side of the plastic in a rough log shape. Use the plastic wrap to roll the dough into a 11⁄2-inch-wide log, rolling the log on the counter to help even it out and to remove any air pockets. Freeze the dough for 15 minutes, then take it out and round up the shape so it makes as perfect a log as possible. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes. It will keep, frozen and tightly wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap, for up to 2 months.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Remove the dough from the freezer and let it thaw slightly for 5 minutes.

5. Place the dough on a cutting board and cut it into 1⁄3-inch-thick pieces. Roll the log 90 degrees between each cut to keep its shape round. Place the cookies on the baking sheet, leaving 3⁄4 inch between them. Place a small crystallized violet in the center of each cookie before baking.

6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies just lift up when you try to move them. Let cool on the baking sheet and serve at room temperature. Store any extra in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.

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8 Pistachio Dacquoisettes
french desserts
© Evan Sung

You can find pistachio flour online, in health food stores, or make your own by grinding pistachios into a fine powder. Be careful to not grind them so much that they turn into a paste.

Makes about 35 sandwiched dacquoisettes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup pistachio flour

1⁄2 cup cornstarch

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

4 large egg whites

1 tablespoon 2 teaspoons powdered egg whites

2⁄3 cup granulated sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 recipe Raspberry Jam

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.

2. Trace 70 circles with a 11⁄2-inch-wide biscuit cutter on two half-sheets of parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch between each circle. Flip the paper over onto two half-sheet pans.

3. Sift the confectioners’ sugar, pistachio flour, cornstarch, and salt into a bowl or onto a piece of waxed paper and set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and powdered egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue whisking until a very
stiff meringue forms, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla, stop the mixer, and with a spatula fold in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

5. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch star tip. With your piping bag 1⁄4 inch above the sheet pan surface, quickly pipe the batter into spirals on each circle on the parchment paper, 1 inch apart, until the batter is used up. Immediately bake for 35 minutes, until the meringues are completely crisp. They should come off the parchment paper with no resistance and feel soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The meringues will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days (unless your kitchen is very humid) or frozen in resealable plastic bags for up to 1 month.

6. Assemble the dacquoisettes. Spoon the jam into a piping bag (without a tip). Cut a 1⁄8-inch hole straight across the tip of the pastry bag. Pipe the jam in a spiral shape over the flat side of a baked and cooled dacquoisette. Invert a second dacquoisette, flat-side down, over the jam. Repeat with the rest of the baked dacquoisettes, or with however many you desire to make at one time. Wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

RASPBERRY JAM

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

3 dry half-pints fresh raspberries or frozen and thawed raspberries

11⁄4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed
and strained lemon juice (from 1⁄2 lemon)

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the raspberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl to strain out the raspberry seeds. Return the strained mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, for 8 to 10 minutes, until it reaches a jamlike consistency, about 217°F on a calibrated candy thermometer, and clings to the spatula. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and pour the jam into a shallow pan to cool. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

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9 Raspberry Cream Macarons
french dessert
© Evan Sung

I love adding basil to sweet dishes, and this recipe is no exception—it pairs extremely well with raspberries and cuts through the sweetness of the white chocolate.

MACARON SHELLS

Makes 40 shells, enough for 20 sandwiched macarons

INGREDIENTS

1⁄4 cup aged egg whites (from 3 large eggs; see note)

2 teaspoons (3 grams) powdered egg whites

1⁄4 cup 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

11⁄3 loose cups almond flour

3⁄4 cup medium-packed confectioners’ sugar

1 pinch of fine sea salt

4 to 6 drops liquid, paste, or gel food coloring, or up to 1⁄8 teaspoon powdered food coloring (as desired

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats. Place each baking sheet on top of another unlined one so that they are doubled up; this insulates the macarons and evens out the oven’s heat, making for a more even baking.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and powdered egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue whisking the meringue
until very stiff peaks form.

3. Place the almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 10 seconds to combine them. With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. If using food coloring, stop folding when the batter appears to be 90 percent incorporated, scrape the sides of the bowl, and stir in the desired coloring with 2 to 4 more strokes. The batter is ready when it is shiny (very important!) and loose enough to drop down from the spatula back to the bowl into one continuous lavalike flow. The batter should not hold any three-dimensional shape.

4. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄4 to 1⁄3-inch round tip. Fill the bag halfway, and cover the rest of the batter in the bowl while piping. Holding the tip of the bag at a 90-degree angle 1⁄4 inch above the baking sheet, firmly squeeze it until you have a 11⁄2-inch round about 1⁄4 inch (6 millimeters) high. Do not move the bag while squeezing out the batter. As
soon as you have reached the desired size, completely release the pressure on the bag and twist your wrist in a clockwise direction, without lifting it up. Once the batter stops flowing, stop squeezing the bag, lift, and pipe the next round, 11⁄2 inches apart. Continue with the remaining batter. Firmly slam the baking sheets on your countertop to remove excess air and ensure that any tails settle down.

5. Let the macaron shells air-dry on the baking sheets for 20 minutes.

6. While the shells dry, preheat the oven to 350°F.

7. Bake for 8 minutes, then lower the heat to 275oF (135oC) and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pans cool to the touch. To easily remove the shells from the baking sheets, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, then remove the shells with an offset spatula. If your freezer doesn’t fit sheet pans, slide the silicone mat onto a cooling rack and let the shells cool completely, about 1 hour.

NOTE: To age the egg whites, separate them into a bowl or container and whisk them lightly to break them up. Cover the container in plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the plastic, and refrigerate for 3 days. To then measure them out for the recipe, place another container on a scale, zero it out, and slowly pour in the whisked aged whites until you reach the desired weight.

RASPBERRY CREAM FILLING

Makes about 1 cup filling; enough to fill 1 batch of macarons

INGREDIENTS

1⁄2 cup raspberry purée

1⁄4 packed teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1⁄4 lemon)

1⁄4 teaspoon pink peppercorns, finely chopped

8 fresh basil leaves

8.8 ounces white chocolate, preferably Opalys, finely chopped (about 12⁄3 cups chopped)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon fleur de sel

1⁄2 teaspoon Framboise

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the raspberry purée, lemon zest, pink peppercorns, and basil in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a rapid boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes, then remove the basil leaves with kitchen tongs.

2. Remove from the heat and pour in the chocolate, vanilla, and fleur de sel. Shake the saucepan so that the chocolate is submerged. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk rapidly from the center of the pot outward in a spiral shape until the chocolate is fully melted. Slowly drizzle and whisk in the Framboise. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and refrigerate to let it set, about 1 hour. It should have a consistency similar to that of peanut butter, soft enough to be piped but not runny. Fill the macaron shells. The filling will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week. If you store it, bring it to room temperature 1 hour before filling the macarons.

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10 Sesame-Apricot-Rose Nougats
french desserts
© Evan Sung

Sesame, rose, and apricots are typical Middle Eastern flavors. This is a take on Turkish delights—loukoums in France, where they are very popular.

Makes 24 squares

INGREDIENTS

1 cup granulated sugar

1⁄3 cup water

2 large egg whites

1⁄2 cup orange blossom honey

2 sheets wafer paper

1 teaspoon rose water

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (from 1⁄4 orange)

1⁄4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1⁄4 lemon)

1⁄8 teaspoon fleur de sel

11⁄4 cups dried apricots, cut in 1⁄4-inch pieces

1⁄2 cup sesame seeds, toasted

1⁄2 cup black sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon organic red or pink rose petals

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pour the sugar into a small, deep saucepan, then pour the water around the edges of the pan and swirl it into the center by tilting the pot to dissolve the sugar.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin to whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low if the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup is ready.

3. While the egg whites are whipping, clip a calibrated candy thermometer to the side of a small saucepan. Place the honey in the pan and heat over medium heat.

4. When the honey reaches 230°F, turn your attention back to the sugar mixture. Heat over medium heat and stir carefully, avoiding the sides of the pan. Clean the sides of the pot with a clean pastry brush dipped in some water. Since the honey
will be done before the syrup, clip the same candy thermometer to the side of the syrup pot afterward.

5. When the honey reaches 250°F, quickly and steadily pour it down the side of the mixer bowl, with the mixer running at low speed. Rest the lip of the saucepan on the side of the bowl so the honey does not hit the whisk attachment and splatter (it
should run gradually down the side of the bowl).

6. Once the syrup reaches 282°F, follow the same procedure to pour it into the egg whites.

7. Increase the mixer speed to medium and whip until the meringue cools, thickens, and becomes stiff and shiny, about 25 minutes.

8. Line a dry surface with waxed or parchment paper. Place one sheet of the wafer paper, shiny-side up, on top of the waxed or parchment paper.

9. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl from the stand (unhook the whisk attachment, which you don’t need anymore). Working quickly, use a spatula to stir in the rose water, vanilla, orange and lemon zests, fleur de sel, apricots, and both types of sesame seeds. Once everything is thoroughly mixed, carefully stir in the rose petals.

10. With a bowl scraper, scoop out the nougat onto the wafer paper. Place the second sheet, shiny-side down, on top of the nougat, then roll out the nougat flat until it is about 3⁄4 inch thick. Let set for 2 hours at room temperature, then cut the nougat into pieces (with a knife if you want squares, rectangles, or diamonds, or with a cookie cutter for any other shapes). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Adapted from "" by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride. Photos by © Evan Sung . Copyright © 2016. Used with permission of the publisher, Running Press. All rights reserved.

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