You probably already know this, but the Louvre in Paris, along with other museums around the world, have put exhibits online so people around the world can “tour” them virtually during quarantine. How freaking cool is that?! Turn off tiger king and get some education and culture in your brain right now. Check out all the virtual tours on the Louvre’s website. Ancient Egyptian artifacts? Check. Mona Lisa virtual reality experience? Check. A ton of naked people in paintings and scultpures? Check. All we need now is some delicious french pastries. If only we could go to the The Café Richelieu-Angelina on the first floor of the Louvre in the Richelieu wing… But oh now now, my friend, we can! Wee wee! S’il vous plaît! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
The café’s menu is fully of scrumptious and indulgent (and very French) pastries you can make right at home! All you need is passion, time and skill and… wait… skill… hmm… if you know me, that whole “skill” thing is very much still a work-in-progress. Emphasis on the fails.
IF you are up for the challange, I dare you to tempt yourself into making The Café Richelieu-Angelina’s signature pastry, Le Mont-Blanc. Swirls of meringue, surrounded by swirls of whipped cream surrounded by swirls of chestnut cream, nestled on pie crust. What? Yes! You can do this. If Tasty can make a 2 minute recipe video, how hard can it be?
If swirly brown cream isn’t your jam, then perhaps you might indulge your senses with Millefeuille! Instead of paying 9 euros for this treat (as well as the plane ticket to Paris…) you can make this delicate and impressive French Napoleon pastry at home! If you do make it, please let me know how it goes. Here’s the recipe. This one seemed a bit past my level at the moment. I can just imagine being covered in puff pastry pieces and watching my icing turn into a royal mess all up in my hair and my clothes and my toes. Wait why is it in my toes?? Because I bake barefoot, duuuhhh. It’s not weird. Look away. Look at this pastry instead.
Alright, alright, if chestnut swirl and puff pastry stacks don’t suit your fancy, then feast your eyes (and taste buds) upon the most notorious and elusive French pastry *drum roll please* the MACARON! Yes, my friends, yes. This sweet morsel has stumped even the best pastry chefs for its fickle nature. But if others have mastered it, then why can’t we! And by we, I mean you, for now. Mastering french macarons is totally on my culinary bucket list, trust me. But I want french sweets now, and I don’t have days or weeks or months to master this baby. I’m hungry. And you do NOT want to see me hangry… Anyways, there are a ton of macaron recipes online. I figured, why not link you to Sally’s Baking Addiction’s macaron recipe – she is not French but she said she studied and tested and re-tested this macaron recipes for months before finally finding the perfect method. Plus, hello, it’s freaking Sally’s Baking Addiction. The lady is addicted to baking and she’s a boss. And hopefully someday, we will be able to eat them at The Café Richelieu-Angelina at the Louvre. I’d be down for one of every flavor please – chestnut, dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, pistachio, caramel, blackcurrant, raspberry, lemon. Yas.
You’re probably thinking by now, what in the world are you going to make, if you’re chickening out of everything else? Well my friends, thanks to a quick google search, I found one of the simplest French dessert recipes ever. According to the author of this recipe, this yogurt cake is one of the first desserts French children learn to bake. So this is like a child-proof cake. But a French child. And I am an American [child-at-heart] who grew up on pixie sticks and rice krispies. *deep breaths* We can do this.
This cake, called Gâteau au Yaourt is super simple and super quick. I mean, not suuuper quick, we are not making a freaking mug cake here. We are sophisticated and we are making a délicieux dessert here.
This cake is incroyable. I was expecting a very basic cake, since the recipe is a very simple recipe. However, this cake is literally one of the best cakes I have ever tasted! The top has a delightful crispness and the center… oooh la la! the center is incredibly fluffy and moist and somehow tastes creamy, even though it is a fully baked cake! That is because yogurt can actually add creamiess and moisture to baked goods. And the acidity in yogurt can help activate baking soda, lending to a lighter and fluffier cake.
The flavor of this cake tastes like the best simple cake you can dream of. It’s not overpowering, but it is deliciously sweet and it is so perfectly cake-y. I would totally use this exact recipe to make a three-layer birthday cake to impress everyone. So if you decide to forgo trying your skills at whipping up a Le Mont-Blanc, Millefeuille or French macarons, then DO have a go at this Gâteau au Yaourt. I promise, mon amie, you won’t be disappointed!
For the full recipe by Sarah Jampel CLICK HERE.
Note: The recipe calls for whole milk plain yogurt, but I used an organic brand of strained greek yogurt because my little sensitive tummy can tolerate it better than any other type of yogurt.