French Lunch Gourmet: Choosing The Perfect Dessert
After a lavish coq au vin, it’s always delightful to end with an equally lavish dessert —perhaps one or two petit fours, an éclair, or crème brulée. French Lunch has almost as many desserts as it does main courses, and you’re bound to find something you like among our selection of gourmet European pastries, chocolates, cakes, tarts, and more. All of our desserts are imported from Europe, mainly France, and are mostly French in origin. Let’s go over them briefly.
Chocolate éclairs. A good old éclair can’t do you wrong if you’re not big on European treats, as you can get them at any grocery store, coffee shop, or restaurant these days across Canada. How do our éclairs differ? For one, we’re completely transparent about what’s inside them, all the way down to the preservatives (some are required for the éclair to keep while shipping). Main ingredients include water, sugar, eggs, and flour.
Chocolate lava cake. Warm it in the oven, slice it in half, and watch the chocolate syrup within ooze out like a mini waterfall. This is a dark chocolate-flavoured lava cake (24%) with sugar, butter, crème fraiche (a fattier version of sour cream used in France), eggs, flour, and cocoa powder. Perfect for a cold, rainy day in spring.
Lemon meringue tartlets. A tangy, yet sugary dessert that will cool you down on a hot day. The tartlet portion forms a slight crust around the cream, preventing it from sliding downwards and giving the tiny pie a neat form factor. Take one to work with you and leave it in the fridge for three hours before lunch or maybe just before your shift ends, and it’s ready to eat. Remember to put your name on it so no one steals it! Made from sugar, eggs, wheat, butter, lemon juice and almond powder.
Crème brulée. A dessert native to France, our crème brulée is from Québec, which is close enough culturally. It comes in a pack of two. This brulée is a blend of cream, egg yolks, partially skimmed milk, sugar, starch, and a packet of caramelized sugar (that red stuff on the top of the brulée). This dessert requires at least 8 hours of defrosting time in your fridge, but the wait is oh so worth it. It’s like ice cream custard. If warmed, it melts on your tongue, along with the caramelized sugar topping, and produces a heavenly taste. You will want more.
Hot chocolate soufflés. Another pack of two from Quebec, the soufflé has white chocolate and cookie crumbs inside. Defrost it in the fridge for 8 hours and warm it in the microwave. Grab a bit of vanilla ice cream to go with it and you’ll have a mouthwatering hot and cold dessert: an ice cream soufflé!
Key lime cheesecake. Separated into three lovely colours indicating cream cheese (white), key lime cream (yellow), or graham crumbs (brown), this is a rather picturesque dessert. Defrost it, grab a spoonful and see if you’ve created a neat division of layers. Try the cream cheese layer first, then the key lime, and finally, the graham. It’s more fun to eat each layer one by one so you can discover for yourself how the ingredients complement one another!
Caramel flan. In France, this dessert is also known as crème caramel, but both terms are used interchangeably. This is a soft, spongy caramel custard from Quebec in a pack of two. This is a plain dessert, as its main ingredients are cream, eggs, and caramel, but there’s a hint of coconut in there too. If you’ve eaten a spicy dish and want a light dessert to alleviate your tongue, look no further than caramel flan.
Red velvet cheesecake. Mmmm, red velvet! In cheesecake form, no less. Vibrant strawberry pureé over red velvet, with white stripes of vanilla and a little dollop of cream cheese on top. It’s a great gift to give someone (or yourself). Give it to Mom for Mother’s Day, or eat it just because. Who needs an excuse to eat a perfectly good cheesecake?
Exotic petit fours and chocolate petit fours. Petit fours are small and often, cute-looking individualized confections topped with a variety of sweet ingredients. They’re often sold in large sets, and tend to offer diners a bit of every dessert out there. Both of our petit four sets are from France, so you know you’re getting quality chocolates.
Petit fours (eight) – names and ingredients you might not know
- Far Breton: a miniature Far Breton cake, this petit four combines flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and butter with floured prunes and powdered sugar.
- Chocolate éclair: a miniature éclair!
- Praline choux: a petit four based off the Paris-Brest pastry with praline cream using choux pastry dough (the kind of dough used to make éclairs)
- Hazelnut ganache: ganache refers to icing or glaze used to fill chocolate pastries. It’s made by pouring hot cream over chocolate and then stirring it to remove all lumps.
- Fleur de sel: this literally translates to “flower of salt” and refers to sea salt. Fleur de sel is used to add more flavouring to foods, and is often sprinkled on chocolate to balance its taste.
Canelés de Bordeaux. Onto the rather noteworthy gourmet foods! Canelés de Bordeaux are round, rum-based pastries with vanilla and custard interiors and caramel exteriors. They have a unique flower-like indentation at their peaks and can be eaten during any meal of the day — including breakfast. Our French canelés are composed of sugar, wheat, rum, milk, and powdered eggs. If you want a sophisticated dessert, take these canelés home.
French macarons. Colorful and adorable, macarons are iconic these days. No French food shop is whole without them, including us — that’s why we went out of our way to import these macarons straight from France for you to enjoy. Each pack contains a dozen macarons: chocolate, lemon and vanilla.
French Lunch has more than 11 desserts for you to dig into — and we’ve only gone over the frozen ones in this article. We have more in our pantry, including chocolate fleur de salt, packaged Belgian macarons, and assorted biscuits. What’s your favourite?
As always, we look forward to feeding you,
- Nina Zaitseva