Why is it that recipe names look so much more evocative when written in French? Gâteau au chocolate et à l’abricot seems so much more sophisticated than just plain Chocolate apricot cake. Still, from the look of this slice of this moist dark cake pictured in Christelle Le Ru‘s Simply Irresistible French Desserts I don’t think that anyone will complain if you set it in front of them, no matter which name you use. But Carrés à la noix de pécan and Crèmes chaudes aux myrtilles (Pecan squares and Hot blueberry creams, respectively) certainly do have much more of a ring to them en Français and that’s a great deal to do with the charm of this Christchurch-based Frenchwoman’s self-published cookbook.
In a world dominated by glossy over-airbrushed and Photoshop-manipulated food photographs, it is refreshing to come across a cookbook with such real illustrations. Like any normal home cook, Christelle doesn’t always get perfect slices and sometimes her icing looks intent on flowing off the cake but when she says that that particular cake will “delight many” you believe her. After all, she’s got the weight of experience behind her as all these recipes have been thoroughly tried and tested on her friends and family.
Simply Irresistible French Desserts showcases a tempting selection of Christelle’s sweet creations, from traditional French charlottes (choose between Chocolate and banana, Pear and chocolate and Strawberry variations) to her take on a baked cheesecake (Fondant au chocolate). The recipes are divided between chapters entitled Chocolate Creations, Fruit Delights and Small Treats, each of which hold a selection of entirely mouthwatering treats. None of the recipes are difficult and there are plenty that have me edging towards the kitchen as I type. I think I’m going to enjoy experimenting with Christelle’s Simply Irresistible French Desserts – and I will especially relish using the French names!
Simply Irresistible French Desserts by Christelle Le Ru is published by CLR.