Last week I enjoyed reading a little, fat book called "The Patissiers of Paris" (2007) by Jamie Cahill and I also took another look at "Paris Sweets" (2002) by Dorie Greenspan. Words like Boulangerie, Palmiers, Brioche, Fromage and others were new to me. I remember in the movie Julie and Julia when Julia Child made the upside down apple tart in the class she was teaching. I had already looked that recipe up in her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and found "La Tarte Des Demoiselles Tatin" was it's name. I haven't made it yet but that would be fun!
I already baked madeleines and knew about the pudding cake Clafoutis. I have seen in cookbooks the raspberry sauce known as Coulis. Last year I learned that financiers are french tea cakes. Some new words I learned in french were: Fromage- cheesecake, Palmiers - elephant ear looking pastry, Pommes - apples, and Boulangerie- Bakery.
"Paris Sweets" has a chapter on "Ali-Babas". I found this very fascinating! I've never had an Ali-Baba or a Baba au Rhum or a Baba anything but found their history at the Oldest Bakery in Paris. Stohrer's goes back to the 1700's when Nicolas Stohrer was the Royal Baker for Louis XV. Later he went on to open a pastry shop in 1730. The Ali-Baba is named for the "good guy" in 1001 Tales of the Arabian Nights. The recipe for the original pastry is modified now with better ingredients and better tasting and therefore selling potential. The recipe is in "Paris Sweets".