Fontainebleau Dessert with Strawberries

fontainebleau dessert faisselle whipped cream and strawberry

Fontainebleau is a simple dessert mixing French faisselle cheese or soft white cheese and whipped cream. This dessert can be made with a multitude of delicious toppings. My personal favorite, red fruits.

Fontainebleau is therefore a dessert of soft curd like cheese (that can be replaced with yogurt) with whipped cream for a foamy and airy texture. Strawberries (fresh, stewed, in compote, with mint syrup, etc.) are optional and can be replaced by other toppings.

Origin and history of the Fontainebleau dessert

Fontainebleau is a city located outside of Paris, at about 70 km or 44 miles South of the French capital. This very pretty city is known for its immense forest now recognized by the UNESCO as a Natural Reserve Biosphere of World Importance since 1981, it is also known for its castle which is worth visiting. This royal castle surrounded by sumptuous gardens was once inhabited by all the monarchs from the 12th to the 19th century. It is the most richly furnished French royal castle.

Fontainebleau, also called bellifontain or crémet, is a dessert that appeared in the 18th century in the depot of a creamery on rue Grande in the pretty city of Fontainebleau which will give its name to the dessert.
Fontainebleau is today better known for its royal castle as well as its forest recognizable by its granite rocks, the perfect place for Parisians to stroll or climb.

There are several mysteries surrounding the origin of this dessert. The name of its creator is not known, some also speak of the presence of whipped egg whites in the original recipe.
In reality, we don’t really know the initial texture of this dessert because Fontainebleau evolved a century later with the addition of whipped cream making it lighter, or rather airy. The expansion technique consisting of blowing air into a cooled preparation dates back to the 19th century.

In any case, Fontainebleau has evolved and become a creamy, foamy and light preparation on the palate. And the exact original composition, when invented, is not really fixed. There is therefore no established process to follow.

fresh strawberries and fontainbleau
french fontainebleau dessert

How to make a perfect Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau is actually a very easy dessert to make. Homemade whipped cream, white soft cheese or what we call ‘faisselle cheese’ in France, that’s all.
And for an ultra gourmet touch, the topping of your choice. It was strawberry for me the day I took these photos.

Whipped cream

To obtain very firm whipped cream, on that will not fall off when you turned over and form a nice peak which in culinary terms is called a bird’s beak, you need two things:

  • A crème fleurette as we call it in French with 30% minimum fat. Using light cream won’t work well. If you do not have access to creme fleurette use heavy cream or Heavy whipping cream, simply make sure there is at least 30% fat.
  • Make sure the cream you use is very cold. Take it out of the refrigerator at the last minute. You can even put your bowl and your whisk in the cold as well.

Two more little tips: add a little mascarpone or halfway add a little sugar (if done correctly, this turns the heavy cream into a homemade whipped cream).

steps on how to make a whipped cream
a nice fluffy spoonful of whipped cream

Soft cheese

For this recipe in France we usually use a cheese called faisselle which is a curd-like soft white cheese. There are alternatives if that is a product you do not have access to. 
Choose either a fresh unsalted cow’s cheese or a 40% fat cheese that you have allowed to drain well.
Otherwise, you can opt for cottage cheese with either the same amount of yoghurt or a little skimmed milk to obtain the wanted consistency.
I would avoid Greek yoghourt because it is still quite liquid. However, if you can find some thick greek yoghurt, you can use this as well .
A 40% fat cheese is, in my opinion, the best option

main steps into making a fintainebleau
Ingredients needed to make the french dessert Fontainebleau

A few garnish propositions

For this recipe I chose to make this dessert accompanied by fresh strawberries: half mixed into a coulis with just a little sugar and lemon juice, and half cut into pieces, but this is optional. You can also choose to cook your strawberries or to add a little homemade mint syrup, it’s great.

But you can also opt for a whole bunch of other fillings or toppings:

  • Brown sugar or other sugars such as coconut sugar or muscovado sugar
  • Any falvoured jam or chestnut cream
  • Other fresh or cooked fruits in compotes. Above all, choose seasonal fruits. Other red fruits in summer (raspberries, blueberries, etc.), apple or pear compote in winter, cherries in June, Mirabelle plums in August, etc.
  • Granola, roasted hazelnuts as a garnish. A crumble or streusel dough simply put in the oven and crumbled onto the Fontainebleau.
  • A few fresh mint leaves

Treat yourself according to your tastes, and as always don’t hesitate to make the recipe your own and revisit it with slightly more gastronomic or healthy accents.

home made fontainebleau
Fontainebleau with fresh strawberries
fontainebleau dessert faisselle chantilly et fraises fraîches

Fontainebleau Dessert with Strawberries

Fontainebleau is a simple dessert mixing french faisselle cheese or soft white cheese and whipped cream. This dessert can be made with a multitude of delicious toppings. My personal favourite, red fruits
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Other dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 250 gr heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, 30% fat
  • 250 gr faisselle soft white cheese, 40% fat, cottage cheese, or thick greek yoghurt
  • 2 tblsp sugar

strawberry topping

  • 300 gr strawberries
  • 2 tbslp sugar optional
  • few drops lemon optional

Instructions
 

Prepare the Fontainebleau

  • Whip the very cold heavy cream into whipped cream. When it starts to set, add two tablespoons of sugar and continue to whisk. Stop when your whipped cream is firm and forms a bird's beak.
  • Place the faisselle, or alternatives (read article) in a bowl. Add the whipped cream, incorporating it slowly. Keep in the fridge.

Prepare the strawberries

  • Quickly rinse and dry the strawberries with absorbent paper, hull them.
  • Place 150 g of strawberries in the bowl of a small mixer and mix them with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • Cut the remaining strawberries into pieces.

Serve

  • Present the three ingredients (fontainebleau, coulis and strawberries) separately or serve in individual cups as in the photos.
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Bon appétit !

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