The Marie-Antoine Carême Dessert That's Still Made Today

Widely regarded by many as the first celebrity chef ever, Marie-Antoine Carême, was a French culinary legend. According to Eater, he worked as a professional cook for almost 40 years and made invaluable contributions to French cuisine during that time. He had a rough start and most believe that Carême's family faced financial troubles when he was a child. This prompted him to get experience early on, and at just 10 years old he set out to intern at a tavern in Paris. 

A few years later, he found himself working at a pâtisserie where he got recognized for his potential. His mentor, Sylvain Bailly, motivated him to study his interests, which led to Carême spending time engaging in research at the local library. He was fascinated by architecture and used that passion to create artistic desserts at the pâtisserie, particularly focusing on well-known architectural structures. This talent paid off and many took notice, helping establish Carême's reputation as a remarkable and innovative baker. To this day, some of the dishes he created in the 1800s remain popular.

Marie-Antoine Carême invented the croquembouche

As a budding chef, Carême would concentrate on recreating ambitious desserts with pastry and sugar. He was open to experimentation and explored the world's most exciting structures through his remarkable creations that included Greek ruins, Chinese fortresses, Turkish mosques, and more (via NPR). One of his most popular creations was inspired from Turkish culture — a conical dessert that stood out for its unique shape. It was called the croquembouche and has remained a popular dish that has survived over the years.

This gorgeous dessert is often spotted at special events such as weddings and communions. The pastries are especially crispy and crunchy, which incorporate ingredients like sugared almonds and melted chocolate. If you're intrigued and want to try making this at home, some tips are worth noting down. A Redditor writes, "Assembling is pretty straight forward unless you're trying for a really tall one. Just make sure your choux puffs are a consistent size and you shouldn't have too much trouble." Another home chef mentions that it helps to dry out the pastry well enough to avoid a soggy mess.