Le Marceau or Scrumptious Chocolate Cake


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I should have posted this dessert months ago, but time has been so scarce that it is seeing only the light of the day today. I know many of you have asked to get this recipe, so here it is;-) A Vos fourneaux mes chers amis!!!

On birthdays, we are expected to invite the whole family over to celebrate the event. I never understood why, but I have gone along this tradition ever since I have been married to my husband. So since I am to cook, and since we are celebrating someone special, i always always ask what my husband, son, or daughter wish to eat on their special day.

When my oldest child  Lisa  turned 18 this year, she requested the following : Beef Wellington, Macaroni and Cheese Appetizers, a chocolate dessert and anything in between. I figured the rest out making sure it would please her. I think we had macaroni and cheese appetizers bites, mini crab cakes, truffle flavored potatoes, green beans and a very very yummy dessert.

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She loves chocolate mousse and love decadent desserts like me so i thought i would bake a cake out of the wonderful book of Stephane Glacier called Le Marceau from hi s beautiful bool called Tartes, Gouters, and Entremets.

I adapted his recipe since it was designed to make 4 cakes, and not everything turns out the same with American ingredients and ovens.

Chocolate Cake:

  • 57 gr. of yolk
  • 50 gr. of sugar
  • 20 gr. of dark chocolate cocoa
  • 29 gr. of flour
  • 57 gr. of egg whites
  • 12 gr. of sugar
  • 20 gr. of butter

Praline Crunch:

  • 175 gr. of pralin ( recipe here).
  • 63 gr. of milk chocolate
  • 8 gr. of hazelnut oil to be found at the fresh market ( or any fancy grocery store)
  • 125 gr. of feuillantine ( very thin waffer from France, if you do not have any, you may replace with cigarette russes ( it will not be as good, but it will work).

Mousse au chocolat:

  • 20 gr. of water
  • 100 gr. of sugar
  • 67 gr. of yolk
  • 100 gr. of eggs
  • 235 gr. of chocolate ( preferably 65% cocoa (I like Ghiradhelli)
  • 340 gr. of heavy cream

Vanilla Syrup:

  • 125 gr. of water
  • 100 gr. of sugar
  • 2 gr. of vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 125 gr. of heavy cream
  • 100 gr. of Syrup ( 60 gr. of sugar, 40 gr. of water brought to boil)
  • 25 gr. of glucose or corn syrup
  • 300 gr. of dark chocolate chips such as bittersweet Ghiradhelli.

First we want to prepare the cake so that it will completely cold when we will assemble to cake.

  1. Beat the egg whites with 12 gr. of sugar until they are forming hard peaks. Set aside.
  2. Place the egg yolks in a kitchen mixer and beat the egg yolks with 50 gr. of sugar until they are foamy and have doubled in volume. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until it is completely melted. Set aside.
  4. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture carefully so as not to deflate the egg whites.
  5. Mix the flour, cocoa and add it to the egg white/ egg yolk mixture.
  6. Add the rest of the egg whites to it.
  7. Slowly mix in the melted butter.
  8. Pour the batter into a medium round that you would have placed on a medium perforated sheet, and cook in a warm oven of 320 for 20-25 minutes (or until the tooth pick comes out clean).
  9. When the cake is cool. Unmold it from the round mold. photo 2
  10. Slice it in half and set it aside.photo 3
  11. Let’s do the syrup as well since it needs to cool: place 100 gr of sugar, 125 gr of water, and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract into a small saucepan and bring to boil. When it has, turn the heat off and set it  aside to cool.
  12.  Let’s prepare the Praline Crunch: Place the chocolate into a small bowl and microwave it for 60-90 seconds or until it is melted and fluid.
  13. Pour this chocolate into a kitchen mixer. Add the pralin, the hazelnut oil and the feuillantine and pulse a few seconds so as to make a paste like texture.
  14. Place the metal round onto a medium silpat that you would have placed on a perforated sheet.
  15. Pour the praline croustillant inside the metal round and spread it out evenly. Place it in the fridge to cure.
  16. Prepare the mousse: in a small saucepan place the water and 100 gr of sugar and cook over high temperature. Cook until you are starting to see large bubbles or your thermometer is showing 118c.photo 4
  17. Mix the egg yolks, and eggs into a kitchen mixer until they are becoming foamy. Slowly pour the syrup while you are still beating the eggs. And beat on high until the mixture has cooled down completely.
  18. Set aside.
  19. Meanwhile place the chocolate into a medium sized bowl and cook for 90 seconds to 2 minutes until it is melted and free if lumps. You may need to add 30 more seconds to get to the right consistency. Set aside.
  20. In another kitchen mixer, beat the cream into a soft peak whipped cream.
  21. With a spatula carefully fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate.
  22. Whisk the mixture to get an even mixture.
  23. Add the egg mixture and mix well until the mixture is homogeneous.
  24. Yeah, now it is time to assemble the cake!! With a spatula, spread a bit of the mousse atop of the pralin layer.
  25. Pour the syrup into a rectangular cookie sheet and soak up the cake with that syrup. You will need to either turn the cake, or pour some on top of the cake to make sure that the cake is throughly soaked with that syrup.
  26. Place one cake on top of the mousse. Press hard so as to glue the cake to the mousse.
  27. Top the cake with 1/2 of the mousse.
  28. Place the other half of the cake.
  29. Cover the cake with the remainder of the mousse.photo 2
  30. Place the cake in the freezer to set at least one hour.
  31. Meanwhile prepare the chocolate glaze. In a microwavable container, pour in the cream, syrup, and the glucose and cook for 1 minute in the microwave or until it is hot. Pour the mixture over the chocolate chips that you would have placed into a bowl. Let the mixture sit for a while to let the chocolate chips melt on their own.
  32. After 1-2 minutes, start stirring. Let the mixture cool a bit before glazing the cake.
  33. Place the cake onto a cooling rack, and pour the ganache over the cake.
  34. Collect the ganache that dripped down and pour it over the cake again. Be careful to only use “clean ganache” without cake debris so that the cake will look shiny and even.
  35. Place the cake into the fridge to cool.
  36. Decorate the cake as you wish. I used vanilla flavored macarons;-)photo 4
  37. Et voila!!! Miam , miam. Definitely one of the best cake I have ever made!!! Merci Stephane!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake


imageOn Sundays I always like to indulge and fix a yummy dessert for the whole family. Today was no different, except that I decided to share this yummy dessert with my in-laws over tea. I don’t always have time to see them even though they only live a few blocks from us, but since this weekend I did not have that much to do I decided to call them up and invite myself for coffee and cake;-)

Though my mother-in-law asked that i not bring anything, I did not listen.. you know me:-) I will take any opportunity to play in my kitchen.

This cake looks very fancy, but is not at all so I hope that you will give it a try, and impress your friends and family.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe from Guy Demarle called “Bouchees Tropicales”.

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Ingredients for 15 individual portions, or 56 miniature, bite size desserts.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake. 

  • 50 gr. of chocolate chips
  • 20 gr. of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 gr. of granulated sugar

Ingredients for the raspberry Mousse:

  • 1 pack of gelatin from Knox
  • 325 gr. of seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 eggs
  • 80 gr. of sugar
  • 15 gr. of cornstarch
  • 150 gr. of butter

Ingredients for the Chocolate Mousse:

  • 240 gr. of chocolate chips of good quality ( i used ghiradhelli)
  • 360 gr. of heavy cream
  • Fresh fruit for decoration, I used blueberries.

This cake is  really easy to make, but requires a bit of time as they are 4 steps to it: the cake, the raspberry mousse, the chocolate mousse and finally the decoration.

  1. Turn the oven to 350.
  2. Place the chocolate chips for the chocolate cake into a small container and melt it into the microwave for 60 seconds. Add the butter and mix it in. Set it aside.
  3. Meanwhile divide the eggs into yolks and egg whites. Place the egg whites into a kitchen mixer and beat them until they are foamy.
  4. Add the sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they are firm.image
  5. Add the egg yolks into the beaten egg whites and beat them for a few seconds.image
  6. Slowly mix in the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and mix it until the cake batter is smooth.
  7. Spread this cake batter over a deep flexipan and cook it for 8 minutes.image
  8. When the cake is cooked, set it aside to let it cool and prepare the raspberry mousse.image
  9. Empty the gelatin into a small container and pour a tbsp of water over it. Let the gelatin soak and set it aside for a few minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, pour the content of the jelly into a small saucepan and warm it up over medium temperature.
  11. While the jelly is warming up, beat the eggs with the sugar just enough so that the sugar is no longer visible.image
  12. Add the cornstarch and mix well. Pour a few tablespoons of the jelly into the egg mixture and mix well.
  13. Empty the gelatin into the jelly and cook for a few minutes. Add the butter and mix well.image
  14. Add the jelly mixture  to the egg mixture. Mix well and cook over low medium heat until the mixture is boiling.
  15. Pour this mixture over the cake. Shake the pan against your countertop so that the raspberry mixture will spread out evenly and be smooth.image
  16. Place the tray into the freezer for a minimum of one hour.
  17. To prepare the last layer, you will need all the ingredients for the chocolate mousse.
  18. Place the chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave it for 2 minutes. Stir. And cook for another 30 seconds if needed, continue cooking until the chocolate is completely melted and is free of lumps.
  19. Meanwhile place the cream into a large mixer and whip the cream until it is thicker but has still soft peaks.
  20. Add 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate and mix well. Then add the rest and slowly mix well until the mixture is a smooth texture.
  21. Spread the chocolate mousse over the raspberry mousse and place the tray back into the freezer for another hour.
  22. Keep the remainder of the mousse into a piping bag and place it into the fridge for later use. You will need it to decorate the cake before serving it.image
  23. To make individual mini portions, you will want to cut 1 1/4 inch squares and pipe a flower on each square. Serve as it or with coffee or tea like we did this week-end;-)image
  24. Let the cake warm up at room temperature for 15 minutes to 30 minutes before eating it. It will be very soft and will melt in your mouth;-) Yum Yum!!image

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Star of Chocolate Mousse and Meyer Lemon Curd


Have you ever worked with Meyer Lemon?!? They have that little “je ne sais quoi”, that is so more refined that regular lemon or lime. A special perfume. Just adding slices of Meyer Lemon to cold water makes a wonderful refreshing summer drink. With memorial week-end upon us, I should have baked a red and blue dessert, but those meyer lemons looked so tempting that I could not resist. I was thinking of making  Meyer lemon curd pies topped with chocolate ganache, but I was too lazy to make my pies and came up with this special dessert.

1. First you will want to grate 2 lemons for the citrus peel.

2. Then squeeze all 4  lemon to get the juices out.

3. Then you will need to clean up the lemon peel, and make the candied lemon peel.

4. Make the chocolate mousse

5. Make the lemon curd.

Candied Lemon Peel:

Ingredients: two Meyer lemons Outer skin, 2 cup of water, 2 cup of sugar.

With a spoon, peel the inside skin of the lemon so that you have the outer part and the white part left. With  a sharp knife, slice the lemon in tiny strips. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the water and the sugar, and bring it to boil. Cook until the  sugar has dissolved. Add the citrus and cook for 15 minutes. When the lemon peel is starting to become translucent, take it out with a small sieve and lay them on a silpat.

Let they cool and dry. Use half of it for the chocolate mousse and half for decoration.

Chocolate Mousse with Creme Patissiere: 1/2 of the candied lemon peel diced thinly, 250 gr. or 9 oz. of whole milk, 3 egg yolks, 50 gr. or 2 oz of granulated sugar, 10 gr. or .35 oz of flour, 10 gr. or .35 oz of corn flour, a pinch of salt, 100 gr. of good quality chocolate ( I like the bittersweet ghiradelli).

In a bowl, stir vigorously the egg yolks, the sugar and the salt. Then add the flour and the corn flour and stir and mix well. Warm up the milk either in the microwave for 1 minute, or on a stove. When the milk is hot, pour it onto the egg mixture and stir. Empty the mixture into a small pot and place on the stove onto a low-medium temperature. Stir constantly while it is cooking so that it will not scorch. Stir until the mixture is thickening. Add the chopped chocolate and mix to incorporate. Add the chopped candied lemon peel and mix in. Spoon the mixture into the mold of your choice. I used the star mold and spoon the chocolate mixture equally into the openings of my star mold. Place the tray in the freezer so that the chocolate mixture will chill. ( The star mold is no longer available online, but the flower mold would be as pretty. )

Meyer Lemon Mousse: 4 meyer lemons, citrus of  2 meyer lemon, 5 eggs, 1 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1 tsp of salt.

Rinse the lemon, then with a sharp grater, grate the skin of two of the meyer lemons. Squeeze the juice of all 4 meyer lemon to get about 3/4 cup of juice. In a small saucepan, add the lemon juice, the sugar, the citrus, the salt and the 5 eggs and mix well. Place the pan onto the stove at medium temperature and stir.

Continue stirring until the mixture is coming to boil. Then reduce the temperature to medium-low and continue cooking until the mixture gets thick. When it is thick, add 1 stick of butter and mix well until it is well blended. Empty the mixture equally into the mold atop the chocolate.

Place the tray back into the freezer, and leave it for a mimimum of 4 hours.

To serve, unmold the “stars onto the plate and let them warm up to room temperature before eating ( 30 minutes or so..). Decorate with candied lemon peel. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

White Chocolate Mousse with Assorted Summer Fruit and Chocolate Star


How was your Memorial Week-end? fun??? I sure hope so… I had fun myself. We did not go out of town because we had family duty in town, but I will say that i was happy to just hang out and enjoy the tranquility of my backyard. I usually cook out on Memorial Monday, but since I am to depart soon for France for a wedding, I had much to do with packing and all the business that needs to be taken care of before. And instead of a large cook-out with friends, we decided to have a limited cook-out. On the menu, hot-dogs, assorted chips, baked beans and broccoli salad. Yum:-) What did you guys have???

Well for dessert, we did not have ice-cream, or cookies, or pie… we had White Chocolate Mousse with Assorted Summer Fruit. Much easier, and much lighter than any of the one mentioned above to make. As I was browsing through my cookbook to find a fun dessert with fruits, I came across a recipe in the Ghiradelli Chocolate Cookbook, entitled White Chocolate Mousse that inspired my mousse today. It is very similar from the original recipe except that I used cream and orange blossom extract instead of water and Grand Marnier mentioned in the recipe.

First you want to make the chocolate stars.

Ingredients: 3 oz of bittersweet chocolate chips, 3 oz of heavy cream.

Warm up the heavy cream in the microwave for 1 minute, and pour it on the chocolate. Stir quickly so that the chocolate will “melt” and you will have a “paste” free of lumps. With a spoon, fill up the openings of the star mold. Place the tray into the freezer to chill the stars.

Ingredients for 6 large / 12 small mousse: 8 oz of white chocolate chips ( guiradhelli), 1/4 cup of heavy cream for melting the chocolate, 1 tbsp of orange blossom extract, 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream, 2 large egg whites, assorted summer fruits of your choice.

Place the 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and heat it up in the microwave for 1 minute. When it is hot, empty it on the white chocolate and stir rapidly. Add 1 tbsp of orange blossom extract and stir well. Set aside to let the mixture cool.

In a mixer, place the 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream and beat it up to make whipped cream. When the cream is making hard peaks, stop beating the cream and place it in a bowl. Set aside.

Clean up the mixer and add the 2 egg whites, whip them at high-speed so that they will make “meringue”, and will make soft peaks.

Fold the whipped cream into the cool chocolate mixture, then fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate/ whipped cream mixture. Divide the mousse into 6 large glasses or 12 small glasses. Place them in the fridge to chill. Let them chill for at least an hour. Before serving, place a few assorted fruits on top of each mousse. Remove the stars from the star mold, make a small cut in each of them. And place the stars on the rim of each glass.

Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Luscious Chocolate Eclairs


I know, I know.. I said that I needed to take some of those winter layers off, but comes the weekend, I love to make yummy desserts and preferably chocolate. I had been eying that recipe of chocolate eclairs ever since I made the ones for the Titanic party, but the lack of time kept me from making them until this past Sunday. Those chocolate are a bit different from the “normal” ones. Instead of being filled with a chocolate pastry cream, they are actually filled with a chocolate mousse. HEAVEN!!!

This recipe was adapted from a French cookbook called Eclairs By Marabout.

Ingredients for 15 +eclairs:

Ingredients for about 15+ eclairs or  about 30 mini eclairs:

For the choux pastry: 8 cl  or 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp of 1 tsp of milk, 8 cl or 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water, 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar, 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 cup of flour, 2 large eggs.

In the saucepan, heat up the milk, salt, and sugar. Add the butter cut up in pieces. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan. Remove the pan from the stove and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet. Sprinkle the eclairs with some confectioner’s sugar and cook them in a warm oven at 350 for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should become brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.

While the choux are cooking, prepare the sinful filling:

250 gr of dark chocolate ( I used bittersweet Ghiradhelli), 100 gr of butter, 4 egg yolks, 6 egg whites, 40 gr of granulated sugar, 1 pinch of salt.

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a double boiler OR place the chocolate and the butter in a microwavable dish and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir well until the mixture is homogeneous. Place the egg whites in a kitchen mixer and beat the whites until hard peaks are forming. Slowly add the chocolate mixture. Do not overbeat so as to not deflate the egg whites. PLace the “chocolate mousse in  large bowl and refrigerate for several hours.

When the mousse has rested and has solidified, start assembling the eclairs. Slice the eclairs in half from one side, open  them up,  fill the eclairs with the chocolate mousse, and close them back up. PLace the eclairs in the fridge so that the mousse will not melt.

Prepare the icing: For this recipe, I used a different icing. Normally you would use an icing made out fondant or a glacage, but I used a ganache.

Ingredients: 125 gr of bittersweet chocolate, 125 gr of cream, 40 gr of honey, 50 gr of butter.

Place the cream, honey and the chocolate in a bowl, and microwave for 90 sec. When it is melted, add the butter and mix well. Mic well until the ganache is nice and shiny. Let it rest a few minutes for it to cool off before spreading it on each eclairs.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!