La Bête Noire

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Use a 9 inch pan with foil wrapped around the removable bottom part of the pan. Butter the pan as well.

12 oz of bittersweet chocolate
1/2 lb of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
5 whole eggs
1/3 cup of sugar


1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water

  • Over double boiler, melt the chocolate and the butter together.
  • In the meantime, beat the eggs and the sugar for 5 minutes.
  • Make a syrup with the sugar and water; cook until it dissolves.
  • Mix the syrup in the chocolate, then gently fold the mixture into the eggs.
  • Cook at 325°F for 40 t0 45 minutes (it may still be a bit soft in the center).
  • Refrigerate overnight, otherwise it is difficult to unmold.

Crème Anglaise

1 cup of milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla

  • In a small saucepan, scald the milk and add the vanilla.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light.
  • Gradually add the hot milk to this mixture.
  • Pour back into the cleaned saucepan and cook over low heat stirring constantly with a spoon.
  • Stop only when it coats the spoon.
  • Do not overheat or it will curdle. (If it does, pour the mixture in the food processor and mix with the metal blade for a good minute to save the day.  It will not have the same smoothness, though.)

Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup of whipping cream
1/4 cup of milk
10 oz of semisweet chocolate

  • In a small saucepan place heavy cream and milk.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the chocolate until it melts.
  • Strain if desired and use immediately.

Jewish Apple Cake

6 Cortland apples
1 cup chopped nuts
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of oil
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Pare and slice the apples, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Mix the apples with the chopped nuts and set aside.
  • Beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon.
  • Don’t fold into egg mixture until apples are ready, as batter will begin to rise.
  • Add the egg mixture and flour mixture together, mix in apples and nuts.
  • Pour into a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan.
  • Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes.
  • You can make an optional topping with 2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of sugar.
  • Sprinkle on top of the cake batter before inserting the pan in the oven.


Genoise à la praline

1/2 cup sifted and measured all‑purpose flour
1/2 cup of cornstarch
6 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F
  • Butter, line and rebutter 2 eight inch layer cake pans.
  • Flour and take out excess flour.
  • Resift the flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • With a mixer gently beat the eggs for one minute.
  • Turn the mixer at high speed and gradually add the sugar.
  • Continue beating for about 6 minutes or triple in volume.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • Incorporate the flour/cornstarch mixture in four portions with a rubber spatula.
  • Use a circular motion and be gentle so as not to deflate the eggs.
  • Pour in pans almost to the top.
  • Bake for 20/25 minutes (until it is brown and springy in center).
  • Unmold on racks and cool right side up.


1 full cup of walnuts
1-1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar

  • Preheat oven 350 °F
  • Warm nuts on an ungreased cookie sheet for 7 minutes. Set aside.
  • Butter a 9 inch metal pan and set aside.
  • In a 3 quart saucepan mix granulated sugar, water and cream of tartar.
  • Cook over high heat without stirring for about 12 minutes or until golden brown (300°F ).
  • Stir in the prepared nuts.
  • Save a few for decoration.
  • Pour in the metal pan and let cool for an hour.
  • Return the pan with a hard rap on the counter and pulverize the pieces in a food processor.

Praline buttercream

1-1/2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 Tbsp of light corn syrup
1-1/2 cup of praline
drops of vanilla extract

  • Beat egg yolks and butter together at high speed.
  • Mixture should be smooth.
  • Blend in corn syrup, praline and vanilla.
  • Place in refrigerator until firm.

Genoise à l’orange

1/2 cup sifted and measured all‑purpose flour
1/2 cup of cornstarch
6 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Butter, line and rebutter 2 eight inch layer cake pans.
  • Flour and take out excess flour.
  • Resift the flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • With a mixer gently beat the eggs for one minute.  T
  • urn the mixer at high speed and gradually add the sugar.
  • Continue beating for about 6 minutes or triple in volume.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • Incorporate the flour/cornstarch mixture in four portions with a rubber spatula.
  • Use a circular motion and be gentle so as not to deflate the eggs.
  • Pour in pans almost to the top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • It should be brown and springy in center.
  • Unmold on racks and cool right side up.

Crème pâtissière

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar
3 Tbsp of flour
2-1/2 cups of milk
1 Tbsp of vanilla extract
1 Tbsp of butter
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
3 Tbsp of pralin (1/2 cup of almonds toasted in oven for 5 minutes, stirred into a caramel made with 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 Tbsp water)

  • Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until it forms the ribbon.
  • Add the flour.
  • In the meantime, boil the milk.
  • When the egg yolks are ready, pour the boiling milk in slowly.
  • Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook slowly for 2 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and butter and 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier

Dessert syrup

2/3 cup of water & ½ cup of sugar
3 Tbsp of Grand Marnier

  • Bring the water and sugar to a boil until sugar is dissolved.
  • Cool and add flavorings.

Assemble the cake

  • With a serrated knife, cut the Genoise into 3 equal layers.
  • Place one layer on a cardboard disk and brush with the dessert syrup.
  • Spread a layer of crème patissière with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of pralin.
  • Cover with a layer of génoise and repeat until the last layer.
  • Refrigerate overnight and decorate.

Gâteau roulé au moka

5 large eggs
5 Tbsp of hot water
1 cup of sugar, reserve 1 generous Tbsp.
2 tsp of vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1-1/4 cups of flour
1/4 cup of powdered almonds
1 tsp of baking powder

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Separate the eggs.
  • Beat egg yolks with the hot water and sugar (alternate) until foamy.
  • Add vanilla and lemon.
  • Beat egg white with 1 Tbsp of sugar until it form soft peaks.
  • Add the almonds and the baking powder to flour.
  • Gently mix the egg yolks, the flour and the egg white (alternate).
  • Prepare a roll cake pan 17 x 11 x 1 lined with wax paper.
  • Pour the mixture into it .
  • Cook for 10 to 11 minutes.
  • Unmold on a prepared towel.
  • Slightly wet the wax paper before removing it.
  • Immediately roll the cake with the towel and let cool until ready to fill.

Moka butter cream

1/2 lb of butter
3 egg yolks
5 Tbsp confectioner sugar
8 Tbsp of lukewarm instant coffee
chocolate to decorate
Apple sauce

  • Beat egg yolks one at a time and sugar (alternate) in the soften butter until creamy.
  • Slowly add instant coffee.

Assembling the cake

  • Unroll the cake and spread the apple sauce.
  • Also spread a little more than half the moka mixture and keep the remaining to decorate the outside.
  • Add some melted chocolate to make the butter cream darker.
  • Roll.
  • Cut each end of the cake and spread the remaining butter cream all around the roll.

Gâteau Mexicain

For one 8″ cake serving 8 persons.

1 coffee-flavored genoise

1/3 cup of sugar
3 large eggs (1/2 cup)
1-1/2 Tbsp of butter
1/2 generous cup of flour
1 tsp of vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp of coffee extract 
2 generous cups of Chantilly cream (300g)
2/3 cup hazelnuts, whole (100g)
1 cup of syrup, coffee‑flavored   
1 cup generous cup of coffee‑flavored pastry cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and over a pot of boiling water.
  • Beat for 1 minute.
  • Beat in the mixer at high speed for 2 minutes then for 5 minutes at low speed.
  • Clarify the butter.
  • Mix flour and vanilla sugar and fold it in the egg mixture.
  • Add coffee extract.
  • Fold in the warm butter.
  • Stop mixing as soon as everything is blended.
  • Bake right away for 30 minutes in a buttered and floured pan
  • Let cool for 10 minutes and turn out into a rack.

Syrup – one cup 

  • Place 2/3 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cool and add flavorings (3 Tbsp of alcohol or 3 Tbsp of water with 3/4 tsp of coffee extract)

Chantilly – two cups

1 cup heavy cream whipped with 3/4 tsp of vanilla sugar.

Pastry cream

  • Place 2 cups of milk with half a vanilla bean split in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Beat 2/3 cup of sugar and 6 egg yolks together until it forms a ribbon.
  • Gently stir in 4 Tbsp of flour.
  • Strain the vanilla bean from hot milk and, slowly at first, add to the egg mixture.
  • Pour the whole thing back into the saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
  • Cook for 1 minute.
  • Cool in a bowl with a lump of butter brushed on the surface to keep a skin from forming.

Assembling the cake

  • Prepare the génoise a day ahead, adding the coffee extract just before adding the flour.
  • Whip the Chantilly cream and reserve 1 cup for decorating the cake.
  • Refrigerate.
  • In the oven, roast the hazelnut and when browned, set aside 20 for decorating.
  • Chop or pound the rest.
  • Cut the genoise in 3 equal parts.
  • Place one layer on a cardboard disk and brush it with the syrup.
  • Add 1/2 cup of Chantilly cream to the coffee pastry cream, then add the chopped nuts.
  • Cover the first layer completely with half of this cream using a spatula.
  • Place a second layer on top, brush with syrup and cover with the remaining cream.
  • Place the third layer of cake on top and cover the whole cake with the refrigerated Chantilly.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Gâteau aux pommes

From Yves Parent.

4 lbs of Macintosh apples
1 Tbsp of granulated sugar
1 Tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of unsalted butter

  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Grease the mold all around with the melted butter.
  • Peel and slice the apples.
  • Build several layers of thin slices and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon between the layers.
  • Cook in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
  • Unmold on a serving platter.
  • This dish can be served hot or cold and topped with crème fraîche (optional).

Crème fraîche

1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of light cream

  • In a measuring cup, mix the sour cream and the light cream well.
  • Leave it at room temperature for about six hours or overnight.
  • Refrigerate.

Gâteau au chocolat

6 eggs
8 oz. of chocolate
1 cup of sugar
7 oz. of unsalted butter (14 Tbsp)
3/4 cup of powdered almonds
1/2 tsp of baking soda
3 Tbsp of cornstarch

  • Butter a 9 inch mold and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Preheat oven at 400°F.
  • Soften butter at room temperature.
  • Mix all dry ingredients (almonds, baking soda, corn starch).
  • Separate the eggs.
  • Beat egg yolks with sugar until it forms the ruban.
  • Melt chocolate with 2 Tbsp of water in a double boiler and add to the egg yolks.
  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • Add the softened butter.
  • Beat the egg whites to the soft peak stage (with a pinch of salt)
  • Fold gently in the chocolate mixture.
  • Fill 3/4 of the mold and cook at 375°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • This cake must cook quickly to keep the center moist.  Leave in the mold for a while.
  • Unmold and cool completely before glazing.


6 oz of chocolate
3/4 cup of whipping cream

  • On a small pan melt the chocolate in the cream and bring to a boil.
  • Let cool to lukewarm before using.

Glace royale

1/2 cup of confectioner sugar
1/3 of a egg white
drops of lemon

  • Combine the sugar, egg white and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • Work the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy enough to form a ribbon.
  • The cake is first glazed with chocolate then decorated with the glace royale (icing) while the glazing is still soft.
  • Place some icing in a paper cornet.
  • Cut the tip and draw lines on the surface of the glaze.
  • Stoke the lines with the blade of a knife.

Clafoutis de prunes

Serves 6 to 8.  Requires a round cake mold 8″ in diameter, 1-1/2″ deep or a baking dish about the same size.

6 oz pitted prunes
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of sugar
1 Tbsp of rum
1 stick of butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of cornstarch
1 small teaspoon of baking powder

  • Combine prunes, water and sugar in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Add the rum, cover and cool completely.
  • Drain and reserve the liquid.
  • Quarter the prunes.
  • Cream the butter (smear with the heel of hand until very smooth).
  • Beat the eggs for one minute in the electric mixer then dribble in the sugar and continue beating until pale yellow.
  • At low speed, beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time.
  • Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled.
  • Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder together.
  • At low speed, beat the dry ingredients into the batter.
  • Fold the prunes into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  • Butter the mold and pour the batter into it.
  • Tap on the counter to level the mixture.
  • Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350°F.
  • The top of the cake should be gold and the sides should pull away from the pan.
  • Cook the reserved prune liquid until it thickens to a syrup.
  • When the cake is baked and unmolded, brush the syrup over the cake.

Clafoutis aux poires

A Patricia Wells recipe.  Try to purchase your pears a few days before you decide to do this recipe, so that they will have a chance to ripen.  Serves 10 to 12.

1/2 cup of pear eau-de-vie or brandy
6 ripe pears – but not soft
6 large eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 Tbsp of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
confectioner’s sugar

  • Pour the pear brandy into a shallow bowl large enough to hold the pears when cut.
  • Peel and core each pear, then cut each into 16 even slices.
  • As they are cut, place the pear slices into the bowl and gently stir to coat the slices with the brandy.
  • When all the pears are cut stir again, cover and let marinate for 1 hour.
  • Turn the pears from time to time, so they do not darken.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Butter and sugar a 10-1/2 inch porcelain baking dish.
  • Combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until frothy.
  • Slowly add in the flour, cream and salt.
  • Drain the pears and add the marinade liquid to the batter. Mix until well blended.
  • Arrange the pear slices in a spiral in the prepared baking dish.
  • Pour the batter over the pears.
  • Place the baking dish in the center of the oven and bake until the top is golden, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool.
  • Sprinkle on confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.