Hello Stranger | Login | Create Account
Aug 28, 2014
Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
Email | Text-size: A | A | A

By the Book: Nathalie Benezet’s Melting Chocolate Cakes

February 25th 12:02pm, 2014



Nathalie Benezet’s Le Petit Paris: French Finger Food takes a bite-sized look at French cuisine. Teacup-sized bowls of onion soup, beef tartare on tiny toasts and foie gras burgers far too dainty to be called sliders grace the pages of this cookbook. I opted to try her mini Melting Chocolate Cakes, small but sophisticated chocolate loaves that make cupcakes look uncouth. Besides, any recipe that calls for equal parts butter, chocolate and sugar is A-OK with me.




After melting and mixing butter, sugar and chocolate the recipe called for four eggs. Now ordinary eggs would have done the job, but this recipe required something special – the last four eggs from executive editor Ligaya Figueras’ chickens Perrault and Cacciatore, who were slain by an opossum this weekend. RIP Perrault and Cacciatore – we made these gooey chocolate cakes in your honor.




This dessert is all but gluten-free, with one teaspoon of flour among all 12 cakes. While I’m no expert on wheat-less baking, it seems that a simple substitution of almond flour might allow these desserts to be enjoyed by a gluten-free friend.

Then you sit. And wait. And wait. The longest moment of my Monday was the 30 minutes spent breathing in that heavenly chocolate scent as the cakes cooled. I’ll admit, my mini cakes didn’t sink the way I wanted. Their centers were resolutely firm, but the middles sagged slightly as if they pitied me for failing the “melting” part of Nathalie’s Melting Chocolate Cakes.

Regardless, these treats were moist and decadently fudgy. They toed the line between traditional desserts, too gooey to be simply cake and too delicate to be brownie. Their texture and taste is distinctly buttery, but the single-serving trays make it easier to eat just one.

Just kidding. It’s still difficult to eat just one.




Nathalie’s Melting Chocolate Cake
Makes 12 mini loaves

200 g. (7 oz./scant ¾ cup) butter, cubed
200 g. (7 oz./scant ¾ cup) dark (bittersweet) chocolate, (at least 70 percent), broken into pieces
200 g. (7 oz./scant ¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. flour

• Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
• Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted.
• Transfer to a large mixing bowl with the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon and leave to cool a little.
• Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour and mix well.
• Pour the cake batter into 12 mini loaf cases and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the centers are set but still a little wobbly.
• Turn the oven off but leave the cakes inside for another 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
• You can store these covered in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. Take out 30 minutes before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books

What’s your favorite one-bite sweet or savory treat? Tell us about it in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Le Petit Paris. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Kalila, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won a copy of Seriously Bitter Sweet. Kalila, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!


By Kate Essig

Tags: , , ,

5 Responses to “By the Book: Nathalie Benezet’s Melting Chocolate Cakes”

  1. Joe Says:
    February 25th, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    My mother makes mini pecan tartlets every Thanksgiving. The instant they hit the table I am eating several and hiding even more to enjoy later!

  2. Megan Says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    My family makes tuma brusca, an Italian appetizer of cottage cheese, garlic, red wine vinegar, pepper and salt that we spread on a saltine…so many flavors in one bite (or two)!

  3. Diana Kammer Says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Well since my mother was from France, she introduced me to chocolate Bon Bon’s. I would have to say that is my favorite sweet finger food!

  4. Diana Kammer Says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Well since my mother was from France she introduced me to Chocolate Bon Bon’s. That would have to be my favorite finger food ever!

  5. Madeleine Says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    My favorite one-bite treat is a lemony fig bar, made with dried figs in an anise and red wine reduction, then folded into a buttery, lemony soft cookie dough. It is like a fig newton but more sophisticated!

Leave a Reply

Keep up with one or all of your favorite Sauce Magazine columns
Conceived and created by Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC 1999-2014, Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Sauce Magazine 1820 Chouteau Ave. St. Louis, Missouri 63103.
PH: 314-772-8004 FAX: 314-241-8004