From elaborate tarts glistening with fruit, to a simple serving of fromage blanc topped with a ruby red, fresh berry coulis – nobody does dessert quite like the French do. At least, that’s what most of us are bound to think when we enter a pâtisserie or marvel at a beautiful, sweet creation presented to us at a restaurant. Desserts, especially the French kind, can be intimidating.
But the truth is that some (if not most) are quite easy to recreate at home. Even the impressive desserts that many are too intimidated to try, in fear of a possible culinary disaster. Take the moelleux au chocolat, for example. When I first had this little cake at a restaurant many years ago, I didn’t think much of it – until my spoon tore through the cakey layer and met with a heart of warm, molten chocolate. After that very first bite, I fell in love with the dessert and knew that I had to make it for friends at my next dinner party. The only question was ‘how’.
Through trial and error, I finally came up with the perfect recipe – and the beautiful thing about it is that it’s child’s play to make. Plus, it requires very little ingredients. I like to serve my moelleux au chocolat warm, preferably with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream or a pool of crème anglaise, and preferably in good company. This impressive, chocolatey cake is proof that when referring to some of the most indulgent desserts, ‘fuss-free’ and ‘French’ can indeed be used in the same sentence.
Moelleux au Chocolat with a Heart of Raspberries and White Chocolate
*Note use ramequins that hold approximately 100ml and are 6 ½ cm wide and 4 cm deep.
- 150g pure dark chocolate
- 100g butter
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 120g fine sugar
- 50g all-purpose flour
- 4-5 raspberries
- 4-5 small squares of white chocolate
Preheat the oven to 200°C and butter your ramequins well. Melt the chocolate with the butter and salt au bain marie and allow this mixture to cool slightly. In a small bowl or glass jug, whisk the eggs and the yolks until creamy. Add the sugar and whisk again. Whisk in the flour and the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Divide 2 tbsps of the batter over the buttered ramequins and top with one raspberries and one square of white chocolate. Pour about 1 ½ tbsp of the batter over the ramequins and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before unmoulding. To serve, place a small plate over each ramequin and carefully (using oven gloves if still hot) shake gently until they are released. You may have to use the tip of a small knife to help some of them a little. Optionally, just serve them in their ramequin, topping each one with a dusting of powdered sugar and a fresh raspberry.