Mastering classic French cooking at home: Moelleux au Chocolat

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Oh, to have a repertoire of French cuisine classics that you can whip up at home and know that they’ll be fantastic – every time!

Have you always dreamed of mastering French cuisine? Years ago I attended a course with Le Cordon Bleu in London and I have a very early (1978) copy of Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘, now very yellow and food stained by successful and not so masterful attempts!

Like many of you, I’ve also read the book and seen the 2009 film Julie & Julia, with Amy Adams as Julie Powell and Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Upon hearing about Powell’s attempt at replicating all her recipes, Child was reported to have been unimpressed, viewing Powell’s attempt to be a stunt, and that Powell wasn’t serious about doing it.

We’re passionate about continuing the challenge of mastering classic French cooking at home without having professional training. In this series we bring you tips and recipes from others who share our passion.

Meet Janelle

MyFrenchLife™ - Scott-and-Janelle-Gould - Master French Classics - French cooking at home - MyFrenchLife.orgWe have the pleasure of introducing you to Janelle and Scott Gould of the Distant Francophile blog. Janelle is a passionate Australian Francophile who shares her tips on how to bake her first choice dessert without the hassle and importantly we have the photos to prove she did it! Taken by photographer Scott.

Janelle says: “I’m not much of sweet tooth – I actually prefer cheese over dessert. But the desserts I do like, I really like, if you know what I mean.

One of the desserts that I always struggle to say ‘no’ to is Moelleux au Chocolat. Sometimes called Chocolat Fondant, this rich, oozing, chocolate concoction is a joy to behold. Cake-like on the outside, but filled with molten chocolate it really is a special treat.

Given how good this dessert is, I spent years thinking Moelleux au Chocolat was beyond the skills of your average home cook. But our recent trip to France inspired me to explore this idea a little further and I soon found out that this French classic is as easy to prepare as it is yummy! ”

Moelleux au Chocolat

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Here’s my recipe for Moelleux au Chocolat for you to try.
It serves four diners – but is easily scaled up to serve more. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


        100g dark cooking chocolate (I prefer Valrhona if I can get it)
        110g butter
        100g castor sugar
        2 whole eggs
        2 egg yolks
        40g pastry flour
        10g cocoa powder (again, Valrhona if you have it)


      1. Melt butter and chocolate over very low heat. Take care here to keep the heat low and to stir regularly so your chocolate doesn’t seize.
      2. Sift flour and cocoa powder into the egg and sugar mixture. Stir to combine.
      3. While the chocolate mix is melting, beat whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until pale yellow and airy.
      4. By now your chocolate mix should be smooth and shiny – stir the chocolate and the butter through the cake batter.
      5. At this stage, you can cover the mix and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to bake and serve the Moelleux. This is not a dessert you can cook in advance.
      6. When you are ready to serve the Moelleux au Chocolat, preheat your oven to 210 degrees celsius.
      7. Then share the chocolate mix between 4 ramekins or moulds. If you prefer to turn your Moelleux out, grease the ramekins. Personally, I prefer to serve them in the ramekins so I don’t bother to grease them.
      8. Pop the ramekins into the oven for around 12 minutes until the tops are firm but the centres are still liquid.
      9. Then serve hot and gooey with good cream or ice cream – Bon appetit !

This recipe was originally published on Thank you for collaborating with us Janelle.

Which French dessert sends your taste buds into a frenzy? Have you ever tried baking your own Moelleux au Chocolat? Share your thoughts and experiences with us below!

Indulge yourself with more delicious recipes in our series of how to Master French Classics…

French onion soup // Poule au Pot // Crêpes // Duck Confit // Bouillabaisse // Madeleine

Image Credits:
1. Collage of images by Scott Gould
2. Janelle and Scott by Carla Coulson
3. Moelleux au Chocolat by Scott Gould

About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are. Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live. You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon -

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