“French women eat for pleasure” –  Mireille Guiliano ( French women don’t get fat)

Two French women who had an important part in making me the chef I am today were my grandmothers. Ironically, one was born in Italy and the other in Ukraine, but they both taught me the art of French cooking. It was not unusual to sit down every Sunday lunch to a five-hour banquet, always finishing with at least two or three desserts. The pleasure those two women would get out of preparing all those amazing dishes was matched by the pleasure we got devouring them.

Over the next few months I will share a few of those family recipes with you. Remember as I have done all my life: enjoy butter, cream and chocolate! All in moderation, of course, but most importantly without guilt.

French women love chocolate, especially the dark, slightly bitter, silky stuff with its nutty aroma; so here is Memere Villeneuve ( my maternal grandmother’s) recipe for:




Salted Chocolate Mousse

For 12 French women servings or 8 glutton servings:

180 g of dark chocolate ( at least 60% cacao)

60 g of salted butter

5 eggs separated

100 ml of cream

60g castor sugar

1 vanilla bean


  1. In a heavy saucepan bring the cream, butter and vanilla bean (split in half with all the lovely black seeds scrapped) to a boil
  2. Pour over chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted
  3. Separate the eggs and whip the whites to a soft peak, adding sugar about halfway through

One little tip: clean your mixing bowl with a little white vinegar. It will help if – qu’elle horreur! – you have some trace of egg yolk in your whites.

When the chocolate mix is a little cooler, add the egg yolk one by one, then mix in 1/3 of the whipped egg white very well, fold the rest of the “meringue” gently into the chocolate to keep as much air in the mix as possible, pour in your individual serving glasses and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

At Claire’s Kitchen we serve the mousse in a chocolate cup with a French macaron.

Bon appetit,

Chef Claire de Lune


Claires Kitchen at le Salon

35 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Phone:(02) 9283 1891


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