Saint-Émilion au Chocolat

chocolate desert

Gosh, one month melds so rapidly into the next and before you know it the just-begun year is more than half over. Time does indeed fly: Easter now feels as distant as the outer reaches of the solar system yet was only three months ago. Now that summer has hit its stride Easter also seems like a different planet, one where the days were colder and central heating was needed as a talisman against the evening chill.

Easter is chocolate egg season. Now, I am fond of chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, but this year instead of buying an Easter egg I made an Easter treat of a chocolate-y desert called Saint-Γ‰milion au Chocolat. I meant to post the recipe on the blog an age ago but forgot to do so until now. It’s my kind of desert because: it contains chocolate; it is incredibly easy to make being more assembly than cookery; and it tastes delicious.

I used a recipe that I found in one of my best-loved cookbooks, Simon Hopkinson’s ‘Roast Chicken and Other Stories’. The intro to the recipe gives a potted history of the desert, the original recipe comes from Elizabeth David’s French Country Cooking. It was apparently fashionable in the 1960’s appearing on menus all over the place, a fashion that’s obviously faded because it’s never seen (or I’ve not noticed it) these days on restaurant menus.

Just to clarity the macaroons required are not the posh-ified multicoloured ones but the more basic and rustic plain coloured ones. As these are difficult to source I used Italian amaretti biscuits instead.

Anyway enough of me rambling on, here’s the recipe:


100 g/4 oz unsalted butter, softened
100 g/4 oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
200 ml/7 fl oz milk
225 g/8 oz dark chocolate broken into pieces
12 – 16 macaroons or Italian amaretti biscuits
a little rum or brandy


1. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until the mixture is well creamed.

2. Beat the egg yolk into the mix.

3. Put the chocolate pieces and the milk into a saucepan and put the saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly. Then add it to the butter/sugar/egg yolk mixture and beat throughly.

4. Line the base of a souffle dish or four individual ramekins with some of the macaroons/amaretti biscuits and sprinkle over some rum/brandy. Cover with a layer of chocolate and then add a further layer of biscuits and a further splash of rum/brandy, top this with another layer of chocolate. Keep going until all the biscuits and chocolate mix are used up (the number of layers will depend on the size of your dish).

5. Chill for at least twelve hours before serving with dollops of whipped cream.

Have a good weekend!


Filed under Food/Wine, Recipes

24 responses to “Saint-Émilion au Chocolat

  1. I’m going to try this! Sounds intriguing. Thanks for the idea.

  2. It looks fantastic and easy to make – chocolate makes it perfect!

  3. Oh I love chocolate and this sounds fantastic, and no bake, that makes me happy!! Love retro recipes and this sounds so good I wonder why it has not stayed in fashion. Lovely recipe!!

    • Thank you very much. I love retro recipes too – prawn cocktail springs instantly to mind. Chocolate, tick; easy to make, tick – two things which make this desert my kind of thing. πŸ˜‰

  4. Now have a desperate urge for chocolate but sadly I don’t have all the ingredients. My waistline will thank me for failing to stock the pantry correctly for midnight chocolate experiments πŸ˜‰

  5. Oh gosh, B! What a coincidence! Stefano and I were in Saint-Emilion a couple of weeks ago. What a wonderful place!!! And there we discovered their macaroons. Stefano is crazy about them. I agree: they can be compared to the Italian amaretti. Your recipe sounds wonderful!!!
    Hope you are having a lovely summer.

    • Francesca I hope you and Stefano had a fantastic time in Saint-Emilion. It’s a long time since I was last there but I can still see it my mind’s eye.

      Thanks I am having a lovely summer helped by good weather which we haven’t had here for quite a few summers.

      B xx

  6. beautycalyptique

    aaaaw. oooooh. delicious chocolate abundance cake! I’m so making this! veganised, though πŸ˜‰
    see I’ve decided for myself that all things cooked more for pleasure than for their actual nutrient value shall be cruelty-free at my home. but no compromises on the taste! (which makes it rather tricky, you so taste soy milk, yuk)

    • It’s really good deliciously gooey and chocolate-y. I use soya milk a lot although not exclusively and I don’t mind the taste, maybe that’s because I use a sweetened one. Not great for keeping my daily sugar intake down but I am so accustomed to it that if I run out and have to make my morning coffee with dairy milk I just don’t enjoy it. πŸ˜‰

      • beautycalyptique

        I don’t enjoy dairy milk anymore either πŸ™‚
        also, whenever possible, I try to sweeten with xylitol (loving the dental health perks of it!) – maybe this helps you a bit πŸ™‚ it has 40% less calories than sugar, and a ridiculously low GI of 10 if I remember right.

      • Thanks for the info. It must be a sign from the universe as I have just checked my cupboard and yes as I thought there is an unopened pack of XyloBrit (100% Xylitol) lurking at the back of it. Given that it’s been there for an age I was surprised to find it’s still in date. Time to start experimenting with it. πŸ˜‰

      • beautycalyptique

        ask anytime before you set your kitchen on fire! πŸ™‚

  7. Hi B!
    Apologies if I am so behind with the blogs I follow and desperately trying to catch up, but work has been insane in the last month…
    Anyway, what a great post and wonderful dessert! Just like you, I also love dark chocolate – the darker, the better! And St Emilion macarons! As Francesca told you, we were there recently and we got to taste them for the first time – they were delicious! In the next several weeks we will be posting about St Emilion, the macarons, and of course the wine and the chateaus… Plenty of good stuff πŸ™‚
    And, I totally agree that time indeed flies – Summer is almost over and it will be Halloween in a heartbeat… Of well, I am fond of the Fall so I won’t complain! πŸ˜‰

    • Dear Stefano,

      There is no need to apologise and please don’t worry if you are ever too busy to read my blog – there is no need to read every post!

      Yes, Francesa told me that you were both in Saint-Emilion recently and I hope you had a wonderful time.
      I look forward to reading the posts about your trip.

      I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. πŸ˜‰

      With good wishes from B

  8. This sounds like an incredibly delicious and easy recipe. Actually, maybe too easy as it sounds more-ish. πŸ™‚

  9. Pingback: Saint Emilion Chronicles #3: les macarons et les cannelΓ©s | Flora's Table

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