Makes 4 to 6 cakes, depending on the size
What could be sweeter than a life with friendship and food at its center? For Béatrice Peltre, author of the award-winning blog LaTartineGourmande.com, to cook is to delight in the best of what life has to offer—the people and places we love. Welcome to a world where flavors are collected as souvenirs and shared as heirlooms, and where the dishes we create are expressions of our joie de vivre.
With nearly 100 recipes and charming anecdotes, La Tartine Gourmande takes you on a journey, not only through the meals of the day but around the world, as Béa revisits her inspiration for each dish. Though her style is largely inspired by her native France, you’ll find a wide array of influences as she brings creative twists to classic recipes—all while remaining effortlessly healthful and balanced. The gluten-free recipes use whole grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and nut flours, lending surprising depth of flavor and nutrients, even to desserts. You’ll taste the best of her adventures abroad from Denmark to New Zealand, her childhood in the French countryside, and the simple wholesomeness of her charmed life at home in Boston.
Your mouth will water as Béa recalls the oeufs en cocotte (“baked eggs”) that she ate as a child after collecting fresh eggs from her grandmother’s hen house. Her recipe for this classic dish now includes leeks, spinach, smoked salmon, and cumin. Or try the buttermilk, lemon, and poppyseed pancakes she made every morning in Crete when she was pregnant—they’re now her little daughter Lulu’s favorite. Warm up with a bowl of celeriac, white sweet potato, and apple soup, a dish inspired by a chilly day of horseback riding in New Zealand. You’ll love sharing the saffron-flavored crab and watercress soufflé, a delicious homage to one of her mother’s best-loved Christmas traditions. And since most would agree that “a meal without dessert is like wearing only one shoe,” try the apple, rhubarb, and strawberry nutty crumble, served with vanilla-flavored custard, just the way her husband’s Irish grandfather preferred.
Lush styling and photography combined with sweet stories, foodie tidbits, and fresh and original recipes make La Tartine Gourmande perfect for those who love food and the way our lives play around it. This is not just a book about cooking, but a warm invitation to share in the beauty and simple pleasures of a life with food at the heart of it.
Preheat the oven to 450oF (230oC). Butter the ramekins, then coat them with flour and tap the excess out. Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a bain-marie.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs with the sugar and fleur de sel and beat until the batter has tripled in volume and is light and pale in color; this will take about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla and fold in the flour, then the melted chocolate-butter mixture, making sure to keep the batter light each time.
Divide three-quarters of the batter among the ramekins and add one piece of hazelnut chocolate at the center of each mold. Cover with the rest of the batter. At this point, if you want, you can refrigerate the cakes until you are ready to bake and serve them. If you do, bring them back to room temperature before baking.
Place the cakes in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes (if you bake 6 cakes, they tend to need 10 minutes only); remember that the less time you bake the cakes, the more gooey the inside will be. Remove from the oven and leave them to rest for 5 minutes. Flip them swiftly onto dessert plates or serve them directly in the rame- kins. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve. A scoop of whipped cream or ice cream served with the cakes is a nice touch too.