Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Madame Jéhane Benoit~

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jehane Benoît
Born March 21, 1904
Montreal, Quebec
Died November 24, 1987 (aged 83)
Sutton, Quebec

Jehane Benoît, OC (née Patenaude) (March 21, 1904 – November 24, 1987) was a Canadian culinary author, speaker, commentator and journalist.[1]
In 1973, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for her contribution to this art in Canada".[1]

When I married 37 years plus ago..I did not know how to cook or bake a thing..
Sadly..or gratefully ,I only had 1 cookbook from my mom..her huge Mme. Benoit book..
Of course I had never made anything from it..But my husband.. older than I was had made her sour cream chocolate cake and kept raving about it..
So I set off of course to make it 37 years ago..and am still making it~

He was a bit avant-gardiste to say the least was she.. as lemon rind was added to the cake batter..:)

It works..He loves many different kinds of chocolate cake recipes ow..but when I want to step back in time..I treat him to this:)

It's different..

and delicious..

La Recette~

2 carrés (2 onces) de chocolat non sucré /2 unsweetened chocolate squares..2 ounces
1 tasse d'eau bouillante/1 cup boiling water

2 tasses de farine tout-usage, tamisée/2 cups sifted all purp.flour
1/4 c. à thé de sel/1/4 tsp salt
1 c. à thé de soda/1 tsp baking soda
1 c. à soupe de zeste de citron râpé/1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tassse de beurre/1/2 cup buttersoftened
1 c. à thé de vanille/1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 tasse de cassonade bien tassée/1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 oeufs/2 eggs
1/2 tasse de crème sure, commerciale/1/2 cup sour cream

Chauffer le four à 325 F, et graisser un moule à pain de 9 X 5 X 3 pouces. Placer le chocolat dans un petit bol, y ajouter l'eau bouillante et laisser tiédir. Tamiser la farine, le sel et le soda, ajouter le zeste de citron râpé.
Mélanger le beurre et la vanille et mettre en crème avec un malaxeur électrique jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit crémeux, ajouter la cassonade et continuer à travailler la pâte jusqu'à ce qu'elle soit très crémeuse.
Ajouter les oeufs, un par un, en battant bien entre chaque addition. Incorporer la farine avec soin, en y mélangeant la crème sure et en dernier lieu.. le mélange du chocolat et de l'eau.
Verser la pâte (c'est une pâte claire) dans le moule préparé et cuire de 50 à 60 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que le gâteau soit cuit. Refroidir sur un gril à gâteau pendant environ 5 min, démouler et refroidir complètement.


Preheat oven to 325..Prepare a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan(see my notes below)
Place the chocolate squares in abowl and pour boiling water over..let melt..and become tepid..
Sift flour,salt and soda,add lemon zest.
Cream butter and vanilla with electric mixer..add brown sugar and continue mixing until mixture is very eggs one by one beating well after each addition..
Gently add flour mixture and then sour cream..lastly..the chocolate warm water mixture..
Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 mins.. Let cool on a rack ap 5 mins and then unmold..

Many people leave it unglazed.. see my notes below..

My notes..I used a 9 inch springform pan..and I really went wild and used Penzey's chocolate instead of the squares.. a gift from a friend:)I have made the cake so many times I can improvise~
I combined the dry cocoa w/ melted butter and added separately.. and the warm tepid water after..together..they become like a statue:).
I add a ganache glaze and make the stripes w/ a neat gadget that looks like sharks teeth:)

Enjoy~ She was our Julia Child~


  1. good thing i am not able to eat cake frenchy, and not being english keeps it that way!

    but i can drool in both languages~

  2. Oh I must translate! I was going to..If anyone wants it..I will!x

  3. Oh please do Monique (translate):). Chocolate cake recipes that are recommended I will make. Love the pattern you made with sharks teeth ;)

  4. Your cake is too pretty to eat! Sour cream chocolate sounds to good to pass up.

  5. Yes Monique, please translate your lovely cake recipe for us. If you are still making this cake, it must be special. I know that you will be pleasing are your followers. Thank you in advance. Karen

  6. Miam a l'air tout à fait appétissant le gâteau au chocolat!!

  7. Ah! les gâteaux au chocolat en font fondre plus d'un, n'est-ce pas! et le tien me semble très alléchant...
    Il est bon de se souvenir des premiers moments de notre propre culture culinaire...
    Moi j'ai grandi dans les odeurs de cuisine qui régnaient de façon constante dans la cuisine de ma grand-mère... Elles me poursuivent toujours...
    gros bisous

  8. I was so hungry for chocolate tonight, I polished off the last teaspoon of my fudge sauce in the frig. It was so good and I was satisfied UNTIL I saw this chocolate heaven on a plate! Now I would love this recipe. Goodness knows how it would turn out... I don't speak or read any french! Is there a translation coming? My son is a huge chocolate fan and I would love to make this for him.
    Again, beauty abounds at your site!

  9. Oh this looks beautifully captured too.....I would love the translation.
    Shel x

  10. Mme Benoit was a favourite of mine. I remember watching her on Take 30 with my mom. I have one of her books. It is falling apart at the seams now. I treasure it beyond belief. I wold love the translation as well. My friend is not that good, although I could probably figure it out! xxoo

  11. I must admit: didn't know about Mme Benoit.Thanks to you now I Know.Love the cake!

  12. I learned to cook a few years ahead of you and I don't recall any lemon rind in recipes, at least not American recipes. Madame Benoit was on to something great. I believe today they would call her a visionary.

    Lovely cake. No wonder you still serve it to Jacques today. And yes, we would all love for you to translate it.

  13. Coffee with chocolate, yes. Even orange. But this is the first time I've seen a recipe with lemon rind and chocolate. Sounds wonderful Monique. I could go to Google translate, but it's never completely accurate so translation would be super.

  14. Tada..your wish is my command:) The translation is there..

    I often add a touch of instant espresso powder.

    I hope you enjoy it..
    Have a lovely day..Marie my big book is frayed also:)

  15. Madame Benoit has always been a favourite. That cake looks so good Monique.


  16. I never heared about her but thanks for sharing, 'cause now that I live in Canada (as a cook) I need to know some culinary history.

  17. I love

    that you posted in french.

    what wonderful memories this cake must bring.

  18. I'm so happy I came after the translation was added. My mother used to buy (not bake) a sour cream chocolate cake that I loved as a teen. I would love to try the marvelous Mme. Benoit's recipe!

  19. :) I think of you every time..

    I hope you all enjoy it..On Zeste TV there is a show in which a young woman recreates Mme.Benoits' recipes..a little like Julie and Julia:)

    All our moms had this least one..mine is ap. 1000 pages in a big binder.. my mom bought the individual inserts..

    She is history here.
    Thank you for appreciating her..Ann I have seen you mention her:)
    I bet she would have had one of your boards at least!

  20. Will take note of your cake recipe, I also love the bag and doll so pretty.


  21. I can taste the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate from here. You are so generous, thank you for posting the translation. I adore reading old cook books, especially those that combine telling personal journeys with recipes. (I guess that's the writer in me.) I am also facinated by chefs of long ago. I can't wait to find out more about Jéhane Benoit. Thank you.

  22. Oh my pleasure:)

    The bag ..little.. chocolate brown:) purse had a charm in it for Giulianas' charm bracelet..she turned 10..the doll was mine many years ago...I started a small collection..I don't need them anymore and am giving her the ones that look like she was part of her birthday gift too.

    Thank you for your comments..I read every one and appreciate every one.

  23. What a truly stunning cake - it's a masterpiece! and a lovely story -

  24. Mme Benoit was my mentor and I collected her book at the supermarket where they sold it every week or so in section. By the time my children were grown it was well tattered from so much use; I finally discarded it.
    But last year, my son surprised my with a French copy that he found on ebay. Will be making this gateau au chocolat. Merci.

  25. Rita that is how my mom got it..:) What a very thoughtful gift from your son..You must try her mushroom rolls..One of the first appetizers I made and still do!

    Thanks..have a great day..

  26. I am so excited to try this recipe Monique...thank you so much for posting it. The rhubarb pie recipe that I got from Ann is also from Mme. is killer and I can just see this cake is as well.
    Hmmmmm...I need to look for a cookbook in English of her recipes.
    I am off to Amazon right now!

  27. Copied and saved.......I LOVE the idea of the lemon zest in this chocolate cake and I am going to give it a go soon........a WONDERFUL post!

  28. That looks wonderful! I think I have one of those tools somewhere!

    I am baked out from Tuesday, 4 in one day. I have to hold back on the baking awhile! I used a half gallon of cream for the wedding cake!

  29. Ohhh my goodness...this looks so very scrumptious! Sadly, I am not eating sweets lately so I will simply enjoy reading about them on your lovely blog.
    P.S. So loved your sweet story as well as your phrase regarding stepping back in time via very holds such memory!

  30. Tracey..i bake for Jacques..and family.. I rarely if ever have sweets..:)I love the way they look ..:)

  31. it certainly looks delicious!!!
    I sooooooo love each and every one of your posts!

  32. Oh this sounds so delicious, too bad I cannot eat chocolate. My family never eats chocolate in front of me. I thank them for that. However, I do eat carob, a substitute for chocolate. Do you think I could make this cake if I used carob?

  33. I am not familiar with Carob..I am sorry.. perhaps if you Google it would assure you?

    Thank you..

    Et Bon Dimanche~

  34. That cake looks lovely. I have never heard of Madame Benoit.

  35. Love the post & the recipe Monique ... divine!

  36. This cake is beautiful! I love the elegant modern flair the waves gives the cake. It's quite a testament that you are baking this cake 37 years later.

  37. Just have to make this cake for my chocolate loving husband - thanks for the translation.

    Love the dolly; my Mom left me with a very large doll collection - I remember her as I look upon them. How she loved them.

    Beautiful post, Monique. Judy/Houston

  38. Oh dear, somebody catch me!

    And to think I almost missed this lovely entry!
    This is the type of cake I dream about, and I'm most intrigued about the lemon zest in the batter.
    Ninety degree temperatures be dammed!

  39. But summer I am now accepting the warmth ..and humidity..
    In winter.. it can be almost Siberia here.. -10 F.
    I dread it.

    Then I adapt.:)

  40. Jehane Benoit était l'idole de ma grand-mère... toute une dame!