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Le Président chocolate cake by Philippe Bernachon

Le Président chocolate cake by Philippe Bernachon


In the book, “50 gâteaux de grands pâtissiers“, published by Editions La Martinière, up to 50 great chefs generously share the secrets and recipe of one of their emblematic cakes, creations that have marked and redesigned the landscape of sweet gastronomy.

To write this book, available in French on our Books For Chefs online store, Hélène Luzin, founder of the Marques et Chefs agency, traveled throughout France to visit their workshops and conduct interviews.

50 gâteaux book coverThroughout its pages, the reader can discover the ins and outs of iconic creations such as Le Président by Phillipe Bernachon (Maison Bernachon), “created in 1975 by my two grandfathers, Paul Bocuse and Maurice Bernachon, on the occasion of the delivery of the Legion of Honor to Paul Bocuse by Valéry Giscard d’Estaign”, explains Philippe in the book. For the dinner celebrating this grand occasion, Maison Bernachon and Paul Bocuse wanted to arrive at l’Elysée with an absolutely original creation. This would be Le Président, specially created for the occasion (the first version for twenty people weighed 3 kg).

Philippe Bernachon is, among other things, a kind of living legend in the chocolate industry in France and in the 70s was already a precursor of the Bean to Bar philosophy. Since then he has not stopped making his own chocolate, giving it a unique touch and marketing it from his establishment in Lyon.

But back to Le Président; has the recipe changed since then? “The cake has decreased mainly in alcohol. If my grandfather put any alcohol in it in his time, it was to keep it longer, but the result was a biscuit saturated with alcohol. Currently, alcohol, more than an ingredient in itself, is a condiment that serves to enhance flavors. Besides that, the recipe has not changed, except that the alcohol is no longer Cherry Marnier but rather the one made by the Crozet brothers. And we candied our own cherries, which also come from the Lyonnais region,” he says.