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French Women Don't Get Fat

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of

  • French women love chocolate, especially the dark, slightly bitter, silky stuff with its nutty aroma
  • French women balance their food, drink, and movement on a week-by-week basis
  • French women eat more vegetables
  • French women eat smaller portions of things
  • French women eat for pleasure
  • French women don't diet
  • French women don't get fat

These are just a few of the many observations that author Mireille Guiliano makes in her guide to eating and living well, aptly titled, French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure. Her experience with weight gain and weight loss is real, her advice and delivery is very easy to take. Her personal approach embraces the pleasures of eating good food and the rituals of eating, and the reward is achieving your "well-being" weight; the weight at which you can say, "I feel good and I look good."

Through following her common sense approach to eating, readers will be well on their way to finding themselves not only at their optimum weight, but not suffering deprivation and tiresome calorie counting to do so. French Women Don't Get Fat reads more like a memoir than a "how to book", and Mireille Guiliano has a knack for both observation and storytelling to get her point across. Nicely packaged to look more like a fine novel to tuck into your bag, it's like a breath of fresh air in the diet category of books.

"Delightful... Hands down, this is the best of the newest crop of weight control books." -- Nanci Hellmcih, USA Today

"I welcome this break from the usual kind of quick-fix diet book... It's good sense is unanswerable, and personally, I love the bit about not going to the gym." -- Lynne Truss, The Times (London)

Hot Chocolate Soufflé

Serves 6

During the season of overindulgences - Christmas, New Year and all the festivities in between - there is in our home a succession of store-brought, traditional goodies: Bûche de Noël (yule log), marrons glacés (glazed chestnuts), the 13 desserts of Christmas in Provence. This is not to say that the holidays don’t bring out the baker in all of us, but whether it is to give as gifts or to maintain tradition, people do load up with holiday sweets from pastry shops (as I can attest from seeing from the window of our Paris apartment the annual long lines of people outside the pastry shop across the street). When I grew up, however, come New Year’s Day, and there was a home-cooked chocolate ritual. Our big festive meal was on New Year’s Eve, which left New Year’s Day as a quiet, family "recovery" day. (I appreciate some reverse the big meal day… or have one both days.) Anyway, for us, breakfast was well... late (especially for those of us who went partying after dinner), and limited to a piece of toast and a cup or two of coffee. Lunch was mid afternoon and usually made up of leftovers or an omelet, but the first dinner of the year was marked with a special dessert. The simple meal at the end of a week of overindulgences consisted of a light consommé, some greens, cheese, and the chocolate treat. There were no guests, plenty of time, and Mamie was ready for the flourless soufflé. She is a chocoholic and it would be unthinkable to start the year off without chocolate. So, what better way to end the first day of the New Year than with one of her favorite chocolate desserts as both a reward and I’m sure good-luck charm?

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 1-quart soufflé mold by lightly buttering it, dusting the insides with sugar and tapping out the excess. Place mold in refrigerator.

Pour the milk, cocoa powder and sugar into a heavy saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over moderate heat while stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and cook while stirring until the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly.

Separate the eggs and stir the egg yolks into the warm chocolate mixture. Stir in the butter.

Beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Add the salt and beat until stiff. Whisk half of the egg whites mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whites gently with a spatula. Pour the mixture in the soufflé mold and smooth the top.

Bake in the lower-middle shelf of the oven until puff and brown for about 18 minutes which will give you a soft center. Serve at once with softly whipped cream.



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