Jihane Dagher Hayeck, a 38-year-old living in Lebanon, is leading a double life. By day she works as a marketing manager, but she is better known by her online persona, “Maman Chocolat.” The young mother, who also refers to herself as “The Chocolate Woman” is passionate about all things sweets and treats and has amassed a following of 100,000 food enthusiasts on her Instagram page @maman_chocolat. She engages her online audience not only by sharing delicious recipes but also with her enthusiasm and warm smile.
This adventure started out as “sheer indulgence!” she says. “I am such a cake and chocolate enthusiast and my dream has always been to make pastries. I taught myself in my small kitchen, starting with a simple cake, and I quickly became addicted. When I had my children, I began making birthday cakes, then baptism cakes, and it quickly grew from there.”
“I never intended to create a page,” she adds. I shared photos of my pastries with my friends on Instagram, and quite rapidly, the page grew on its own. Soon I found myself taking orders and even making wedding cakes in my kitchen alone!”
“My Instagram page is a way for me to share my passion for chocolate and sweets. But most of all it’s a way for me to revive the delicious desserts of our grandmothers that are so full of flavor and simple to make,” reveals Jihane. She also adds that her account is a way for her to “spread a bit of happiness and sweetness, which all of us so desperately need. For me, cooking is about sharing. It’s a way to care for the people we love and make them happy.” Posting two recipes per week and at least three videos on cakes and baking, Jihane has truly become a Maman Chocolat.
Maman Chocolat’s velvet chocolate dessert
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 6 hours
Total time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Serves: 10 people
Difficulty level: Easy
30g powdered gelatin
150 ml cold water
1 liter milk
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
300g dark chocolate
½ cup cocoa
Step 1- Soak the gelatin in the water for 10 minutes.
Step 2- In a pot, combine the milk, sugar, chopped chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and the soaked gelatin.
Step 3- Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly.
Step 4- Pour into a silicone mold and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 5- Flip onto a serving dish.
This article was originally published in French in L'Orient-Le Jour.