Camille Henrot is capable of many things: explaining the creation of the universe in 13 minutes (as she did in Grosse Fatigue, which stole the show at the 2013 Venice Biennale); taking over the entire Palais de Tokyo (2017); and even designing a capsule fashion collection (last year, in collaboration with cashmere label Parenti’s). She is, however, ‘very bad at using technological kitchen utensils’, which is why her gâteau Manon doesn’t require an oven.

The recipe is inherited from her great-grandmother Marie-Thérèse, nicknamed Manon, who lived until the age of 104. Says the New York-based French artist, ‘I like that it uses industrial biscuits with a sophisticated shape, only to crush them into pieces for a cake that, in the end, looks very simple.’

200g dry biscuits, such as Leibniz
200g sugar
200g soft butter
2 eggs
1 cup of strong coffee

Grind the biscuits into small pieces, then add the sugar and butter and mix well. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, and the coffee, little by little. Blend for 20 minutes. Put buttered greaseproof paper in a mold, and pour in the cake mix. Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream and caramelised almonds, then leave in the fridge to set. §

A version of this article originally featured in the December 2019 issue of Wallpaper* (W*249)