Gianduja Mousse, Cocoa, Feuilletine

I can’t think of a name for this dessert so I need you to imagine a finely broken-up caramelized gaufrette fan wafer sandwiched between a luscious gianduja mousse, a chocolate brownie and cocoa powder. Does it sound delicious enough? Feuilletine are flakes of Brittany lace crepes that are commonly used is chocolate and hazelnut desserts in France, they add a nice crunchy textural element and a bit of sweetness and tend to stay crispy once in the center of a cake. Even if it’s an anonymous cake.

It’s surprisingly good for a nameless dessert. So good in fact that one of my co-worker who had a taste of it proclaimed it the best nameless cake she ever had. Probably the only one too. This could be adapted with a coffee mousse for an equally delicious version, or even a sweet Marsala flavored mousse for a fancy version of tiramisu. At least that would solve the name issue. Okay, maybe I’ll just do that next time.

Oh, and you can make it ahead and keep it in a freezer. It will stay there and wait for you like a good puppy. Enjoy!

  • Gianduja Mousse, Cocoa, Feuilletine

    • Adapted from Laurent Tourondel at BLT
    • Serves 8
    • For the chocolate joconde cake:
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 2 large whole eggs
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • For the feuilletine:
    • 3/4 cup hazelnut praline paste
    • 2 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
    • 1 1/2 cups feuilletine
    • For the gianduja mousse:
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
    • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 8 ounce gianduja chocolate
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 2 3/4 cup heavy cream, cold
    • For the chocolate Joconde cake:
    • Preheat oven to 325’F. Butter and line a 13 by 9-inch baking tray with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the paddle beat together the first four ingredients for about 10 minutes.
    • Meanwhile in a small saucepan melt the butter and cook until you obtain a brown butter. Remove from the heat. Transfer the batter from the mixer to a large bowl, fold in the flour and brown butter until combined.
    • Clean the mixing bowl and whip the egg whites to soft peaks, add the sugar and whip to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate batter until combined.
    • Pour the batter onto the lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake until set. 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.
    • For the feuilletine layers:
    • Line an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the hazelnut praline paste, milk chocolate, and butter in a bain-marie stirring until smooth. Fold the feuilletine into the melted chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.
    • Spread the mixture over the parchment paper to a 1/8-inch thickness. Place tray in the freezer. When ready to use, cut the feuilletine in half so it’s the same size as the chocolate cake.
    • For the gianduja mousse and assembly:
    • Place the 3 tablespoons heavy cream in a small saucepan over gentle heat and sprinkle the gelatin over it until it dissolves. Do not boil it!
    • Melt the gianduja chocolate in a double boiler stirring until smooth, set aside. Bring the sugar and 3 tablespoons water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk the egg yolks for about 2 minutes. With the mixer running pour the hot syrup over the egg yolks. Keep whisking until the mixture is cool.
    • Fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture with a spatula, and then fold in the cream/gelatin mixture. Whip the cold cream to soft peaks and fold it in the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate.
    • Remove the chocolate cake from the refrigerator. Spread a layer of mousse, about 1/4 inch thick, over the cake. Freeze for 5 minutes. Place a layer of the feuilletine over the mousse. Spread another layer of the mousse, about 1/4 inch thick, over the feuilletine. Freeze for 5 minutes. Place a second layer of feuilletine over the mousse. Spread a final layer of the mousse evenly and freeze for at least 2 hours. Trim the edge of the cake and cut portions while frozen. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust with cocoa powder.
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  • Bao Cheng

    Hi Chef Zen,

    Your dessert looks amazing. But may i know how much is 8 ounce when convert to cup or gm? Or you may like to share any convertor chart with us!!!

    Many thanks to you for all the creation. 

  • Yuri

    I’ve worked with feuilletine before, love that stuff :) this is one great looking dessert!

  • Yuri
  • Anonymous

    Hi Bao, 8 ounces is 226 grams or 1 3/4 cup. See yuri’s link for a conversion chart. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    It’s a really great ingredient. Thanks, Yuri!

  • vanillasugarblog

    that black photo is just stunning zen man

  • Vicki @ WITK

    Such a beautiful dessert, I love all of the layers.  I’m also a big fan of gianduja

  • Renee

    The cake looks so good! The photography as always is simply amazing. I would call it: A Triple Threat to My Diet.

  • kitchenriffs

    I’m not really a dessert guy (enjoy eating them, indifferent towards making them), but what I love about your recipes is that they are clear, to-the-point, obvious. And in recipes being obvious is a really good thing that’s hard for most people to pull off.  Your recipe writing is really, really good.  It does assume a certain degree of culinary skill on the part of the reader, but then you’re writing recipes that are much better than the norm.

    Couple of questions (remember, my dessert knowledge is sketchy).  Under the instructions for the gianduja mousse, you caution us against not allowing the gelatin/cream mixture to boil.  Just wondering what happens if it does boil?  And can you fix whatever problem that happens with boiling?

    A couple of lines later you suggest melting chocolate in a double boiler – any problems with microwaving that instead?  I find melting chocolate in the microwave easier than the double boiler method (I typically tend to skip the double boiler and just melt the chocolate in a saucepan over direct heat, being very, very careful – I do understand the dangers of this).

    Anyway, this is a terrific dessert, and I think I’ll give it a shot at some point (not soon – too much else to do – but this is a nice recipe).

    Photos are good, as always, and although I very much like your high key photos, your work with the black acrylic is really impressive.  More, please.

  • Anonymous

    Hello, thank you for the comment. To answer your question I warn to not boil the gelatin simply because that would make it lose its efficacy. Gelatin melts around 70’F so there’s no need to go much above that. If it has boiled I would start over just not to run the risk to compromise the recipe. 

    As for melting chocolate in the microwave I have no problem with that. It’s just that I don’t use microwaves. haha. I know it works the same though. 

    I’m not done working with black acrylic yet. More on the way. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Triple Threat it is! Great name!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I forgot to turn on the light but hey.. I got lucky!

  • mayssam

    I proclaim this the best nameless dessert I’ve ever seen! And from the looks of it, it’s probably the most delicious too!

  • Oui, Chef

    Hey Zen, I’ve got as name for it….”Freaking Perfection on a Plate”!  You’re welcome. – S

  • Anonymous

    haha.. thanks, Steve!

  • Anonymous

    haha.. thanks, Steve!

  • Anonymous

    Yay! I would make it again, that’s for sure. 

  • Anonymous

    Yay! I would make it again, that’s for sure. 

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Look at those lovely thin layers! 😮

  • Carolyn Jung

    The only time I’ve had a dessert so gorgeous is when I’ve bought it at a French bakery! You have mad skills to make this, yourself. It’s a work of art.

  • Javelin Warrior

    This post is absolutely fetish-worthy and I’ve been inspired to include it in my Friday Food Fetish blog. If you have any objections, please let me know

  • Anonymous

    Oh, thank you. It’s not too hard. :) 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Go ahead. 

  • Luv902

    I dont know what I LOVE better- your dishes or your pictures!! OMG… ridiculously outstanding!!

  • pretendchef

    feuilletine one of my favorite pieces de patisserie this looks amazing this site makes me very hungry also thanks very much as i have yet to find a better website for high quality recipe ideas your photographs are immaculate really inspiring to a young chef you have given me lots of ideas to try out on my guests and i haven’t even scratched the surface of all the recipes you have here can’t thank u enough

  • zenchef

    Thank you so much!

  • Alexandra Dankloff

    Hello, your cake looks fabulous! Where did you find feuilletine ?
    Thank you very much.