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.