Citizens, supreme chef Alain Ducasse personally made this signature dessert for me at his restaurant Louis XV in Monte Carlo many years ago!
It was a true privilege and remains a treasured moment in my memory – to kick off 2016 in a truly regal fashion, allow me to share the recipe for this ultimate chocolate indulgence!
The following commentary and recipe are from http://www.souschef.co.uk:
The Louis XV is the iconic signature dish of Alain Ducasse’s three-star Michelin restaurant in Monte-Carlo. The cake is a simple layered mousse cake but Ducasse’s perfect mastery over each individual component is what has made it such a celebrated dessert.
The Louis XV dessert recipe teaches a number of simple classic French patisserie techniques, which come together to create something spectacular.
The base is a thin dacquois – a nut-based meringue, made from hazelnuts. A layer of feuilletine mixed with praline is spread on top to give a little chewy crunch. Feuilletine are fine cornflake-like crispy flakes, which are tough to make, and easiest bought. Praline paste is made from finely ground caramelised hazelnuts.
We’ve opted to make our own praline recipe from pure hazelnut paste stirred through with caramel, as it gives a depth of hazelnut flavour which can be hard to find in industrial, over-sweetened pralines. It is very difficult to grind nuts finely enough at home, which is why we start with the already smooth hazelnut paste.
Next comes the chocolate mousse, the body of the cake. The chocolate mousse recipe uses the sabayon technique – whisking warm egg yolks together with a sugar syrup until pale, silky, and with a ‘ribbon consistency.’ And, finally the cake is finished with a dark chocolate glaze.
The glaze is poured over the Louis XV, and reflects like the surface of a mirror. The dark chocolate glaze recipe is one to have up your sleeve for many other cakes – one day you may even find yourself needing to ice a sachertorte on the Great British Bake Off.
The Louis XV dessert is not for the faint-hearted, but take the time to work through each step, and you’ll finish with an education in French patisserie, and a delicious show-stopper!
We will often make twice as many as we need up to the end of the “chocolate mousse stage”, and keep them in the freezer for a quick luxurious dessert, another day. The chocolate glaze should really be made and applied the day the dessert is served – the finished dessert will keep for up to half a day in the fridge. Try this as a most satisfying end to a French dinner with this ultra-luxurious main course.
Battle on in 2016 and Happy New Year, Citizens! – The Generalissimo
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