Citizens, supreme chef Alain Ducasse personally made this signature dessert for Me at his 3 star Michelin restaurant Louis XV in Monte Carlo many years ago! How good IS this restaurant, you might ask?
Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris is a French restaurant in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Run by the chef Alain Ducasse, it holds three Michelin stars. It has been appeared in lists of the world’s top restaurants.
Le Louis XV is Ducasse’s flagship restaurant. It is located inside the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo in Monte Carlo. He opened the restaurant in May 1987, having been challenged by Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the Société des bains de mer de Monaco to win three Michelin stars there within four years, becoming the first hotel-based restaurant to win that level of the award. Ducasse won the three stars for the restaurant 33 months later, some fifteen months earlier than his objective.
The wine cellar contains around 400,000 bottles of wine.
Food critic Paolo Tullio described Le Louis XV as one of the “great French restaurants”. In 2003, The Guardian identified it as one of the top five restaurants in the world. Fodor’s travel guide described Ducasse’s cuisine as “superb”, while also describing the interior of the restaurant as “magnificent”. Le Louis XV holds three Michelin stars and was included in the first published list of the world’s 101 top restaurants by The Daily Meal in 2012.
It has also been included in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant; in 2003 it was ranked the third-best restaurant in the world behind the French Laundry and El Bulli. The restaurant has been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award since 1995.
Needless to say – it was a true privilege and remains a treasured moment in my memory to dine there, so 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 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 GeneralissimoPrint
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