Café Boulud
20 East 76th Street
New York, New York 10021


Mocha Cake, Hazelnut Praline, and Coffee Ice Cream
Chef Eric Bertoia of Café Boulud — New York, NY
Adapted by

Yield: 8 servings


    Coffee Gelée:
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons simple syrup
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 teaspoons Trablit*
  • 2 sheets gelatin, softened

    *Trablit is a French coffee extract for pastries, creams, and ice creams, and can be found at specialty food stores and pastry suppliers.

    Chocolate Tuile Cylinders:
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • ½ cup butter, melted

    Chocolate Genoise:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brewed coffee

    Praline Feuilletine:
  • ½ cup Valrhona manjari (64%) chocolate
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate
  • 1/3 cup praline
  • 1 cup pailleté feuilletine*

    *Pailleté feuilletine are crushed wafers or crepes. They are available through professional baking suppliers.

    Mocha Mousse:
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons coffee beans, crushed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon flan powder
  • 2 gelatin sheets, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, whipped

    Chocolate Cremeux:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra bitter chocolate (61%), melted

  • Coffee Ice Cream:
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup coffee beans
  • ¼ cup glucose powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup, plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon stabilizer

  • Carmelized hazelnuts
  • Chocolate shavings


For the Coffee Gelée:
Heat the coffee and simple syrup. Add the Kahlua and Trablit, and whisk in the softened gelatin. Keep refrigerated.

For the Chocolate Tuile Cylinders:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine and whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk in the egg whites, and then the melted butter. To form the chocolate tuile cylinders, spread the mixture onto a Silpat using a rectangular template, and bake for 3 - 4 minutes. Mold cookies into cylinders with a rolling pin or other similar-sized cylindrical tool, and cool completely.

For the Chocolate Genoise:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Place a heatproof mixing bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, combine the eggs and sugar, whisking constantly, until the mixture is lukewarm. Remove the bowl from the simmering water, and whip until cool. Fold in the dry ingredients, and then fold in the melted butter. Pour the batter onto a Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 6 minutes, or until done. Cut into round pieces and dip into the brewed coffee.

For the Praline Feuilletine:
Melt the chocolates and add the praline. Place feuilletine in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. While mixing on low speed, pour in the chocolate-praline mixture, and mix until combined. Roll out the mixture on parchment paper to about ½-inch thickness; refrigerate to set. Once set, cut into discs with a 2-inch round cutter.

For the Mocha Mousse:
Heat the milk in a small saucepan, add coffee beans, and steep for 25 minutes; strain.
In a separate saucepan, heat the sugar until it reaches a dark caramel color. Deglaze with the heavy cream, vanilla bean and the infused milk. Bring the caramel milk mixture to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and the flan powder; temper the yolks into the caramel milk. Cook custard, whisking constantly, until the mixture achieves the consistency of thick crème Anglaise. Add the softened gelatin. Place the mixture into a bowl and let cool.
Whisk the cooled mixture until smooth. Add the rum, continuing to whisk, and then fold in the whipped cream.

For the Chocolate Cremeux:
Bring the milk and the heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and sugar; temper the yolks into the warm milk-cream mixture. Cook the custard, whisking constantly, until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the melted chocolate and mix with an immersion blender. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until set.

For the Coffee Ice Cream:
Heat the milk in a small saucepan; add the coffee and steep for 25 minutes. Strain. In a separate saucepan, heat the milk powder and the heavy cream. Whisk in the coffee beans, glucose powder and 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Heat the mixture to 184° F. Whisk the remaining sugar and the stabilizer into the yolks; temper the yolk mixture into the milk. Stirring constantly, cook until the temperature returns to 184°F. Cool completely in an ice bath. Freeze and process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To Assemble and Serve:
Pour the Coffee Gelée onto the bottom of a serving plate and let it set. Place the Chocolate Tuile on upper right of the plate. Place a disc of Chocolate Genoise in the bottom of the tuile cylinder. Set the Praline Feuilletine disc on top of the Genoise. Pipe the Mocha Mousse to the top of the tuile cylinder. Place a quenelle of the Chocolate Cremeux on the bottom left of the plate, and sprinkle the caramelized hazelnuts around the plate. Place a round scoop of Coffee Ice Cream on top of the mousse, and top with the chocolate shavings.

   Published: December 2005