Louis XV Dessert Recipe

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.

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.


 For the hazelnut dacquois Serves: 8

  • 170g egg whites
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 25g plain flour, sifted

For the feuilletine praline layer


For the chocolate mousse


For the chocolate glaze


To serve


Equipment


To make the dacquois

  1. Dehydrate the hazelnuts in the oven at 150°C for 15 minutes.
  2. Allow the hazelnuts to cool and then blitz them into a powder in a food processor. Be careful not to over blend the hazelnuts or they will turn into a paste.
  3. Turn the oven up to 180°C and cover a baking tray in baking paper.
  4. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and add the caster sugar to stabilise them.
  5. Sieve together the icing sugar, hazelnut powder and the flour.
  6. Incorporate the meringue into the powders gently, using a spatula.
  7. Pipe the dacquois on the baking paper so you have a whole baking tray of dacquois.
  8. Cook at 180°C for 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. When  cool, use mousse rings to cut out shapes to form the base of the Louis XV dessert.

To make the praline-feuilletine layer

  1. Melt the white chocolate couverture in a bain marie. Add the feuilletine and praline paste to the melted white chocolate. Mix well.
  2. Using a teaspoon, spread a thin layer of the mixture onto the dacquois base inside the mousse rings.

To make the chocolate mousse

  1. Make a sugar syrup. Add the water, sugar and corn syrup to a pan, and bring to the boil. Leave to one side to cool.
  2. Place the egg yolks and the cooled syrup in a stand mixer bowl. Heat over the hob on a low flame until the mixture reaches 55°C, whisking constantly.
  3. Transfer to the stand mixer and whisk until the mixture cools and begins to take on a ‘ribbon consistency.’
  4. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie, and gently stir into the fluffy egg and sugar mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the cream into medium peaks and fold it in.
  6. Spoon into the mousse rings, and scrape across the surface to flatten with a metal spatula. Place in the freezer.

To make the chocolate glaze

  1. Before making the chocolate glaze remove the mousse rings from the mousse. First transfer the mousse rings to a cooling rack. Use a chef’s blowtorch around the edges until you can pull off the mousse ring leaving the mousse intact. Return to the freezer.
  2. To make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Bring approximately 2/3 of the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Mix well, until well incorporated. This is a ganache.
  3. Bring the remaining 1/3 of the cream to the boil with the water and the sugar. Add the cocoa powder and return to the boil. Pour over the ganache.
  4. The glaze should be liquid and runny. If it’s too thick it will set too thick. If this is the case just gently heat it over a bain marie to make it less viscous.
  5. Remove the chocolate mousse from the freezer, and place the cooling rack over a roasting tin, to catch any glaze that drips through. Pour the glaze over the frozen chocolate mousse making sure to cover all sides. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Any glaze that has dripped through can be collected, warmed and used again the next day if needed.

To serve

  1. Transfer the Louis XV from the cooling rack to a plate, using a spatula.
  2. Top with a hazelnut and apply a little gold leaf using chef’s plating tweezers.


17 comments

  • Hi Gary, to prevent your caramelised sugar from going solid you need to heat up the double cream until it boils before adding into the sugar. This will give you the right consistency of the caramel.

    Andrada on

  • lovely this looks so gorgeous. The layers of textures sound wonderful. I see you have done 2 shapes. I kind of like the rectangular one better though I would not deny myself eating either!

    Nazima on

  • Phwoar!

    Victoria on

  • Oh that is WOW…. will be making them

    tatiana on

  • Thanks a lot Jessica! Will give it a try!

    Celia Morris on

  • Hi! Instead of a blowtorch you could try a match or a lighter, just something to loosen the edges. Or perhaps wrapping it in cling film and immersing in hot water. It takes 2-3 hours to make them, then best to freeze them for a few hours or overnight. Glazing takes less than 30 minutes. Enjoy!

    Jessica Donnithorne on

  • This is brilliant! Wonder if there is an alternative to using blowtorch? And how long would it take to make it?

    Celia Morris on

  • In Step two, you heat the syrup with the egg yolks in any metal bowl or small pan directly over a low heat (or bain marie if you prefer) and then transfer the warmed mixture your stand mixer for step 3. However, if the bowl that comes with your stand mixer is metal, you can remove it from the mixer and use it in step two as well to avoid washing up an extra bowl.

    Because stand-mixer bowls often have a handle it can be relatively easy to hold the bowl one hand over the heat and whisk with the other. Hope that helps.

    nicola on

  • Can someone please clarify Step 2 of the Mousse part of the recipe? I’m puzzled by the reference to all of this being done in my stand mixer bowl?

    Tom Connelly on

  • Many thanks Nicola.

    Tom Connelly on

  • Apologies if it isn’t clear – in step 3 of making the glaze, you pour the sugar/double cream/water/cocoa powder mixture over the ganache in a bowl. Mix both mixtures together to form the glaze. There is just one coating. Best wishes,

    Nicola

    nicola on

  • Can you please confirm my understanding of your method for making the glaze and finishing desert. Is the sweet chocolate syrup added to the ganache and mixed together, then used to glaze mousse as is my belief, or ganache used as separate coating and then the syrupy glaze making the final coating of the mousse .
    I await your reply. Thank you.

    Jane Guy on

  • Amazing recipe.
    Have to try it.

    Roland Gonsalves on

  • Did you have any luck?

    It may just be me but, I have tried several times and get the same result. I haven’t been able to find anything online or videos to watch. Caramelising the sugar was fine but adding cold cream to this seems to be my downfall.

    Should I stirring, or leaving it to bubble. Have i got the heat too high?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks again.

    Gary on

  • We’ll look into it and test it over the weekend – I’m so sorry to hear it’s not working for you. I’ll get back to you soon. All the best,

    Nicola

    nicola on

  • Hi,
    To start I love this recipe and the taste is incredible.
    However…I seem to mess up the praline layer. I caramalise the sugar and when I add the cream it just bubbles and tries to turn into a solid. As this just stayed a liquid I pours into the hazelnut paste and it all just turned into a ball. I managed to add the fueilletine but it does not look like the image above in the mousse rings.

    Can anyone tell me the proper steps and what I’m doing wrong? This is my fourth attempt and can’t find any clues online.

    Thank you!!

    Gary on

  • I am going to give this a go – would be nice if you did a printable version of it :-) Thanks

    Shamsi Pearson on

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