It is one of the most delicious and memorable chocolate cakes. It was created by the renowned pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre in honor of the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Mr. Lenôtre, who passed away in 2009, has changed the pastry as it was known, for a lighter and less sweeter one.
He´s also the creator of the famous Opera cake, meringue succes, and the school that is known worldwide.
Visually it is an attractive and enigmatic cake, made of stacked meringue discs between layers of chocolate mousse and decorated with log shaped chocolate meringues.
(A picture of a more traditional cake)
Particularly, it looks like a heavy and gooey cake, but no, it's airy and crunchy, it melts in your mouth just as it touches the tongue. Of course it´s a cake to eat when the mercury in the thermometer is in the lowest area.
This time I prepared it as an individual dessert, or rather, like a double portion, depends how hungry you are. The meringues have the traditional cocoa and also cocoa nibs, for a crunchier twist. The mousse is buttery, chocolaty, creamy, and also I added my favorite spice, the cardamom.
In addition, to continue with the gluttony, the hazelnut paste was around, and it fall between each layer of this dessert.
This is the recipe for Great Lenôtre, with a few changes, makes a 24 cm cake:
Concorde Dessert *
Egg whites 5
Icing sugar 170 g
Unsweetened cocoa powder 35 g
Common sugar 20 + 130 g
Cocoa nibs, optional
- Preheat the oven to 150°C
- Mix cocoa with the icing sugar
- Whip the egg whites until stiff, while whisking incorporate the sugar
- When it forms firm peaks, add the rest of the sugar little by little and continue whisking
- Incorporate gently the mix of sugar and cocoa
- Put the meringue in a piping bag with a round 10 mm nozzle
- Make three discs of 20 cm on parchment paper
- With the rest of the meringue pipe long stripes
- Sprinkle the nibs (optional)
- Cook for 1 1/2 hour, or until it is dry to the touch
4 egg whites
3 egg yolks
Common sugar 20 g
120 g of chocolate
75 g of butter
Ground cardamom to taste
Hazelnut paste, to taste
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in microwave with the butter.
- Incorporate the ground cardamom (or prefered spice)
- Incorporate the egg yolks
- Beat the four egg whites until stiff and incorporate the sugar, and beat a little more to incorporate
- Mix the two preparations gently
- Cool in refrigerator
- Spread on each layer of meringue a dollop of hazelnut cream, and then spread the mousse
- Overlap the layers and decorate with chocolate chunks
- Sprinkle powdered sugar
- Keep in refrigerator until it´s time to serve.
It may look complicated, but it is super simple, the meringues can be made several days before and then keep in airtight boxes.
* I hope the Grand Master did not offend with my version