Chocolate and Nougatine Bush

Credit: Mathilde de l'Ecotais

With caramel ice cream

  • You will need Flexipan domes, 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) in diameter

Making the nougatine

Making the caramel crème brûlée

Decoration and finish

  • caramelized hazelnuts (SQ)
  • caramel sauce (SQ) (liquid caramel)


Step 1: Preparing the caramel ice cream

Mix milk with 7 ounces (200 g) sugar and egg yolks.

Prepare a dark caramel in a dry pan with 10 1/2 ounces (300 g) sugar. Deglaze with heavy cream and bring to a boil. Add to the milk and egg mixture. Cook in a double boiler at 183°F (84°C), then cool to 39°F (4°C), and let sit overnight. Process in the ice cream maker and keep frozen until needed.

Step 2: Preparing the hazelnut crumble

The crumble should be prepared one day in advance. Powder the hazelnuts. Mix flour, butter, sugar, and hazelnut powder to make a firm and homogenous paste. Crumble coarsely and let dry for 24 hours at room temperature.

Bake in 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) baking rings in a 340°F (170°C) ventilated oven. Set aside in a dry place.

Step 3: Making the nougatine

Melt together glucose, sugar, and butter without allowing the mixture to brown. Add chopped almonds. Once the mixture forms a mass, remove from heat, and refrigerate until needed. Bake the needed amount on a Silpat mat in a 350°F (180°C) convection oven, until the mixture turns a dark blond caramel color. Set aside in a dry place.

Step 4: Preparing the milk chocolate icing

Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water. Chop the chocolate couvertures into small pieces.

Bring water, sugar, glucose, and heavy cream to a boil. Pour over the chocolate pieces and heat the combined mixture to 223°F (106°C). Let cool then add the drained gelatin sheets. Keep refrigerated until needed. The icing should be used at approximately 95°F (35°C).

Step 5: Making the caramel crème brûlée

Prepare caramel in a dry pan with 2 1/2 ounces (70 g) sugar. Deglaze with heavy cream and set aside.

Mix egg yolks, 2 3/4 ounces (80 g) sugar, and milk, then add the caramel cream. Pour into a Flexipan mold. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in a 210°F (100°C) convection oven. Freeze until needed.

Step 6: Preparing the milk chocolate mousse

Whip the heavy cream. Melt the Jivara couverture and let cool. Once the chocolate reaches room temperature, add the whipped cream.

Step 7: Assembly

Beat the milk chocolate cream into a Chantilly cream.

Coat the Flexipan domes with milk chocolate mousse. Add caramel crème brûlée, followed by a nougatine disk, layering the crumble last. Finish the assembly with Chantilly cream. Keep chilled until needed.

Step 8: Decoration and finish

Unmold the domes and refrigerate. Once the mousse has softened, sprinkle the surface with caramelized hazelnuts, then chill.

Place the desserts out on a rack, temper the icing, and use to glaze the domes. Place each dome on a serving plate, add a quenelle of caramel ice cream on the side, and drizzle around a little caramel sauce.

This recipe was originally published in "Alain Ducasse’s Desserts and Pastries" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits