White Hat Surprise

Credit: Mathilde de l'Ecotais

With menton citrus fruit and zesty syrup

Ingredients (25 people)
  • You will need the following utensils to prepare and serve this dessert:
  • 25 plastic egg aspic molds
  • 25 disks of parchment paper, 5 inches (12 cm) in diameter

Making the hats


  • 6 oranges
  • 6 grapefruits
  • 6 limes
  • 30° Baumé syrup (SQ)


Step 1: Making the hats

Temper the white chocolate. Coat the molds and let harden in the refrigerator.

Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.

Prepare the pâte à bombe by beating the egg yolks and add the hot syrup in a thin stream, whisking continuously. Once the pâte à bombe is ready, cool 2 pounds 3 ounces (1 kg), then fold in the heavy cream, and the melted and drained gelatin. Mix well, add the Mandarine impériale. Fill the molds with this mixture, return to the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Keep tempered white chocolate close on hand. Frost the parchment paper disks with the white chocolate. Turn the tops of the hats onto the white chocolate disks. The two parts put together will make a hat. Chill again at low temperature. Once the assembled hats harden, peel off the paper. Apply the white chocolate flocking with a spray gun. Chill.

Step 2: Garnish

Finely zest the oranges, grapefruits, and limes, peel completely, and cut up the segments. Set aside with the juices produced.

Cook the zests in a bit of sugar syrup.

Step 3: Finish and presentation

Glaze the serving plates using citrus juice with zest, put the citrus fruit salad in the center of each plate, together with the candied zests. Carefully place the hat on top, angled just so. Decorate with a sprig of fresh mint.

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