Named after the eponymous plane that first flew in 1969, this cake was created by French Patissier Gaston Lenotre that same year. Composed of layers of chocolate meringue and chocolate mousse the Concorde is a cocoa rich feast of a dessert. It seems to have fallen out of fashion since it does not seem to be widely available in UK patisseries. However, given that Pierre had his first kitchen experience in a LeNotre restaurant, it seems fitting to include a Concorde dessert recipe from M. LeNotre here.
Making the Concorde was a little bit of a messy job, piping of meringue and mousse was always going to be so. The results though are worth it, a quirky looking confection, pieces of broken chocolate meringue hiding the soft creamy chocolate mousse and crisp discs of more meringue within. We made it in the classical style – pure chocolate, though the mousse element would probably lend itself well to adulteration with flavours such as orange or mint. This being a chocolate extravaganza, do use the best quality chocolate you can, at least 70% Cocoa solids. Any less would risk sugar rather than cocoa dominating the flavour.
We found this recipe helpful and followed it to a degree although we altered the sugar balance and made the mousse less sweet. We also had a slightly higher temp for the bake of meringue. They used a cake ring to assemble the layered cake. Plagued by worries it would not stick together as we unmoulded it, we did ours freestyle and it worked though if you wanted more layers of meringue and mousse for a higher cake, using a cake ring as a mould would be a good idea.
We piped 2 discs of a chocolate meringue using a 1cm plain nozzle.
Once they were baked and cooled we made a chocolate mousse and used it to sandwich the 2 discs, again using a plain nozzle to pipe it
We were, at this point a little concerned about it all holding together and keeping fingers crossed the discs would not slide apart..
And then added more mousse to the top and sides in order to act as a ‘glue’ for yet more meringue!
Pieces of meringue (we had baked lines of meringue using a 0.5 cm star nozzle) kind of randomly scattered across the top and sides.
A final dusting of powdered (icing) sugar.
After leaving it all to gel together a little more in the refrigerator for a few hours it was ready to serve.
- For the Meringue
- 5 egg whites
- 150g caster sugar
- 100g icing sugar
- 40g Cocoa Powder
- For the Mousse
- 200g Dark Chocolate
- 200g Unsalted Butter
- 4 Egg whites
- 50g Caster sugar
- To finish
- Icing (powdered) sugar to dust
- Preheat oven to 110DegC.
- First make the chocolate meringue. In a small bowl combine the cocoa and icing sugar.
- In a large bowl, whisk 5 egg whites using an electric mixer until they approach stiff peak stage. Continue to beat, gradually adding caster sugar until it is well incorporated.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the mix of cocoa and icing sugar making care not to lose the volume in the meringue.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a plain1 cm nozzle.
- Pipe two disks about 18 cm in diameter onto a tray lined with baking paper.
- In a separate piping bag with a smaller nozzle (we used a 0.5cm star nozzle , most people use a plain one) pipe 4 or 5 long, thin sticks of meringue which you will use to make the topping.
- Bake meringue in the oven for about 1 hour. After that time, turn oven off and leave meringue in the oven for an extra 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool the meringue to room temperature
- Use a sharp knife to trim the edges of the meringue discs to give a proper circle finish, if your piping skills are as (in)delicate as ours...
- Now for the mousse
- Chop the chocolate finely and put it into a heatproof bowl along with small cubes of butter.
- Place it over a pan of hot/barely simmering water. Note the water should not touch the bowl.
- Stir the mixture until it melts together into a glossy ganache.
- Allow it to cool a little whilst you whip the 4 egg whites to stiff peaks, again gradually adding the caster sugar to sweeten a little
- Loosen the chocolate butter mixture a little by folding a little of the beaten egg white into it.
- It will then be easier to fold in remaining egg whites carefully again trying to keep the air in the mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
- To assemble:
- Pipe a layer of chocolate mousse on top of a disc of meringue, then place remaining meringue disc on top.
- Spread mousse over the top of the cake using a palette knife
- To finish: Break the thin meringue sticks into 2 - 3cm pieces and cover the sides and top of the cake with them.
- Dust with icing sugar
- Place the cake in a fridge for at least an hour.
On a final note, we are now on instagram – you can find us here. We are following everyone we know in our part of the foodie world but would love to connect with you there since we can show a lot more of what we are up to in the kitchen.