Flourless Chocolate Cake and Coffee Mousse from Kendall-Jackson Pastry Chef Robert Nieto

Try the recipe for this perfectly rich and tantalizing dessert, a flourless chocolate cake and coffee mousse.

3ImagebyKurtWinner 2
Image by Kurt Winner Photography

Here we present Kendall-Jackson Pastry Chef Robert Nieto’s Flourless Chocolate Cake and Coffee Mousse with Chicory Meringue and Candied Hibiscus. Few wineries if any can boast a pastry chef in their food and wine pairing program like Robert Nieto. Especially a pastry chef like Mr. Nieto who was part of  the Pastry Team representing the USA at the Coupe Du Monde De la Patissier 2017 in Lyon, France. But Kendall- Jackson, of Jackson Family Wines based in California can. “ Buttercup” as he is known there is a young but seasoned professional who has worked with the best including as Pastry Sous Chef at Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, and the Michelin starred restaurant at Madrona Manor among many other notable kitchens.

The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens’ Sensory Experience in Sonoma County, California is where you can taste his exquisite garden inspired desserts during their Wine and Food Pairing featuring estate wines. Working with Executive Chef Justin Wangler’s “fresh that day” food tastings with produce and herbs from Jackson Family Wine’s Director of Culinary Gardens’ Tucker Taylor, a Master Culinary Gardener, Chef Nieto provides the sweet ending to your tasting. This “Sensory Experience” begins with a tour of the garden with Mr. Taylor and finishes at table. It is open to the public and reservations are encouraged. Here is one of Chef Nieto’s ever-changing desserts that we enjoyed recently. For a sweet finish it was paired with a Grand Reserve Port NV from Russian River Valley, Sonoma County. He has graciously provided the recipe to his sensual dessert.      

Kendall-Jackson's Pastry Chef Robert Nieto's Flourless Chocolate Cake & Coffee Mousse
 
This not-too-sweet dessert lets the quality of the ingredients play off the Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Port, NV further titillating with layers of flavors and textures.
Author:
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • For the flourless chocolate cake:
  • 6.6 ounces Valrhona Illanka dark chocolate feves 63%
  • 6.6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8.6 ounces cocoa powder
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 6.6 ounces grams sugar
  • For the coffee mousse:
  • .5 ounce coffee beans, roasted
  • 5.6 ounces heavy cream
  • 2 sheets gelatin (bronze)
  • 4 ounces ice cold water
  • 6.7 ounces Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate feves
  • 11.5 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. coffee extract
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • For the chicory meringue:
  • 2.6 ounces egg whites
  • 2.6 ounces sugar
  • 1.4 ounces chicory powder
  • 2.6 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
  • For the candied hibiscus:
  • 1.7 ounces hibiscus
  • 9 ounces water
  • 5 ounces sugar
  • ½ tsp. citric acid
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 4 juniper berries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. For the flourless chocolate cake:
  3. Place chocolate, butter and salt over a double boiler on low heat, stirring occasionally until fully melted.
  4. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and stir in cocoa powder and egg yolks.
  5. Mix well.
  6. In a standard mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites to soft peaks.
  7. Gently stir in sugar and then whip to medium peaks.
  8. Fold ⅓ of the meringue into chocolate mixture.
  9. Repeat process until all the meringue is folded into the chocolate.
  10. Pipe mixture into a muffin pan, filling the cups halfway. Bake at 325°F for 12 minutes.
  11. For the coffee mousse:
  12. Roast coffee beans for 8 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and place coffee beans in a re-sealable plastic bag.
  14. Use a rolling pin to crush the beans.
  15. In a small pot, bring heavy cream to a boil.
  16. Add roasted coffee beans and cover with plastic wrap.
  17. Allow to infuse for 20 to 30 minutes.
  18. In a small bowl, place gelatin in ice cold water and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  19. Remove gelatin, squeezing out any excess water.
  20. Bring cream back to a boil and add gelatin.
  21. Whisk to combine.
  22. Strain over chocolate and whisk to combine.
  23. Whip heavy cream in a standard mixer until soft peaks form.
  24. Fold into chocolate coffee mixture.
  25. Add coffee extract and salt.
  26. Mix well.
  27. Pipe mousse into 4-ounce flexi-molds or any desired shaped molds.
  28. Place in the freezer for a few hours.
  29. Once mousse has hardened, remove from molds and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  30. For the chicory meringue:
  31. Preheat oven to 175°F.
  32. Whisk egg whites and sugar over a double boiler until mixture reaches 120°F.
  33. In a standard mixer, whisk egg white mixture until stiff peaks form.
  34. Add chicory powder and whisk well.
  35. Fold in powdered sugar.
  36. Spread meringue onto a silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour & 20 minutes.
  37. Cool down and break into small pieces. Store in airtight container.
  38. For the candied hibiscus:
  39. In a bowl, add dry hibiscus and cover with water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well to remove all sand.
  40. In a pot, add hibiscus, 9 ounces water and remaining ingredients. Cover with parchment paper and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool in an ice water bath. Once cool, place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  41. To serve:
  42. On a small plate, preferably a 5-inch round, place chocolate cake in the center.
  43. Top with coffee mousse.
  44. Arrange meringue pieces on the mousse and on the plate.
  45. Garnish with candied hibiscus.

Michelle M. Winner

Michelle M. Winner

Michelle was born with a fork in her hand. As a culinary travel writer and confirmed foodophile she delights in the world-wide discovery of new flavor profiles, spices, salts and herbs. Based in one of the world's foodie meccas; Portland, Oregon, not far from "Pinot Noir Heaven" Michelle shares food news and chef's recipes. Her photography has appeared in Saveur Magazine and she has contributed culinary travel articles to Forbes online, WSJ online, Business Insider, Condé Nast Digital Media, Islands magazine and many others. A confirmed globetrotter, she still keeps her bags packed and fork in hand (well . . . except through airport security.)

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