In 1991 Hidemi Sugino won the World Pastry Cup with the Ambroisie, an entremet made with pistachio and chocolate joconde, homemade raspberry jam, dark chocolate and pistachio mousse, and a mirror glaze.

Ambroisie cake with biscuit joconde au chocolat, biscuit aux pistaches, homemade raspberry jam, dark chocolate mousse, pistachio mousse, and mirror glaze. Click to get the recipe and SEE WHAT'S INSIDE!

In 2013 I tried to recreate it. I think I did pretty well.

If you’ve ever seen the Ambroisie before, you may notice that mine doesn’t look the same as Sugino’s.

For starters, Sugino’s is completely glazed in chocolate mirror glaze. I ran out of chocolate mirror glaze.

Sugino’s has gold leaf on top. I’d rather not spend money so that I can eat pieces of gold. I don’t generally eat shiny things.

Sugino’s has chocolate circles surrounding the entremet. I don’t have an excuse for this point. I was just lazy and thought it looked good enough.

Inside, however, I followed Sugino’s recipe precisely. I measured egg whites and egg yolks, separately, to the gram while making the chocolate and pistachio joconde cake layers. The recipe for the pistachio joconde called for whole eggs, egg whites, and egg yolks to be mixed in precise quantities together.

Despite the ultra-precise measurements, like the pistachio joconde which called for 38g of pistachio paste, the Ambroisie was actually one of the easier entremets I’ve made. Sure, it’s definitely labour intensive: I made the raspberry jam and pistachio paste one evening, assembled the cakes the next, and glazed them on the third day. Not really as difficult though as some of the other entremets I’ve made. My raspberry-hazelnut entremet was much more stressful, for example.

That being said, I wouldn’t suggest this as a beginner entremet. There still are some complicated steps.

Ambroisie cake glazing.. pretty, right? Click to get the recipe and SEE WHAT'S INSIDE!

This was my first time working with mousse moulds (that’s how I got the entremet to be cylindrical). I was looking for mousse molds for a while now, but all the ones I found were way too expensive. What I ended up doing was using cut pop cans as mousse moulds. This was a far cheaper alternative that worked well. This recipe also required a cookie cutter with a diameter smaller than that of the mousse moulds. I just cut one of the pop cans, overlapped the sides, and taped it together to use instead.

What I really like about Sugino’s recipes is that they are not cloyingly sweet. I often reduce the sugar in recipes because I’m not a big fan of super sweet desserts, but I never do that for Sugino’s creations. The sugar complements the dessert much more than it is the dessert.

Ambroisie cake with biscuit joconde au chocolat, biscuit aux pistaches, homemade raspberry jam, dark chocolate mousse, pistachio mousse, and mirror glaze. Click to get the mouthwatering recipe!

The pistachio and chocolate joconde cake layers were fluffy and moist, the pistachio mousse was perfectly creamy, the raspberry jam helped balance out all the sweetness, and the chocolate mousse was simply dreamy. This dessert is surprisingly light and disappears quite quickly. Much quicker than it takes to make.

I quite enjoyed this entremet, and I hope you do too!

An entremet by Hidemi Sugino with pistachio and chocolate joconde, homemade raspberry jam, dark chocolate and pistachio mousse, and a mirror glaze. Recipe translation from Gourmet Baking. I am only providing mass measurements for this recipe because of the precise amounts given. Prepare the recipe in the order given.
For the raspberry jam:
  • 35g sugar
  • 20g glucose (I used corn syrup instead)
  • 8g water
  • 100g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 4g pectin mixed with 23g sugar
  • 6g lemon juice
For the pistachio mousse:
  • 260g heavy whipping cream, whipped until soft peak stage
  • 40g pistachio paste (I used this recipe here.)
  • 140g milk
  • ⅕ vanilla bean seeds (I used a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 80g egg yolks
  • 30g sugar
  • 4g gelatin, dissolved in some of the whipping cream (let sit for five minutes)
For the pistachio joconde:
  • 90g almond paste
  • 38g pistachio paste
  • 45g whole egg
  • 40g egg yolks
  • 25g egg whites
  • 45g cornstarch
  • 20g unsalted butter, melted
  • 80g egg whites (for French meringue)
  • 50g sugar (for French meringue)
For the sugar syrup:
  • 20g sugar
  • 30g water
  • 15g raspberry liquor
For the chocolate joconde:
  • 70g almond powder
  • 70g powdered sugar
  • 70g egg yolks
  • 30g egg whites
  • 55g cake flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 130g egg whites (for French meringue)
  • 45g sugar (for French meringue)
For the dark chocolate mousse (prepare before assembling entremet):
  • 440g heavy whipping cream, whipped until soft peak stage
  • 60g heavy whipping cream
  • 50g sugar
  • 100g egg yolks
  • 200g ~66% dark chocolate, melted and cooled
For the chocolate mirror glaze (prepare at last step):
  • 150g water
  • 250g sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 150g heavy cream
  • 15g gelatin, dissolved in some of the water (let sit for five minutes)
Prepare the raspberry jam:
  1. Bring the sugar, glucose, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Mix the raspberries in and continue to boil. Next, mix in the pectin-sugar and boil until the raspberries break down and are soft. Add in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until needed.
Prepare the pistachio mousse:
  1. Make creme anglaise by boiling the milk, pistachio paste, and vanilla bean in a pot. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Temper the yolks with the boiled cream and return it back to the pot under a low heat. Keep stirring until thick. Take the mixture off the heat and strain. Add the softened gelatin and stir until it melts. Let cool and then fold in the whipped cream. Pour onto a baking tray and freeze.
Prepare the pistachio joconde:
  1. Mix the almond paste and the pistachio paste together in a mixer bowl. Add the whole egg, egg yolks, and egg whites and beat until thick and pale. Make french meringue in a separate bowl by whipping the egg whites until frothy, adding in the sugar slowly, and whipping until stiff peaks form. Mix some meringue into the batter and fold well. Add the sifted cornstarch and fold well. Add the melted batter and fold in the rest of the meringue. Spread the batter into half-sheet pan and bake at 390°F for ten minutes, or lightly browned.
Prepare the sugar syrup:
  1. Mix everything together and heat until the sugar dissolves.
Assemble the pistachio mousse, the pistachio joconde, the sugar syrup, and the raspberry jam:
  1. Take the mousse out of the freezer. Brush one side of the pistachio joconde with the sugar syrup. Place that side down on the mousse. Brush the other side with the rest of the sugar syrup. Freeze. Once frozen, spread the joconde with raspberry jam and freeze again. Using a cookie cutter smaller than your mousse moulds, cut out circles with all three layers. Place in the freezer to chill.
Prepare the chocolate joconde:
  1. Sift together the cake flour and the cocoa powder. Set aside. Combine the almond powder, powdered sugar, egg yolks, and the egg whites together. Whisk until thick and pale. In a separate clean bowl prepare the meringue by whisking the egg whites until they are foamy and then adding in the sugar a little at a time until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Fold some of the meringue into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Add in the sifted flour mixture and fold well. Fold in the melted butter. Fold in the rest of the meringue. Spread the batter into half-sheet pan and bake at 390°F for ten minutes. Once cool, use the same small cookie cutter to cut out rounds of chocolate joconde.
Prepare the chocolate mousse:
  1. Boil the 60g of heavy whipping cream and sugar in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks. Pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks with the mixer still running and keep whisking until it is thick, cool, and fluffy (this will take a few minutes). Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and fold well. Fold in the whipped cream.
Assemble the entremet:
  1. Place mousse moulds (I used cut pop cans about 3'' tall) on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Pipe a little bit of chocolate mousse into each mould (about half an inch to an inch). Take the pistachio and raspberry rounds and place one into each mould, raspberry side up. Fill the rest of the mould with mousse, almost to the top. Push the circle of chocolate joconde into each mould (you only want the sides of the chocolate joconde to be covered in mousse). Freeze overnight.
Prepare the chocolate mirror glaze:
  1. Bring the water (remember to reserve some for the gelatin), sugar, and cocoa powder to a boil in a saucepan. Add the cream and bring back to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the stove and strain the mixture. Stir in the dissolved gelatin until it melts. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, making sure to stir occasionally to prevent a film from forming. Don't let it cool completely as the glaze should be warm for the next step.
Glaze the entremets:
  1. Remove the moulds from the freezer. Warm the sides of the moulds using a flame, and then slide the entremet out of the moulds upside down (so that the chocolate joconde is on the bottom). Place the entremets on a wire rack. Pour the warm glaze over the frozen entremets. Place in the fridge until ready to eat.


22 thoughts on “Ambroisie

  1. Good effort for recreating something so complex and make it look pretty :) I actually have been to Hidemi Sugino’s restaurant in Tokyo and it was amazing (the cakes were perfection) but I wasn’t able to try the famous ambroisie because I am allergic to pistachios :(

    • Hey Jessica! Splurging on individual pastry rings? Nice. I just used pop cans for these.. wish I had bought pastry rings haha.
      3 inches in what, diameter or height? 3 inch diameter is good–they might be bit too wide though. Height should be 2.5” to 3”.
      Consider getting a large circle or square instead (about 2” high). I’ve found more uses for those. Let me know what you decide! :)

      • I mean in diameter. Wow, pop can? That’s cool! Very creative of you^^ I rarely buy or drink pop cans. So, what’s the good size in diameter for individual pastry rings? For big cake, I use my springform pan. I don’t often make large size cake because there’s only two of us here, so I am thinking about individual cakes.

  2. I have yet to make this one from his book, but all his mousse cakes are heavenly, super light and airy! I know there are a few recipes of his floating online, but you should try the Bresilienne if you haven’t already (it’s coffee mousse, caramel mousse, coffee joconde). Really simple for an entremet, and the coffee mousse is actually quite bitter by itself, but forked together with everything, it’s delicious. Your rendition of Ambroisie looks beautiful :)

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