A Remake of Ambroisie

This is the latest cake I made. I decided to post this first instead of the previous ones because I had the pictures ready to go for this post.

So I was in my team's staff meeting a few weeks ago, and all of a sudden, I was wondering about my teammates birthday. To me, birthday is important and I would feel bad if someone had a birthday I didn't know about. The least I could do is to congratulate them. Well, after asking around, we all found out that there are 3 May's babies within less than a week from each other, it was my boss' and two of my teammates'. So I decided to make them a cake.

9" and 6" version

Chocolate is always a safe bet, and when I thought of what chocolate cake I wanted to make, I remember this cake. As you would have probably guessed, for those of you who are a fan of Mr. Sugino, you would probably immediately recognize this cake. This is his most famous cake that won him a pastry championship back then and it is also the cover of his book. I made this cake once before, here, for my coworker, and I thought it tasted amazing despite the number of components this cake has, also this is got to be one of the longest cake (time-wise) I've ever made. Besides, I've been wanting to remake this cake since I didn't get to taste it so much last time.

I was out of pistachio paste and was thinking of ordering online from my usual supplier, but it will take about 7 business days total and it would be too late. So I browsed for another alternative, Amazon, and found this Sevarome pistachio paste. I have heard so much about this paste and the only thing blocking me from getting it in the past, is the price. With the shipping, it costs me well over $85 for 1kg of the paste (yikes!). It took a lot of deliberation for me to finally hit the "Submit Order" button. It hurts a little, but also excited at the same time.

The paste is different than the other pistachio pastes I used in the past. This one has no oil on the top and dryer, and it is really green and very aromatic too. When I made the pistachio mousse, it was definitely a lot stronger (and greener) compared to the one I made before, but I was not complaining. This cake took me about 5 nights to finish. Don't be intimidated by it, it is a lot of components, and the ingredients can be quite pricey too, but it is so worth it at the end. I started out with making the almond joconde, pistachio joconde, and the rest. I was out of regular pectin and had to use pectin NH for the raspberry garniture, and it was very thick that I had to mix it with some water so that it is spreadable. I strained my raspberry garniture because I've never liked having raspberry seeds stuck in between my teeth.

This is also my first time trying to assemble the cake upside down (the top side first, then flip the whole thing) and it went smoothly. I was happy with the result.

I doubled and tripled some of the measurement so that it was enough to make a 9" round cake and four individual 3" cake (3 for the birthday people and one for the bf, who is yet still in Korea). I had enough leftover to make another 6" one for people at home. The cake was very well-received and you can definitely taste the pistachio flavor this time stronger than before.

I now have so much leftover for pistachio and chocolate joconde, stay tuned to see more of Mr. Sugino's rendition soon.

Note: the recipe below is based on my understanding of how to make each component as it is in Japanese (while the ingredients are in French). It might be slightly different from what the book says but it works for me.

 by Hidemi Sugino. Taken from Le gout authentique retrouve

Chocolate Joconde (Biscuit Joconde au Chocolat)

70g almond powder
70g powdered sugar
70g egg yolks
30g egg whites
55g cake flour
20g cocoa powder
25g unsalted butter, melted
French Meringue:
130g egg whites
45g sugar
  • Sift together the cake flour and the cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • Combine the almond powder, powdered sugar, egg yolks, and 30g egg whites together and whisk until thick and pale
  • On a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy and add the sugar a little at a time until it form firm peak
  • 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 (you might end up with less volume if you overmix the batter and might want to use 9x13" pan)
  • Bake in the oven at 230C for 5-6 minutes
Pistachio Joconde (Biscuit aux Pistaches)

90g almond paste 50%
38g pistachio paste
45g whole egg
40g egg yolks
25g egg whites
45g cornstarch
20g unsalted butter, melted
French Meringue:
80g egg whites
50g sugar
  •  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 (see the chocolate joconde instruction)
  • Mix some meringue into the batter, fold well
  • Add the sifted cornstarch, fold well
  • Add the melted batter
  • Lastly, fold in the rest of the  meringue
  • Spread the batter into half-sheet pan (you might end up with less volume if you overmix the batter and might want to use 9x13" pan)
  • Bake in the oven at 230C for 5-6 minutes
Raspberry Jam (Framboise pepins)
35g sugar
20g glucose
8g water
100g fresh or frozen raspberries
4g pectin mixed with 23g sugar
6g lemon juice
  • Bring the sugar, glucose, and water to a boil in a saucepan
  • Mix the raspberries in and continue to boil
  • Mix in the pectin-sugar and boil until raspberry has broken down and soft
  • Cool in an icebath and add the lemon juice
  • Refrigerate until needed
  • The recipe called for 50g of this jam
 30°B Sugar Syrup
20g sugar
15g water

Boil together and let cool

Sirop d'imbibage
20g  30°B Sugar Syrup
15g water
15g eau-de-vie de framboise

Mix all the ingredients together

Dark Chocolate Mousse (Mousse au Chocolat Noir)Make this before you are ready to assemble the cake

440g heavy cream, whipped to soft peak. Refrigerate until ready
Pate a bombe:
      60g whipping cream
      50g sugar
      100g egg yolks
200g 66% dark chocolate, melted and let cool
  • Make pate a bombe by boiling the 60g of heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan 
  • Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks 
  • Pour the hot xream mixture into the egg yolk with the mixer still running and keep whisking until it is thick and fluffy
  • Pour this mixture into the cooled melted chocolate, fold well
  • Fold in some of the whipped cream to lighten it, then pour half of it into the whipped cream, fold in well.
  • Pour the last half of the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream and fold.
  •  When I made the pate a bombe the first time, I brought the mixture to 245F (softball stage) before pouring it into the egg yolks (the classic pate a bombe mixture) and the resulting pate a bombe is thick and fluffy quickly.
    This time, I just boil the cream and pour it in. The resulting pate a bombe is thinner and takes a lot longer to get thick (although not as thick as the classic preparation).
    I am not sure which one Mr. Sugino uses as I can't understand Japanese, but both works fine.
Pistachio Mousse (Mousse a la pistache)
130g heavy whipping cream, whip until soft peak and refrigerate until ready
20g pistachio paste
70g milk
1/10 vanilla bean seeds
40g egg yolks
15g sugar
2g gelatin leaf, softened in a cold water
  • 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 the temperature register 84C
  • Take it off the heat and strain (to avoid some scrambled eggs)
  • Add the softened gelatin and stir until it melts
  • Let cool in an icebath
  • Fold in the whipped cream
  • Pour the mixture into 18cm baking frame or baking pan that has been lined with plastic wrap, overhanging on the side (for easy removal)
Chocolate Glaze (Glaçage au Chocolat)Make this the last after the cake is completely frozen and you are ready to glaze.

150g water
250g sugar
100g cocoa powder
150g heavy cream
15g gelatin leaves, soften in cold water
  • Combine the water, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and bring it to boil
  • Add the heavy cream and bring back to boil
  • Take it off the heat and strain
  • Mix the gelatin in and stir until completely melted
  • Let cool while occasionally stirring to keep the surface to harden and make it smooth

  • Cut out the pistachio joconde to 18cm square, brush one side with the sirop imbibage and place it on top of the pistachio mousse, brushed side down. Then brush the other side with the syrup.
  • Once frozen, take it out of the freezer and spread 50g of framboise pepins on top
  • Using a cookie cutter or fondant cutter, cut circles with diameter slightly smaller than the cake ring you will use. (I use 2.5" cookie cutter and 3" cake ring)
  • Cut the chocolate joconde using the same size of cookie cutter.
  • Assemble top-side down. Line a baking pan with acetate sheet and place the 3" cake rings (or any size of rings you want) on top.
  • Pipe some chocolate mousse at the bottom, then place the pistachio mousse-raspberry cut out on top (raspberry side on the top)
  • Spread some more thin layer of mousse, then lastly place the chocolate joconde circle on top
  • Freeze until frozen and flip the cake onto a wire rack with baking sheet underneath (to catch the drips when glazing)
  • Once the chocolate glaze is almost at room temperature (slightly warm but still pourable), pour the glaze on top of the cake and smooth it with spatula
  • Refrigerate overnight and decorate


Hannah @HannahHandmade said...

Oooo, looks so good! Pinning it right now :)

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely amazing!! So much dedication, it's really impressive -I call this artistry!

Julia said...

Omg you're so talented. You're cakes all look amazing!!! I will definitely attempt to make one of them one day...

MyFudo™ said...

Wow! What a really amazing cake! The presentation is simple yet elegant. Yum! Yum!

Unknown said...

ambroisie is an amazing cake! your's looks stunning!!

Anonymous said...

Well done!!! glad to see you back in action after such a long hiatus. Back home from China already?

MAGs Cakes & Bakes said...

This takes me back to my days in cooking school. Defenity going on my favs list. :)

Unknown said...

wow, this looks incredible

Anonymous said...

A question about the glazing: I tried to make it and the water amount seems too little because when mixing sugar, water and the cocoa in the pan it is really dry and doughy. Is it just a mistake in the recipe? Should it be 250 ml of water?

Bertha said...

Anonymous: Are you following the recipe in this blog post? I can't seem to find 25ml of water for the glaze. You will need 150ml of water and 150 of heavy cream. 25ml would be too little

Anonymous said...

Yep, I made it by following your recipe, adding 150 ml of both, cream and water.

That's what I was wondering because even with 150 ml it became too dry and I thought the water amount should be 100 ml larger.

I don't know, maybe it's about the cocoa, if the one I used is drier and absorbs more liquid...

Anywho, amazing creations you've made!!

RecipeNewZ said...

I keep coming back to this cake again and again - it's simply gorgeous!

Frances said...

Nice! BTW, I read somewhere that this cake has to be in fridge and impossible to transport around as the mousse is too soft. How did you manage to take it out?

Bertha said...

Frances: Yes, I heard about it too that you can't get the cake to go at Hidemi's patisserie because it is so soft. The chocolate mousse has no gelatin in it, so it will be softer than most chocolate mousse, but you can take it out of the fridge, it just wont survive long. I only live 15 minutes away from work, so it is not enough time to damage the cake.

Unknown said...

Your cakes are exquisite!! I absolutely love your blog. X

frances said...

I simply adore your website!

Frances said...

Hi Bertha,

went through the recipe and was stuck at the glaze. I thought the recipe has a typo? the cocoa powder for the glaze is 100g or 200g?

Bertha said...

Frances: I just checked the book and yes you are correct, it is supposed to be 100g and I've updated it. I apologize for the typo and thanks for catching that! Hope everything will turn out great now.

Frances said...

Thanks for updating!

Marianne said...

Hello! I apologize if this is rude but could I ask how tall your 9" / 6" cake ring is? Looking at all your beautiful pictures, I'm so inspired to make something from your blog but I don't have a cake ring ); If you could reply, I'd be eternally grateful! I'm really excited to make this :)

Bertha said...

Marianne: It is not rude at all! please ask away. My 9" (it is actually 8.75") cake ring is 2.625" or 2 5/8" tall.
For 6" ring, I use adjustable cake ring which is actually 6.5" the smallest in diameter. It is 3" high, but I've never assembled the cake that high. It is usually less than 3"
Hope that helps :)

Vanessa said...

I was wondering how you got the chocolate pieces to stick to the side of the cake? I plan on making a larger entremet cake in the future and want to attach macaron shells to the side......any advice on what to use to make it stick? I plan on covering the entremet with a chocolate mirror glaze as well :)

Bertha said...

Vanessa: After you cover the cake with the glaze, the glaze would still be wet and not set yet, so you can stick anything to it.
Even when you have refrigerated the cake overnight and the glaze has set, it is still a little sticky.
I wouldn't think you'd have any problem with it

Ilan said...

How'd you make the chocolate decorations?

Bertha said...

IIan: I just melt some chocolate and using a teaspoon or any spoon, take a little bit of the chocolate and put it on a piece of parchment paper or acetate sheet, then drag the chocolate upward with the back of the spoon. let it dry then peel it off

Ilan said...

Are the measurements you gave for the doubled/tripled recipe or for a standard one? If I want to make ~8 mini ones (the 3'' ones) do I double this recipe?

Bertha said...

The recipe I wrote is the original measurement for the book. I think it is enough to make six 3" round, but you will have enough for 8 or more for the joconde

Anonymous said...

Hi Bertha! Thanks for the recipe. I left a comment before but I am not sure if it went through or not as I was doing it from my phone. I want to make this as a 8" or 9"cake for my mother's birthday this week and I was wandering if this given amount of ingredients is enough or should I increase some of the them. I would really appreciate your help. Thank you

Bertha said...

Anonymous: the rcipe should be enough for 8 or 9" cake. I never made it only for 9" cuz I usually make multiple sizes and approximate the ratio of the recipe, but looking at it, it should be enough

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. I look forward to trying it. I have a question on the glaze. It calls for 15 grams of gelatin sheets which is about 6 sheets. Is that correct? Thanks.

Bertha said...

I don't generally using sheets (I know I should) just because I don't have it easily accessible.
But the conversion I use is 1 sheet of gelatin = 2 grams=0.5tsp gelatin.
I know different websites call for different conversions though

Unknown said...

Hey Bertha, I’m making this as a birthday cake for my dad, which is just a few days away. I’m wondering, when did you prepare the chocolate and pistachio joconde, and did you freeze, refrigerate or leave them at room temp? Same questions for the pistachio and chocolate mousse.
Also, are you really supposed to freeze the mousse? Another ambroisie recipe I read said to freeze the mousse, then freeze the prepared entremets overnight. I’ve done some research and a lot of people have said that freezing mousse will lead to a texture change. What’s your opinion on this (since you’re a professional) and what did you do? With the mousse itself and the entremets, I mean.
Thank you so much for this recipe!

Bertha said...

Unknown: Hi! I put my answer in the bullets below for easier reading :)

- If it's only a few days away, room temperature or better yet, refrigerator is best (wrapped of course). If it is more than a week, then I would say freeze it. You can do this even a month before

- As for the pistachio mousse, see the instructions above. It requires you to freeze the mousse after placing the pistachio joconde on top of the mousse. You need to freeze the mousse so that you can remove it in once piece when assembling the cake. If you only refrigerate it, the mousse is soft, so you won't be able to take it out of the mold

- For the chocolate mousse, you don't need to freeze just the mousse. Once you assemble the whole thing, meaning after you cover the cake with the chocolate mousse, then you need to freeze the entire cake, with the cake ring intact. This is a must for all entremets as without doing so, you won't get smooth edges. Once it is frozen, remove the cake ring using blow torch or hair dryer. The ring will slide off easily and you will have a smooth edge. If the cake is not frozen, heating up the ring will melt the mousse inside, leaving you with a puddle of mousse

- Yes, you need to freeze mousse to make entremets. You need to do this once you mold it. Once it thawed in the fridge, the mousse will be back to the soft mousse-like consistency, the same as if you would have just refrigerated it

Hope I answered all your questions. Have fun making this, I am sure your dad will love it. This is one of my ultimate favorite cake!

Amanda said...

Omg, Bertha, thank you so much for the quick reply, and the answers! All of this will help me so much. I am eternally grateful to you :)

Unknown said...

Also, sorry to bother you again, but how long did you freeze the pistachio mousse and the joconde together? And the whole entremet? I’m baking a 9” cake (that will hopefully look like yours, lol), so should I freeze that overnight?

Bertha said...

for the pistachio mousse, i would say at least 2 hours, as long as the mousse feels frozen and easy to remove.
For the whole entremet, at least 4 hours. I usually assemble the cake the night or the day before, so it is in the freezer at least overnight.
I would love to see your finished result. Feel free to tag me on my ig account @the.bs.life

Unknown said...

Will do! Last question, I promise: did you use a 7-8” cookie cutter for the layers in your 9” cake? I’m hunting for a massive cookie cutter now, lol.

Unknown said...

Also, I know your cake ring was 9”, but how many inches/cm was the cookie cutter you used?

Bertha said...

I don't use cookie cutter. I use cake pan or 8" cake ring

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am thinking of making a larger cake - would the ratio of chocolate mousse to pistachio mousse to joconde etc work better with an 8-inch cake or 9-inch cake? I'm wondering if this cake is better suited to thicker or thinner mousse layers? Also, to clarify, do you use 1 tsp powdered gelatin for the pistachio mousse and 3.75 tsp for the chocolate glaze? Thanks!

Bertha said...

Anonymous: I don't quite understand the question with the ratio, but you can scale the recipe to any size you like, either 8" or 9". As for the gelatin, I use 0.5 tsp powdered gelatin for every 2g of sheet gelatin. Would love to see the finished result, feel free to tag me on @the.bs.life. Have fun making it!

Anonymous said...

Does the pistachio paste you use have added sugar? I don't have access to pistachio paste and am looking to make my own with just pistachios, and so I was wondering if the 30g of sugar in the pistachio mousse provides enough sweetness on its own (i.e. without using the traditional praline-type sweet pistachio paste that we get in the stores). Also, would it be necessary to double any of the components (pistachio mousse/chocolate mousse) to make a 9-inch cake? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Lovely cake! Is the pistachio paste you use a pure pistachio paste or is it sweetened? I'm unable to make out the ingredients in the link you provided. Thanks

Bertha said...

Most pistachio paste (if not all) is made with sugar. I've never made my own pistachio paste but there are recipes online to do this and they will have sugar in them, so you don't need to adjust the sugar proportion in the recipe.
If you decide to just grind up pistachio to make your paste, you can add a bit more sugar in the recipe or not. The amount of sugar in the recipe should be enough but it doesn't hurt to add extra 10-20g to make up for the sweetness in pistachio paste.

For 9" round, the joconde, and raspberry jam recipe should be enough as is. Looking at the recipe for mousse, pistachio mousse is for 7" square which should be good for 8" round ring (I use 8" round ring/pan for insert to make 9" round cake). The chocolate mousse might be close. I can't guarantee for sure but it seems like it should be enough. Good luck! would love to see the finished product if you tag me at @the.bs.life on instagram. Love, Bertha

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Bertha! xx