HomeRecipesHazelnut, Coffee, Cherry by Kristin Brangwynne

Hazelnut, Coffee, Cherry by Kristin Brangwynne

This dish is one of my favorite petits gateaux that I have created. I had recently tested my ratio for developing a mousse using various nuts, and in this case I used hazelnuts. Inside the hazelnut mousse is a cherry curd and a coffee pastry cream, three flavors I normally wouldn’t put together. However, the nuttiness from the hazelnut mousse and the tartness from the cherry curd is a balanced pairing that all must try. Adding a thin layer of coffee pastry cream brings a full-bodied experience. The coffee layer and cherry layer are thinner on account of their bold flavors allowing them to blend seamlessly with the hazelnut mousse. Overall, this dessert embodies everything I love about pastry: beautiful flavors, ingredients used not in their conventional ways, and fun, exciting colors and design, making this mousse cake a memorable experience inside and out.

Yield: 8 servings

Cherry Compote

  • 500 g cherries, pitted
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 20 g vanilla extract
  • 15 g lemon juice                    
  • 5 g cornstarch
  • 2 g water
  1. Combine the cherries, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in a pot and cook until cherries get soft.
  2. Create a slurry with the cornstarch and water and stir into the cherry mixture. Cook until thickened. Spread on a plastic wrap lined tray and freeze until solid.

Coffee Pastry Cream

  • 50 g instant coffee powder
  • 159 g milk
  • 97 g heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 76 g egg yolks
  • 31 g granulated sugar
  1. Combine the coffee powder, milk, cream and vanilla in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Whisk into the yolks and sugar, then return the mixture to the heat. Whisk until thickened.
  3. Pour over frozen Cherry Compote and freeze until solid.
  4. Once solid, cut out with mold to make inserts.

Hazelnut Mousse

  • 213 g hazelnuts
  • 173 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 sheets gelatin
  • 217 g milk
  • 168 g heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 210 g whipped cream
  1. Combine hazelnuts, confectioners’ sugar and egg white in a food processor. Pulse until a paste forms; set aside.
  2. Bloom gelatin in ice water. 
  3. Place milk, cream and vanilla bean in a pot and bring to a boil. Temper mix into egg yolks.  Return to heat and cook until the temperature reaches 189°F (87°C), stirring occasionally. Add the bloomed gelatin.  Pour over the hazelnut paste, mix to combine. 
  4. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour into mold and press in cherry-coffee inserts. Freeze until solid.

Red Glaze

  • 18 g gelatin sheets
  • 150 g water
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 300 g sweetened condensed milk      
  • 350 g white chocolate
  • Red food coloring, as needed
  1. Bloom gelatin in ice water.
  2. Combine the water, sugar, vanilla and condensed milk in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the bloomed gelatin, then pour over the white chocolate. Add the red food coloring and mix until homogeneous.


  • Feuilletine, as needed
  • Hazelnut tuiles
  • Tempered white chocolate discs
  • Cherries, halved
  1. Once frozen, unmold petits gateaux onto a glazing rack. Glaze with red glaze.
  2. Press feuilletine around the base of the dessert. Garnish with hazelnut tuile, tempered white chocolate discs and halved cherries.

About Kristin Brangwynne

Kristin Brangwynne is the pastry chef at Conrad Nashville in Nashville, TN. The place where she grew up is filled with art from her paternal grandfather, which influenced her to become an illustrator. As she grew older and started helping her mother in the kitchen, she realized that it was also an art in a whole different way. In eighth grade, her goal was set to become a pastry chef, and with her family’s support, she found her way through the pastry world. Her signature style was always clean and pristine, with unique and colorful layers that were exciting to the eye. She took great pride in her work, and she always wanted her desserts to be both delicious and visually appealing.

(This recipe appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

Pastry Arts Magazine is the new resource for pastry & baking professionals designed to inspire, educate and connect the pastry community as an informational conduit spotlighting the trade.