HomeRecipesMother’s Cuddle by Leonardo di Carlo

Mother’s Cuddle by Leonardo di Carlo

(This recipe appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

Here’s a dessert I created for Mother’s Day. When I think of a mother, the first thing that comes to mind is a smile and a hug (or cuddle) that makes us feel calm, protected and safe. So, to celebrate her special day, I present an entremet with traditional flavors, well balanced and with a bit of acidity from the raspberries to remind us that for mother, the heart always beats strong.

Yield: four 6 ¼” (16cm) entremets

Super-Crunchy Puffed Rice Shortbread:

  • 250 g unsalted butter, 85% butterfat
  • 250 g granulated sugar
  • 125 g almond powder
  • 125 g chopped puffed rice
  • 250 g type 00 flour, W150-160
  1. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients to form a dough.
  1. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until 4mm thick.
  1. Bake in a convection oven at 320˚F (160°C) with valve open for 15 minutes. Let cool, then cut into circles.

Almond Blancmange:

  • 300 g almond paste, 50%
  • 300 g whole milk
  • 15 g finely grated lemon zest
  • 250 g Italian meringue
  • 400 g heavy cream, 35% fat, whipped to soft peaks
  • 13 g gelatin sheets, bloomed and melted
  1. Stir together the almond paste, milk and lemon zest until well mixed. Stir in the meringue to thin the mixture, then add the semi-whipped cream and then the gelatin.
  1. Spread out onto a lined sheet pan and shock-freeze.

Fast Meringue:

  • 240 g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 160 g powdered glucose DE 30
  • 240 g egg whites
  • 160 g dextrose
  1. Combine all ingredients and heat in the microwave to 149-158˚F (65-70˚C).

Whip until cool, or freeze unwhipped. Once whipped, use immediately.

Bronte Pistachio Biscuit 2.0:

  • 200 g almond powder
  • 230 g fine corn flour
  • 560 g super-fine granulated sugar, divided
  • 65 g potato starch
  • 325 g liquid egg whites
  • 300 g pistachio paste 100%
  • 160 g sunflower oil
  • 325 g egg whites
  1. Mix together the almond powder, corn flour, 280 g of the super-fine granulated sugar, potato starch, liquid egg whites (325 g), pistachio paste and oil in a cutter mixer until blended.
  1. Whip the 325 g egg whites with the remaining 280 g super-fine granulated sugar to a meringue, then gently fold into the pistachio mixture. Spread 800 g of the mixture onto a 15 ¾” x 23 ½” (40 x 60cm) baking tray. Bake at 374˚F (190°C) for about 10 minutes.

Raspberry Glaze:

  • 640 g raspberry puree
  • 630 g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 420 g dextrose
  • 265 g liquid inverted sugar
  • 265 g glucose syrup DE 62
  • 50 g gelatin sheets (gold), bloomed
  • 250 g cocoa butter, chopped
  • 3 g red food coloring powder
  1. Combine the puree, sugar, dextrose, inverted sugar and glucose in a saucepan and bring to 70˚ Brix (217˚F/103˚C). Let cool to 131-140˚F (55-60°C), then add the bloomed gelatin and chopped cocoa butter. Emulsify with a hand blender without incorporating air bubbles, adding food color to desired shade. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using. (Note: the glaze is very glossy and has a thin consistency because it is very fluid.)


  • White cocoa butter, for spraying
  1. In a ring, alternate three layers of Bronte pistachio biscuit with three layers of almond blancmange. Shock freeze to -0.4˚F (-18°C).
  1. Remove the ring, then spray the cake with white cocoa butter to give it a velvety finish. Glaze on one side and then lay a Puffed Rice Shortbread circle on top.

Photos by Antonio Castellani

About Leonardo di Carlo 

Pastry Chef Leonardo di Carlo is the owner, along with his partner Michela Balliana, of Pastry Concept, a pastry training center and consulting firm in Treviso, Italy. Visit their site at pastryconcept.com.

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