I have been making different variations of this cake for 22 years so I should probably give credit to the chef who taught me how to make this cake. I worked for Celine at The Dining Room of The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. Like so many French chefs I have worked for, she thought I was French and would pronounce my name very emphatically French. I am not French, nor have I ever been. I haven’t seen her in nearly 20 years, but can still hear her voice calling out orders and saying random pastry words like it was yesterday. She is one of the most talented people I have ever had the opportunity to work for. Her precision, attention to detail, and level of organization left a tremendous impact on me. Her version of this cake is still my favorite but was designed for a fine dining restaurant and not a bake shop. It was simple, clean, delicate, and delicious! The heart of the dessert is the same, rich dark chocolate hazelnut mousse, crunchy hazelnut milk chocolate layer, just enough sponge cake to hold it all together. We replaced the original sponge (biscuit as Celine would say) with dacquoise, a classic and naturally gluten free cake. We also use toasted dacquoise to make the crunchy layer and keep it gluten free. Both cakes are delicious, maybe next time I’ll make Celine’s version.

common allergies: eggs//dairy//almonds//hazelnuts