This dessert is luscious and rich, as well as being nearly 120 years old, and a recipe nearly lost after being all the rage of Paris in the early 19th century. This frozen mousse speckled with crushed macaroons is attributed to Giuseppe Tortoni, a Neapolitan who owned Café Tortoni in Paris. Sometimes made as small biscuits, here artist-chef William Bloomhuff recreates the original style of one form. Allow overnight to freeze.
1 cup ground macaroons - about 12 small cookies, not the airy colorful kind
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
1 Preheat oven to 200°F.

2 Break macaroons into pieces and toast on a baking sheet until golden, dry, and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Grind to fine crumbs in food processor.

3 Combine sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat until the syrup reaches 230°F on a candy thermometer.

4 Meanwhile, in a bowl mixer, whip the egg whites until they form firm peaks. By hand, whip the yolks until fluffy. Fold yolks into whites.

5 When the sugar syrup is cooked, turn mixer to medium speed and, with it running, slowly pour in the syrup in a fine thread. Reduce the speed to low.

6 After mixture is at room temperature, mix in vanilla.

7 With high-speed hand mixer whip heavy cream until is sets, before it peaks. Hand fold whipped cream into the egg mixture bowl to make a mousse.

8 Line base of tall 2 quart soufflé dish, bomb, or other mold with parchment. Spoon half the crumbs onto the base. Cover with mousse. Top with remaining crumbs.

9 Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

10 The next day, dip the base in hot water. Run a knife around the edge of the mold, then invert onto a plate. Cut into wedges. Serve with extra macaroons.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 8 Servings
Notes For macaroons we use the small Italian amaretto cookies, although some kind of
round coconut cluster is another popular choice.

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