Christopher Villano
Hazelnut meringue dome
magnify Click image to view more.

Hazelnut Meringue Dome Demo

September 2012

Emmanuel Ryon was practically born in a pastry kitchen in France. From an early age, he began learning from his mother and grandmother, who were excellent pastry chefs, and also from his uncle, a pastry chef in Switzerland. It was no surprise that he earned his pastry chef’s diploma when he was just 15 years old. A series of enriching apprenticeships followed, including one with Gabriel Paillasson at his pâtisserie in Saint-Fons, on the outskirts of Lyon. Paillasson was well-known for both winning over 300 national and international awards, including the Legion of Honor, and for training scores of stagiaires from all over the world. Ryon developed his own taste for competitions, participating in 25, and winning each one, even going on to garner the Meilleur Ouvrier de France title for ice cream and the Pastry World Championship in 1999. He also discovered the joy of travel, especially as international pastry consultant for Bellouet Conseil, a culinary school in Paris. While conducting demos in Moscow in December 2004, he met Andrey Dellos, the epicurean founder of Café Pushkin, and began working for his Maison Dellos Group. He has opened the Pushkin cafes in Paris and New York City and is known for modernizing the forgotten desserts of Russia as well as transforming classical French pastries by playing with texture, color, and shape.

For 6 to 8 servings (requires advance preparation)

Cinnamon ice cream:

  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1/2 oz. cinnamon stick
  • 3 lg. egg yolks
  • 1 2/5 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsps. powdered glucose
  • 1/4 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • 1/8 cup ice cream stabilizer
  1. Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick to a boil in a pot; whisk yolks, sugar, powdered glucose, powdered milk, and stabilizer in a bowl; whisking constantly, gradually add some of cream mixture to egg mixture; whisking constantly, return egg mixture to remaining cream mixture in pot; cook, whisking constantly, until pastry thermometer registers 185°F; remove from heat.

  2. Strain through fine chinois into clean bowl; blend with immersion blender; set over ice water bath; cool to 40°F; cover with plastic wrap; reserve in refrigerator overnight.

  3. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions; place in airtight container; cover; reserve in freezer.

Meringue shells:

  • 3 lg. egg whites
  • 6 Tbsps. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. hazelnut flour
  • 2 Tbsps. confectioners’ sugar
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Heat oven to 325°F.

  2. Beat egg whites in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment to stiff peaks; sprinkle in granulated sugar; beat to shiny, stiff peaks; slowly fold in hazelnut flour and confectioners’ sugar; place meringue in pastry bag fitted with round tip; turn flexipan mold composed of 3 1/2 oz. demi-spheres upside-down so bottom is exposed; spray entire surface with nonstick cooking spray.

  3. Pipe meringue in a coil around each mold, starting at the base (A); bake meringues 20 minutes; reduce heat to 275°F; bake until pale and dry outside and slightly gooey inside (about 40 minutes; surface may crack slightly); remove from oven; let cool; carefully push flexipan mold from below to loosen meringue; lift from mold (B); place on a platter (meringue may crack a bit more); reserve.

Caramel/apple mousse:

  • 3 Tbsps. glucose syrup
  • 5 tsps. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsps. heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsps. cocoa butter
  • 5 tsps. apple schnapps
  • 6 1/2 Tbsps. heavy cream, whipped to medium peak
  1. Heat glucose and sugar in a saucepan until candy thermometer registers 400°F; remove from heat; whisk in cream and salt; cook until thermometer registers 220°F; stir in cocoa butter.

  2. Place in bowl set in ice water bath; cool to 86°F; add schnapps to caramel; stir 1/3 whipped cream into caramel to lighten; add remaining whipped cream; carefully fold together until completely mixed.

  3. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with round tip; reserve in refrigerator.

Apple compote:

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsps. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored
  • 1 lime, zested
  1. Mix sugar and vanilla in small bowl; place apple on sheet of plastic wrap; sprinkle with vanilla sugar; stuff apple core with zest and vanilla bean; envelop apple with plastic wrap; microwave until softened (about 5 minutes); remove from microwave; reserve in refrigerator until cool.

  2. Remove apple from plastic wrap; halve; scrape flesh into a bowl; reserve; discard skin and vanilla bean.

Saffron jelly:

  • 16 strands Spanish saffron
  • 1 sheet leaf gelatin, bloomed in cold water 15 min.

Bring saffron and 1 cup water to a boil in small saucepan; remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes; squeeze water from gelatin; add to pan; stir until gelatin is dissolved; pour into shallow dish; refrigerate until set; cut into squares; reserve in refrigerator.


  • 1 1/4 cups green apple puree
  • 3 Tbsps. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps. simple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Bring all ingredients to a boil in small saucepan; reduce heat to low; cook until reduced to desired consistency; remove from heat; cool; place in squeeze bottle; reserve in refrigerator.

Apple chips:

  • 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 oz. isomalt sugar
  • 1 green apple, peeled
  1. Bring sugar and 2 3/4 cups water to a boil in small saucepan to make simple syrup; cool; add lemon juice.

  2. Heat isomalt sugar to soft crack stage (270˚F–290˚F); reserve (keep warm).

  3. Heat oven to 200˚F.

  4. Slice apple on meat slicer into paper-thin slices; dip in syrup (C); place slices in Flexipan mold to form shape of flower petals (D); bake until crisp (about 15 minutes); remove from oven; let cool.

  5. Use a small offset spatula to apply the isomalt sugar to the back of apple chips (E); attach chips to baked meringues; hold in place for a few seconds to ensure they adhere (F).


  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced horizontally into 3/8" slices
  • gold leaf (for serving)

To serve, cut a small circle in the center of each apple slice to form bases to anchor meringue shell bottoms; set in center of each serving plate; place bottom half of meringue shell on top of apple slice; fill one-half of the inside with apple compote and other half with mousse (G); top with scoop of ice cream; place additional mousse into a second meringue half; place on top of ice cream to form sphere (H); decorate with gold leaves; dot applesauce around plate; garnish with squares of saffron jelly.

What to drink: Champagne or sparkling apple cider.