Gâteau Ferrini

by Eddy Van Damme on January 4, 2011

Some of the finest cakes in the pastry shop oftentimes contain almonds. Just to name a few: Financier, Dacquoise, Pain de Genes, and Joconde…. Indeed they are some of a pastry chef most beloved cake layers to work with.  For this particular gâteau I used biscuit joconde as it allows me to moisten it with liquor syrup. Some cake layers such as Financier does not need moistening and dacquoise would be ruined if it was.

In this specific gateau, the multiple layers of Joconde moistened with Grand Marnier and layered with Ganache and grapefruit marmalade create a very fresh, slightly bitter and yet at the same time, a tender sweetness. At times, I like to serve this composition as a plated dessert accompanied by pink peppercorn chocolate sorbet and as a smaller version as Petit Four.

Getting It All Together!

The biscuit Joconde can be made days ahead and be frozen. At this time I am working on a recipe different than the one featured in On Baking, as soon as I have created a satisfactory result, I will publish it here. Not that I am not happy with the recipe featured in the book, it’s just that I cannot feature it on my site. Since American sheet pans are slightly larger than European ones I increased the ingredients for the Joconde recipe of On Baking by 20%.

Gâteau Ferrini

Yield: 3 gâteaux, each serving 6-8

  1. Cut a full sheet joconde crosswise into 4 equal strips. Moisten one strip with Grand Marnier syrup.
  2. Spread a very thin layer of grapefruit marmalade on the moistened layer. Cover with another strip of joconde and moisten. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the surface. Repeat the entire steps with joconde, grapefruit marmalade and ganache. Place in a freezer.
  3. Warm up a small amount of Ganache to make it perfectly fluid, about 120°F (50°C ) pour onto the surface to make it perfectly even. Cut into desired size.  Cover with sugared almonds and spray the almonds with chocolate. Decorate as desired.


16 oz Heavy cream (40% fat) 480 g
2.5 oz Extra fine granulated sugar 75 g
5 oz Invert sugar 150 g
1 lb 2 oz Chocolate 58-63% cocoa 540 g
4 oz Unsalted butter 120 g
  1. Bring to a boil the cream, sugar and invert sugar.
  2. In a small bowl place the chocolate pistols or chocolate chopped in small pieces.
  3. Pour the boiled mixture into the chocolate and using an immersion mixer (stick mixer) blend to a smooth mixture. Ensure to keep the mixer head completely submerged to prevent air being incorporated into the ganache.
  4. Add the butter and blend smooth.

Note: Certainly the ganache can also be made by adding the cream in about 5 increments while stirring with a rubber spatula in a circular fashion.

Sugar coated almonds:

4 oz Sliced almonds 120 g
1.25 oz Extra fine granulated sugar 40 g
.33 oz Egg white 10 g
½ tsp Vanilla bean paste 2.5 g
  1. Combine the ingredients and scatter on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  2. Place in a 350°F (180°C) oven until golden brown. Store airtight.

In this article: Ganache recipe. How to make a gateau.

9 comments on “Gâteau Ferrini

  1. Hilary Adams on said:

    Mmmm! Looks so good!

  2. Diana Wallace on said:

    This looks so great! I think it will be on my menu soon!! Thank you Eddy!

  3. Rudolf on said:

    Great Job (hope this is proper English)
    I think it must taste delicious.
    De fotograaf moet toch water in de mond krijgen


  4. Chef,
    This is just stunning, again you inspire me.

  5. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Rudolph,
    Thank you again. On the photographer… uh… that would me!
    Kind greetings,

  6. the ganache recipe here is a little different from the on baking, why? this one is better or you just can not publish the on baking one here?
    the post is a beauty as always, thanks

  7. ganache recipe… YES

  8. Rocio Ramirez on said:

    The almonds add an elegant touch

  9. Chef Eddy, this is one of the best recipes and great teaching tool. I think all students should try to make it because it includes learning to make a Joconde properly, ganache, sugar coated almonds, the grapefruit marmalade(which is very good), bonus the apple juice pectin. Plus the Grand Marnier syrup. There is a lot of work involved in this dessert but it is fabulous and worth it! Thank you. Anita

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