Chef Recipes

Soup, But Make it Chocolate: The Sweet Recipe by The Multi-Starred Pierre Gagnaire

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina pierre gagnaire 2023 11 24 15 36 32

As the chill sets in, the palate craves the generous embrace of chocolate: Pierre Gagnaire creates a cold soup with changing garnishes, from candied chestnuts to walnut crumble, following the calendar.

Cover photo by Jacques Gavard

The dish

Pierre Gagnaire is a legend: at seventy-three, he holds twelve Michelin stars, ranking third globally, tied with Martin Berasategui, behind the usual Alain Ducasse and Enrico Bartolini. Among the great chefs, his cuisine is perhaps the most ingenious and original, blending techniques (including molecular, see the note à note) with pure, wild, and unpredictable.

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In 2016, for instance, he released a book, as always groundbreaking: La cuisine des 5 saisons, where he theorizes a fifth season, intermediate between no longer winter and not yet spring, when the palate begins to seek freshness and sunshine. This prompts a change in the garnish of his delectable cold chocolate soup, as also featured by Eater here: raspberries in summer, candied chestnuts in winter, and in the fifth season, a walnut crumble.


Tommaso Caporale, journalist and sommelier, creator of the Caporale Method based on the acoustic analysis of perlage, pairs it with a sweet Cuvage Asti DOCG classic method. "With a dense perlage, it has very varied frequencies, reminiscent of harp and violin with peaks of amplitude distributed over time. Notes of brioche and hazelnut blend with the taste of chocolate. The vibrations linger for a long time, leaving the palate dry and mineral."

Pierre Gagnaire chocolate soup with walnut crumble

@Jacques Gavard

Ingredients for 6 people

For the chocolate water 

  • 250 g of natural mineral water
  • 50 g of granulated sugar
  • 25 g of cocoa powder
  • 14 g of gelatin sheets soaked in cold water


Bring water with sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add cocoa. Squeeze the gelatin and incorporate it. Pour into a container, forming a layer 1.5 cm thick. Let it set in the refrigerator and cut into cubes.

For the chocolate soup 

  • 200 ml of heavy cream
  • 450 ml of whole milk
  • 400 g of dark chocolate, chopped


Bring the cream to a boil with half of the milk, then pour it gradually over the chocolate, stirring with a whisk. Once the mixture is smooth and thick, add the remaining milk. Let it cool completely.

For the walnut crumble

  • 100 g of softened butter at room temperature
  • 100 g of granulated sugar
  • 100 g of hazelnut flour
  • 100 g of type 1 flour
  • 100 g of chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Mix butter with sugar, hazelnut flour, wheat flour, and chopped nuts so as to create a chunky crumble. Spread it on a silicone sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Let it cool.

Divide the chocolate water cubes into six bowls, pour the cold soup over them, and finish with a handful of walnut crumble.

Pierre Gagnaire Destination Deluxe

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