A New Year’s Eve Dessert from the Storchen ZurichChef Furtwängler’s presentation entailed lining the molds with strips of kitchen-made Baumkuchen made by successively baking thin layers of a buttery cake batter under the broiler so that the browned tops of each layer appear as thin separate layers.  This is an imitation of a traditional Baumkuchen (tree cake) that’s baked on a spit turning in front of a vertical grill with spoonfuls of the batter constantly added to the “tree” as it’s forming.  My version here includes the frozen apple parfait, the glaze, and the custard sauce.

Makes 8 servings


Frozen Apple Mousse                   

1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples                     

1/4 cup brown sugar                                                   

1/2 cup raisins                                                            

1/4 cup toasted blanched almonds

4 large egg yolks                                                      

1/4 cup sugar                                                              

1/4 cup Calvados or brandy                                       

1 cup heavy whipping cream, lightly whipped          

Unpeeled apple slices for finishing                            

Apple Glaze

3/4 cup apple jelly

1 teaspoon granulated gelatin

1/4 cup water

Creme Anglaise

2 cups half and half

1/3 cup sugar

6 large egg yolks

1 vanilla bean, split

8 individual molds or ramekins of 4 to 5 ounce capacity

  1. For the mousse, peels, core, and dice the apples and combine with the remaining ingredients in a saucepan that has a cover. Add 1/4 cup water and set on medium heat until the mixture simmers, then cover, lower heat, and wait until the apples are soft and disintegrating.  Cool the mixture and puree it in a blender. Cover and chill; may be prepared a day or two in advance.
  2. To finish the mousse, set the mold in the freezer. Whisk the yolks, sugar, and Calvados in the bowl of an electric mixer and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens slightly. Place on the mixer and whip on medium speed until cooled. Once cooled, fold in the chilled puree and the whipped cream. Fill the molds to the top and cover with plastic wrap, freeze at least overnight before serving.
  3. For the crème anglaise, combine the half and half, sugar and vanilla bean and bring to a boil over low heat. Whisk yolks in a bowl.  Whisk a third of the boiling liquid into the yolks, then return remaining liquid to a boil.  Whisk yolk mixture into boiling liquid and continue whisking until thickened, about 15 seconds.  Remove pan from heat, whisking constantly and strain into a clean bowl set over ice water.  Stir occasionally until cooled.
  4. For the glaze, bring the jelly to a boil, stirring, over low heat. Stir the water and gelatin together and wait until the mixture becomes spongy, about 5 minutes.  Stir the soaked gelatin into the jelly and return to a boil, stirring.  Let cool slightly before glazing the desserts.
  5. To assemble, unmold the charlottes by dipping each briefly into warm water. Center in a large soup plate an top with a spoonful of the glaze.  Surround the dessert with some of the sauce and insert a couple of apple slices vertically into the top of the dessert.  Serve immediately.