Recipe courtesy of Daniels Restaurant

Cardamom and Espresso Brownie Cake with Crispy Phyllo and Salted Caramel Filling

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 6 hr 2 min
  • Prep: 3 hr
  • Inactive: 2 min
  • Cook: 3 hr
  • Yield: 8 servings


For the Chocolate brownie:

For the Caramel Coffee Cardamom Sabayon:

For the Hazelnut cookie:

For the Liquid caramel:

For the Phyllo tops:

For the Coffee gelee:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Chocolate brownies: Center rack in oven. Butter a 9 or 10-inch square baking dish or pan. Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small bowl over a double boiler. Whisk the 2 ingredients together until they bind together. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add the chocolate/ butter mixture and mix until combined. Mix in the flour and cocoa powder just until incorporated. Add the pecans and mix into the batter. Pour batter into prepared baking dish, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. Line 8 (3-inch) ring molds with 1 1/2-inch high plastic ribbon. Cut the brownies with a 2 3/4-inch ring mold and slice horizontally into 1/4-inch thin slices. Place 1 slice into each ring.
  5. Caramel Coffee Cardamom Sabayon: In a small pot, caramelize 1 cup sugar. When the sugar has reached and amber color, add the crushed coffee beans and cardamom pods. Stir well to coat the beans and the pods.
  6. Deglaze with milk and bring to a boil. Let the mixture infuse for 20 minutes and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Melt the drained gelatin sheets in the warm coffee milk.
  7. In a mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream until medium peaks form. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  8. Combine the 6 tablespoons sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil without stirring. Let the mixture boil to a softball stage or 240 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Beat the egg whites with the salt and the cream of tartar until medium peaks form. When the syrup has reached the softball stage, add the syrup very slowly in a fine stream and continue to beat until the mixture is cool.
  9. Make a large ice bath with water and ice. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and egg yolks in a medium size bowl, and set over a simmering pot of water. Cook over medium heat, whisking until the eggs are light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Put the bowl over the ice bath and let cool completely.
  10. Fold the Italian meringue into half of the coffee milk. Fold the sabayon into the other half of the coffee milk. Fold the 2 mixtures together and finally, fold in the whipped cream. Using a pastry bag with a plain tip, pipe the coffee sabayon mixture into the prepared brownie molds about 3/4 of the way full. Freeze and remove the rings.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. Hazelnut cookies: Bring 1/3 cup of water to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. In a small bowl, mix the hazelnut flour, sugar syrup, and salt. Roll the mixture out until very thin, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until light golden brown, approximately 4 minutes. Remove from oven and cut out 3 inch round circles while still warm.
  13. Liquid caramel: Melt the sugar and salt in a large pot and cook to a dark caramel. Bring the water to a boil and pour into the caramel to deglaze. Remove from heat and set aside.
  14. Phyllo tops: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  15. Place 9 (3-inch) ring molds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on a flat surface. Brush the sheet with melted butter and sprinkle some confectioners' sugar on top. Add a second layer of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Cut out as many circles as possible from each sheet with a 5-inch round cutter and crumple the phyllo into a dome shape in the 3-inch molds. Dust the phyllo tops with confectioners' sugar. Place in the oven to quickly caramelize the tops. This will happen very quickly. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  16. Coffee gelle: Combine water, sugar, star anise, vanilla bean, and pod in a medium size pot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add crushed coffee beans, and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and whisk in the drained gelatin sheets. Pour into small dome shaped flexible mold and freeze until set.
  17. To serve: An hour before serving, defrost the sabayon brownies in the refrigerator. Place a small dot of liquid caramel on the center of each plate. Place a hazelnut cookie on top of the caramel and put a sabayon brownie on top. Scoop out some of the sabayon center and pour in the liquid caramel. Sprinkle the caramel with some fleur de sel. Dust the phyllo tops with confectioners' sugar and place on top of the coffee sabayon brownie. Place a coffee gelee to the side of the dessert and drizzle some of the liquid caramel around the dessert.