Boccone Dolce – Sweet Mouthful

When Jim asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day dinner I tried to keep the menu as easy as possible since his culinary skills are limited to breakfast and what he can throw on the grill.  I told him I would be in charge of dessert.  I had been planning for weeks to make my ALL TIME favorite dessert – Boccone Dolce or “Sweet Mouthful” in Italian.

BocconeDolce

A local restaurant, Papa Haydens, that is famous for their desserts, serves this amazing dessert.  I order it EVERY time I go there despite the dozens of choices on the menu.  Not wanting to wait until we went to the restaurant to enjoy Boccone Dolce I googled the recipe and found this great version.

Boccone Dolce is a combination of melt in your mouth meringue, strawberries, whip cream and chocolate – YUM!  Don’t let the picture of the dessert or the mention of meringue scare you away.  It is actually very easy to make!

The first step is making the meringue layer.  This meringue is not like the soft meringue that is on lemon meringue pie – this meringue is crisp and dry and melts in your mouth when you bite into it!  Be sure and use egg whites at room temperature and a clean bowl in order to get your egg whites to whip properly.  Also make sure none of the egg yolk gets in with the whites.

You can use any berries that are in season – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries (remember I live in berry heaven!) and if no berries are in season you can also use bananas.  (except if you are me and you have texture issues and don’t eat bananas!)  For Mother’s Day I used a combination of strawberries and raspberries.

Here are my meringue shells -

DSC_2126

Meringue Layers:

Boccone Dolce – Sweet Mouthful

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (I was out of superfine and used regular)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees
  • In mixer, beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form
  • Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until meringue is stiff and glossy
  • Line baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper
  • Trace three, eight inch circles on paper (I used a plate)
  • With a rubber spatula, spread meringue evenly and equally over top of the circles
  • Bake approximately 2 hours or until meringue becomes bisque colored
  • NOTE: The low temperature will prevent them from browning too quickly. Then turn off oven, open oven door and let meringues "rest" in oven another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully peel off parchment or waxed paper. Put cake on racks to dry until thoroughly cool.
  • Once cooled, meringues may be wrapped in saran and frozen or just store in an airtight container if using within the next 24 hours.
  • NOTE: I wrap each meringue in several saran layers, then stack (gently!) in a large plastic container for freezing. Remove from freezer at least an hour before assembling.

Next comes the fun part – assembling it!

boccone dolce - Page 074

Boccone Dolce – Sweet Mouthful

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 pints berries, sliced
  • Chocolate curls (for garnish) I just shaved some chocolate over the top

Instructions

  • Melt chocolate pieces over hot water
  • When perfectly smooth, remove from heat and cool (but don't let it harden)
  • In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff; gradually add powdered sugar and then vanilla extract.
  • Slice berries
  • To assemble, place a meringue layer on a serving plate, rounded side down
  • Spread a very thin coating of chocolate over it.
  • NOTE: Go easy on chocolate, too much will make it impossible to cut cake! I used a pastry brush to spread the chocolate.
  • Top chocolate with a layer (about 3/4 inch thick) of whipped cream
  • Top cream with a layer of sliced berries
  • Place a second layer of meringue on top of this, and repeat filling
  • Top with final meringue, rounded side up, and frost sides and top smoothly with remaining whipped cream
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight
  • Garnish with several whole strawberries and chocolate curls

This dessert is not the easiest to cut – I find using a serrated bread knife works well and use a sawing like motion.  It definitely looks prettier before you cut it – I can’t seem to cut it as neat and tighty as the restaurant does

Enjoy!

Comments

  1. says

    That looks positively heavenly. I’ll have to think of a special occasion to make it. For some reason, your website is working for me again today. Yay : )!

  2. says

    Oh my goodness…that looks absolutely delicious and gourmet! It would definitely require a special occasion but it would be worth it – thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    It looks divine and totally intimidating. I cannot believe this is what you “whipped” up for Mother’s Day. My suggestion for next year – Jim takes you to the restaurant so he doesn’t have to cook and you can ORDER the dessert instead of making it!!! :)

  4. says

    Ladies,

    I hope you all try Boccone Dolce and love it as much as I do – really, the hardest part of making this dessert is cutting it to serve it!

    Sherra, Your plan sounds like a good one – Jim woke up with a terrible vertigo attack Mother’s Day morning so the girl’s and I did all the cooking! I learned many years ago never to have too high of expectations for holidays like Mother’s Day!

    Melinda – Thanks for the link!

  5. says

    I KNOW how delicious this is going to be. I make something very similar, although only one layer,called
    Pavolva, which I learned from a visitor from New Zealand. It is only one layer, so much easier to cut. I’ve not thought to add chocolate…Yummm!

    Pavlova

    3 large or 4 small egg whites
    1 1/4 cup sugar
    3 T. cold water
    1 T. vinegar
    pinch of salt
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    2 tsp. cornstarch

    Beat egg whites until they begin to peak. Gradually add sugar and water alternatly 1 T. at a time. You beat this beyond the time you think. Then salt, vinegar and vanilla. Then gently fold in cornstarch. Spread on greased foil on a pan (I use a Silpat pad!) Bake at 275 degrees for one hour and then turn off oven and leave in for another hour.

    Garnish with whipped cream and strawberries and/or kiwi, (any berries, really). (My secret tip about whipped cream: add a teaspoon of Knox gelatin dissolved in a teaspoon or so of hot water as you are whipping the cream and adding the sugar. This will keep whipped cream of separating and getting watery over time. Not that “over time” ever has a chance with this kind of dessert! Trust me!) Refrigerate.

    Thanks for your recipes. I love them. (I also love rosemary outside my back door!)

    Joan
    Joan

  6. Kris says

    Love your site, a friend passed it on to me. This dessert looks awesome! My mom makes one similar to it but the filling has crushed Heath candy bars in it. Anyway, we cut it with an electric knife and it works great – you might want to give that a try.

  7. Linda says

    I have made this many time but lost my recipe. Thanks for putting it on your web site! I’m making it tonight for a dinner party. Always a crowd pleaser.

  8. Skeerguy says

    I fell in love with this dessert at Papa Hayden’s 30 years ago while visiting your city! I found a similar recipe but I wanted to find a way to stabilize the whipped cream. Otherwise, the whole thing collapses within a day. I finally borrowed from another recipe that mixes cream cheese into the cream. It makes a great dessert even richer and holds for several days.

    Whipped Cream
    8 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
    1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon table salt
    2 cups heavy cream

    Place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow, steady stream; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more, scraping bowl as needed (you should have about 4 1/2 cups).

  9. Lisa says

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I used to work at Papa Haydn’s and loved the end of the night when there was Boccone Dolce left over. The meringue was nice and chewy. I under bake my meringues a little so they are a little sticky in the middle.

  10. says

    I used to work at a bakery run by a woman who had been a pastry chef at Papa Haydn’s and she made this at least once a week. So fabulous! Thank you for posting this, I need a not-too-sweet dessert for a dinner party this week!

  11. says

    Thanks for posting this recipe! My husband’s birthday is coming up and instead of going to Papa Haydn, I want to make it from scratch. Yours looks amazing. I love the assembly. Thanks again!

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