Porcini mushroom features in holiday dessert of 2019

Illusion has been declared the flagship dessert of this year’s holiday season, created exclusively by the Hermitage Hotel’s pastry chefs led by Nicolas Baygourry.

A yearly competition, orchestrated by Director of Culinary Events Philippe Joannès, challenges all the pastry chefs under the auspices of the Société des Bains de Mer to offer up their most inventive and delicious creations for a blind tasting in which a victor is chosen. The winning dessert will then be available for all to savour at Monaco’s SBM restaurants from 9th December to 6th January 2020.  

Illusion, the winning selection, is a highly inventive dessert made with the most remarkable and unexpected main ingredient: Porcini mushroom. The Porcini is sautéed and mixed with over a kilo of chocolate, hazelnut crumble, hazelnut butter biscuit, jivara yuzu ganache and stewed passion-mango with Cotta Rican pepper.

This is the third time Mr Baygourry and his team have succeeded in the honour of be selected. They were also given the gold star in 2014 for their innovation dubbed Pavlova and again the following year for their Pavillions of Monaco Christmas log.  

A native of the Basque country, Mr Baygourry comes from a long line of bakers and discovered his passion for pastry whilst working alongside his father. After stints at the Chevre d’Or in Eze and Le Cinq at the Four Season Georges V in Paris, he came to Monaco in 2011 and found his new home at the Hermitage. His inventive flavour pairings and seasonal choices have made him a customer favourite during his years in the Principality.  

The price of the festive dessert is €75 and serves six to eight people. Individual portions can be had at the restaurants for €14. The dessert must be ordered 72 hours in advance.