Nutcracker Mousse & Poached Pear Dish


"Nutcracker" Mousse & Poached Pear

Warm tellicherry black peppercorns crackle against a frozen backdrop of creamy ice cream. The fragrant and distinctive pepper offers a unique juxtaposition between cold dessert and warm spice, bringing out toasty notes of hazelnut in a Nutcracker tea-infused mousse.

To finish, Executive Chef Franck Desplechin added poached pears, inspired by the a dessert of poached pears with black peppercorns he tasted while young.

[[ recipeID=recipe-8kq9qvyt7, title="Nutcracker" Mousse & Poached Pear ]]

Notes from Franck Desplechin, Executive Chef at St. Regis San Francisco:

“You want the creaminess to bring a new layer of texture to your desserts – it should match with the crispiness of the crumble and other elements.”

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"Nutcracker" Mousse & Poached Pear

“Black pepper ice-cream is very original for a dessert, as it’s not something you see everywhere. I needed to balance a sweet ice-cream that tastes spicy. Indian tellicherry black peppercorns are considered one of the finest peppers in the world and it has a very rich flavour that is not spicy.

I infused the pepper in boiled milk for an hour to extract complex flavours without bitterness – the pepper isn’t boiled in the milk, but the milk needs to be somewhat hot to start the infusion process. You always want to cool the ice cream before churning it – all the elements and flavors will have a chance to sink in, and the mixture will thicken and become creamy. Letting it cool for 12 hours in the refrigerator allows for a rich, creamy character. If you churn the ice cream while it’s still warm and thin, there’s less flavor and a lack of texture.” - Franck Desplechin, Executive Chef at St. Regis San Francisco

Servings: 1

Keywords: Ice Cream, Sweets, Baked Goods

  • Prep Time: 0 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins


Cinnamon Sable Dough

  • 250 Grams All Purpose Flour
  • 5 Grams Baking Powder
  • 2 Grams Sea Salt
  • 125 Grams Butter (unsalted)
  • 125 Grams Sugar (granulated)
  • 1 Egg
  • 25 Grams Cinnamon (ground)

Hazelnut Crumble

  • 100 Grams All Purpose Flour
  • 100 Grams Sugar (granulated)
  • 100 Grams Hazelnut (powdered)
  • 100 Grams Butter (unsalted)
  • 5 Grams Star Anise (ground)

Nutcracker Mousse

Poached Pear

  • 2 Anjou Pear (peeled)
  • 2 Kiligrams Water
  • 750 Grams Sugar (granulated)
  • 4 Star Anise (whole)
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

Black Pepper Ice Cream

  • 500 Grams Milk
  • 400 Grams Heavy Cream
  • 90 Grams Egg Yolks
  • 325 Grams Sugar (granulated)
  • 5 Grams Sorbet Stabilizer
  • 50 Grams Tellicherry Pepper (whole)

"Nutcracker" Mousse & Poached Pear

  • 2 Nutcracker Mousse Tubes
  • 2 Cinnamon Sable (baked)
  • 25 Grams Hazelnut Crumble
  • 1 Pear (cut in quarters and cut in brunoise)
  • 3 Hazelnut (toasted whole)
  • 1 Black Pepper Ice Cream (quenelle)
  • Cinnamon (for garnish)
  • Edible Flowers (for garnish)


Cinnamon Sable Dough

  1. Mix all the ingredients together with soft butter and let chill in the refrigerator.
  2. Roll the dough in between 2 pieces of parchment paper until it reaches a ½” thickness. Chill in the refrigerator.
  3. Cut the sable dough into ½”x 6” strips, then bake at 350ºF for 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Hazelnut Crumble

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and bake at 350ºF for 10-12 mins, or until golden brown. Let cool.
  2. Once cool, mix in a robot coupe or food processor until it reaches a coarsely ground crumble.

Nutcracker Mousse

  1. Bring the heavy cream (1) to a boil, then infuse the Nutcracker tea for 8 minutes covered. Strain.
  2. Bring the tea-infused cream (1) to a boil again, then add gelatin and stir until the gelatine is melted.
  3. Pour the white chocolate into the cream.
  4. Whip the cream (2) and fold into the slightly cold white chocolate mix.
  5. Pour the mousse mixture into plastic pipes to form a tube, and reserve in the freezer.

Poached Pear

  1. Bring all the ingredients except the pear to a boil.
  2. Add the pear and bring the heat down to simmer.
  3. Poach the pear for 18-20 minutes, or until a knife goes through the pear with a slight resistance.
  4. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and reserve in the refrigerator.

Black Pepper Ice Cream

  1. Bring the milk and cream to a boil add the tellicherry pepper. Let infuse for 1 hour, then strain.
  2. Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a mixer until it reaches a sabayon consistency (the ribbon stage). It should take about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Incorporate the infused pepper mixture to the egg and sugar mix until dissolved.
  4. Add the sorbet stabilizer and cook the cream on a slow burner while stirring, until it reaches 185ºF.
  5. Strain the mixture and quickly cool over an ice bath. Reserve the mixture in the refrigerator overnight for 12 hours. Mix it with a hand mixer then spin it in an ice cream machine.
  6. Reserve in the freezer until ready to serve.

"Nutcracker" Mousse & Poached Pear

  1. Sprinkle the hazelnut crumble around the plate.
  2. Place the pipes of Nutcracker mousse on top of the strips of sable cookie.
  3. Place the black pepper ice cream on the hazelnut crumble.
  4. Place pieces of pear and toasted hazelnuts around the plate.
  5. Garnish with edible flowers and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


In time for the holidays, TEALEAVES, in a collaboration with 15+ ballet companies, 10+ luxury hotel partners, and an antiquarian horologist, launched the worldwide Nutcracker #AfternoonTEALEAVES: Gifts of Time initiative. The project is a twist to the traditional gift guide that offers experiential pairings to afternoon tea, themed after the story of the Nutcracker, and celebrates the arts, true craftsmanship, and spending quality time with others.

Piece together your real-life Nutcracker fairytale and explore various ‘Gifts of Time’. Journey to