Soft Hazelnut Meringue with Chocolate Mocha Mousse (Fragilité)

picture of chocolate mocha dessert sliced


This soft hazelnut meringue is filled with a delicious chocolate mocha mousse. The name for this delicacy is  Fragilité, which is French for fragility. What a beautiful (and very fitting) name for this dessert.



close up of a slices of meringue mousse cake


Due to its name, you couldn’t be blamed for assuming that this is a French dessert. It might surprise you to learn that it is, in fact, Danish. I am going to be perfectly honest and say up until yesterday, I’d never heard of a Fragilité, let alone eaten one. Developed by Johannes Steen in the Amagertorv area of Copenhagen in the early 1900s, the dessert consists of three thin layers of soft hazelnut meringue and is traditionally filled with mocha buttercream.


close up of two slices of meringue mousse cake


I kept the three layers of meringue, but thought buttercream might be a little heavy, and decided on chocolate mocha mousse instead. Because the meringue is so thin, when layered with the mousse, it becomes very soft and almost dissolves.

The mousse itself offers a strong hit of coffee and is enriched with milk chocolate, along with a touch of cocoa. When layered together, the result is out of this world. Really. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it and I do believe it easily falls into my top ten of best ever recipes. Yes, indeed.


close up of chocolate mocha dessert


This soft hazelnut meringue dessert was so simple to make, and it turned out way better than I’d imagined. It really does have the wow factor in both taste and appearance. However, I now realise why it was named Fragilité. It is a teeny bit delicate when assembling. Worth it though. I’d make it again tomorrow in a heartbeat. Well, if the calorie content was vastly reduced, anyway. It’s most definitely a special occasion kind of dessert.

If you like the idea of chocolate mousse themed desserts, check out my dark chocolate brownie mousse cake.


Soft Hazelnut Meringue with Chocolate Mocha Mousse (Fragilité)

Course Dessert
Cuisine Danish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes


Hazelnut Meringue

  • 125g roasted hazelnuts
  • 120g brown sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 70g icing sugar

Mocha Mousse

  • 100g milk or dark chocolate
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 1-1½ tablespoons instant coffee (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa


  • hazelnuts
  • 20g chocolate (melted)



  • Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
  • Line a large oven tray with grease-proof paper. Draw a large rectangle of 36cm x 27cm on the paper.
  • Blitz the hazelnuts until they form a fine, gravely texture. Remove 25g and put aside to use as decoration. Stir in the brown sugar.
  • Whisk the egg whites until peaks form. Add the icing sugar gradually.
  • Fold the brown sugar/hazelnut mixture into the egg whites. Pour out onto the baking tray and push up to the edges of the rectangle you have drawn, smoothing so that it has a fairly flat surface.
  • Bake right at the bottom of the oven for 16 minutes until lovely and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.


  • Melt the chocolate in a Bain Marie (double boiler). Allow to cool.
  • Add the coffee and cocoa to the cream and whip until it is nice and thick. Fold in the melted chocolate. It should be the right consistency to use immediately, but if it is a little soft, pop it in the fridge for a while.


  • Cut the meringue into three parts, each 13cm wide (see notes). Place one on a serving dish or plate and dollop half of the chocolate mousse mixture over the top, spreading to evenly cover the meringue. Place the second meringue on top and repeat. Finally, place the final meringue on top.
  • Melt some chocolate and drizzle all over the dessert, finishing off with the remaining hazelnuts. Slice and serve. Enjoy!


  1. I used 1½ tablespoons of coffee and it was pretty strong. If you don't want such a sharp hit of coffee, reduce it to 1 tablespoon (or even just ½).
  2. I had problems removing the grese-proof paper. The meringue is very fragile and thin and I was worried I would rip half of the meringue off with the paper. I put the meringue in the freezer for 30 minutes and this made the process much easier (although you will still need to take your time and be gentle).
Soft Hazelnut Meringue with Chocolate Mocha Mousse (Fragilité)Soft Hazelnut Meringue with Chocolate Mocha Mousse (Fragilité)

Do you have a question or comment? I'd love to hear from you!