Gâteau de Foies de Volaille au Beurre Blanc

Chicken-Liver Mousse with Beurre Blanc

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves



Appears in

French Country Kitchen

French Country Kitchen

By Geraldene Holt

Published 1987

  • About

In the Bresse region of Burgundy where some of the best chicken in France are reared, a particularly delicate mousse is prepared with the pale livers of these birds. Françoise Allirol, whose fine cooking distinguishes her Restaurant du Château in Annonay, serves her version with Ardéchois juniper berries and beurre blanc. Even made with the less subtle-tasting livers from English chicken this mousse is exceptionally pleasing.


  • 225 g(8 oz) chicken livers
  • fingernail paring of garlic
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 425 ml(¾ pt) creamy milk
  • a little ground mace
  • salt, milled white pepper
  • a small knob of butter

Beurre Blanc

  • 2 shallots, very finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 200 g(7 oz) butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream (optional and not for purists)
  • 18–24 juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon gin


Mince the livers finely in a processor or mincer. Mix in the crushed garlic, eggs, egg yolks and milk, and beat until incorporated. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and season lightly with the mace, and some salt and pepper.

Butter 6 small moulds and place a disc of buttered greaseproof paper in the base of each. Divide the mixture between the moulds and place on a layer of folded newspaper in a bain-marie, with warm water deep enough to come half way up the moulds.

Cook in a moderate oven (Mark 3, 160°C, 325°F) for 20–30 minutes or until set. Do not overcook or the custard will be spoiled. The gâteaux are cooked when the blade of a knife comes out clean from the centre.

To make the beurre blanc, simmer the shallots with the wine vinegar and the wine in a glass or enamel pan until the mixture measures just under a tablespoonful.

Remove the pan from the heat but replace it now and again to maintain the temperature. Gradually beat in the butter in small pieces never allowing the butter to melt totally. If you wish, finally beat in a little cream – I notice that chefs are increasingly doing so.

Soak the juniper berries in the gin and a tablespoon of hot water, and simmer for a few minutes; drain to serve. Sometimes I reduce the liquid further and add it to the beurre blanc.

Turn the chicken mousses out on to small plates. Place 3 or 4 juniper berries on top of each and spoon a little beurre blanc around each mousse.

If you have a mousse over it is very good served lightly chilled with hot toast.