Grapefruit Givre

grapefruit givre 1
The Grapefruit Givre is an extremely grand, gorgeous dessert, and the recipe is quite technical, so read and follow the instructions carefully!
This dessert was served at Bar Boulud, part of The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, London, and the recipe was written by famed french chef Daniel Boulud.
Before opening Boulud Sud, I was inspired by the flavours of a trip to Turkey, and asked Ghaya Oliveira – my pastry chef who created this dish – to capture all the wonders of the Turkish Mediterranean, while paying homage to her Tunisian heritage.
Ghaya chose to hollow the frozen shell of a grapefruit, rather than a givré’s traditional orange, and filled it with flavours and textures expressed in the cuisines of North Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East: delicate rosewater loukoum, grapefruit jam, sesame in many forms — tahini crumble, halva floss, sesame mousse and a crispy tuile.
I find the grapefruit perfectly matches the light flavour of rosewater, and its acidity cuts through the sweetness of halva.  The pleasure here is to discover the layers of flavours and textures as you dig into the sesame crumble, the mousse and the sugar floss rolled in nutty sesame powder.
Ghaya is now the pastry chef at restaurant Daniel but this dessert became an instant classic at Boulud Sud, and no one ever eats there without ordering it!
Photo: Paul Wagtouicz.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 6


  • 7 ruby-red grapefruit

For the rose loukoum

  • 6 sheets gelatin (14 g)
  • 1 tbsp grapefruit juice
  • 350 g sugar
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch (plus extra as needed)
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • pink food colouring (as needed)

For the citrus tuile

  • 100 g sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice (60 ml)
  • ¼ cup flour (sifted)
  • 56 g butter (melted)

For the grapefruit jam

  • 40 g sugar
  • 1.5 g apple pectin
  • 260 g chopped grapefruit

For the halva crumble

  • ½ cup almond powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 tbsp halva paste
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp room temperature butter

For the sesame foam

  • sheets gelatin
  • 245 g heavy cream
  • 120 ml milk
  • 3 tbsp sesame paste
  • 38 g sugar
  • ½ cup crème fraîche

To finish grapefruit sorbet (see base recipe)

  • 36 g halva candy floss
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup rose buds



    Prepare the Grapefruit

    • Cut a cap from 6 of the grapefruits.
    • With a spoon, hollow them out by running it in-between the flesh and pith over a colander on top of a medium bowl.
    • Chop and reserve 1 ¼ cups (about 3 grapefruit) of the flesh for jam.
    • Measure 2 ½ (600ml) cups juice for sorbet and 1 tablespoon for rose loukoum.
    • Finely grate and reserve the zest of the 7th grapefruit for sorbet.
    • Then, cut away the peel, cut out supremes, and dice them for finishing.

    Make the Rose Loukoum

    • Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 minutes; squeeze dry.
    • In a small saucepan, simmer the grapefruit juice with 3 tablespoons (45ml) water and sugar until it reaches 110°C/230°F.
    • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (40ml) water. Whisk the mixture into the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring. Add the soaked gelatin, cream of tartar and rose water and stir in the food coloring until light pink‐colored.
    • Spray a 5-6inch (12.75 – 15.25cm) square pyrex with non‐stick food spray and pour mixture the into the pan. Let cool at room temperature.
    • Cut with a greased knife into approximately 1/2‐inch (1.25cm) cubes. Toss the cubes in a bowl with a sprinkling of cornstarch to prevent sticking.
    • Cover and store chilled.

    Make the Citrus Tuile

    • In a bowl, whisk to combine the sugar, orange juice and flour until smooth.
    • Gradually whisk in the melted butter until homogeneous.
    • Chill overnight.
    • Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread approximately 1 tsp. (5g) batter onto a silpat‐lined sheet tray into a 4‐inch (10cm) diameter round, thin stencil.
    • Repeat to make at least 6 rounds, spaced 2.5cm/1in apart.
    • Bake for 6 minutes, turning the tray 82°C/180°F halfway through, or until the tuiles are a lacy texture and are golden brown.

    Make the Halva Crumble

    • Preheat oven to 177°C/350°F.
    • In a large bowl with a dough cutter, combine all ingredients until well incorporated and the mixture forms large crumbs.
    • Sprinkle the dough onto a parchment paper‐lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5 minutes.
    • Remove from the oven and with a bench scraper, chop the dough on the tray to break it into a small crumble. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes, or until golden brown.
    • Cool at room temperature and store in a dry airtight container.

    Make the Sesame Foam

    • Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 minutes; squeeze dry.
    • In a small saucepan whisk to combine the cream, milk, sesame paste and sugar and bring to a simmer.
    • Remove from the heat, stir in the soaked gelatin and chill by stirring over a bowl of ice.
    • Once chilled, whisk in the crème fraîche.
    • Transfer mixture to the canister of a whipped cream maker (or ISI foamer). Charge with two nitrogen cartridges, leaving the second one attached.
    • Shake well.
    • Store chilled.


    • For each serving, place 2 scoops of sorbet in the bottom of a frozen grapefruit, and spread to coat the inside walls.
    • Add a spoonful of fresh grapefruit segments and a spoonful of grapefruit jam.
    • Squeeze a dollop of sesame foam from the whipped cream maker on top of the grapefruit segments.
    • Add about 3 pieces of rose loukoum.
    • Add a few pieces of halva crumble.
    • Squeeze another dollop of foam on top.
    • Cover the top with a citrus tuile and using a torch, point the flame at the sides of the tuile without touching; just to melt it onto the rind, forming a cap.
    • Top with a handful of halva floss and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
    • Repeat process to make 6 givré.
    • If desired, serve in a bowl of crushed ice decorated with rose buds.
    The grapefruit was originally called the “forbidden fruit” because in 1750, Reverend Griffith Hughes came upon the grapefruit and called it that while he was looking for the origin of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.