Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chocolate mousse cake





I have to thank the labour movement for this cake as it is thanks to them that 1st of May has become a holiday for the first time this year in Turkey. Obviously I've only just moved here and May 1st has always been a bank holiday in Britain so I can't say it's been a major change for me, but I've been able to appreciate it more now that I'm working. I spent the preceding weeks agonising (ok maybe agonising is a bit strong) on how to best utilise my free day. In the end chocolate mousse cake seemed to be the natural conclusion - I made parts of it the evening before then I got up early (well, 10 am is early right?) and put it all together. 

Oh and while I was making the mousse the night before, I lost control of the whisking bowl and ended with whipped cream EVERYWHERE. So after changing my clothes, wiping counters, appliances, and floors I had to start again at about 10pm. 

The decorating also turned out to be more time consuming than I had anticipated - I spent ages trying to get the sides to be perfectly smooth. 

The mousse turned out amazingly rich and gorgeous, which I felt was enough to justify the work I had put in, however, there was no one around to eat the cake but me. Nevertheless, I would argue that it wasn't a complete waste of time as later I remade the very same mousse as filling in a chocolate cake, which was very well received.

In sum, always have a tight grip on your whipping bowl if you want to avoid late night laundry and cleaning.

I'm writing down the recipe as I used it but if you wanted a cake with greater height you could just as easily double it or use a pan with a smaller diameter (I used a 25cm round springform pan).

For the chocolate cake:

40g flour
20g cocoa powder
65g sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Half an egg (yes, good luck separating)
25ml milk
1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. Stir all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt) in one bowl. Then add all the wet ingredients (egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract). Mix with electric mixer until combined. 
Butter and lightly flour a round springform pan, pour in the batter, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. This should be about 20 minutes. Let it cool before releasing it from the pan.  



For the chocolate mousse:

240g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
60g butter
4 large eggs
120g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
240ml heavy whipping cream (35% fat content)

Use a double boiler (or just a heatproof bowl over a saucepan filled with boiling water) to melt the chocolate and butter. Separate the eggs. Let the chocolate and butter mixture cool slightly then whisk in the egg yolks. Cover and refrigerate.
Whisk the eggs whites, using an electric whisk, until you have soft peaks. Slowly add 60g sugar, and continue whisking until you get stiff peaks and a glossy meringue (do not overdo this, your meringue will become dry).
Whisk the whipping cream, vanilla extract and the remaining 60g sugar until you get stiff peaks (again, do not carry on whisking once you reach this point as the cream can start to separate).
Using a plastic spatula, fold in the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture, a couple of spoons at first, then the rest. Then fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.



For assembly:

A handful of strawberries
40g dark chocolate
Cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate using a double boiler as above, then dip the strawberries in chocolate and refrigerate briefly. In the meantime, spoon the (refrigerated) chocolate mousse onto the (cooled down) chocolate cake and smooth the edges. Sift cocoa powder on top to garnish and top it off with the chocolate strawberries.


Recipe sources: joy of baking, martha stewart

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