Sunday, 12 July 2009

Chocolate Triple Layer Mousse Cake (aka heaven in chocolate moussey form)

Phew! Just had such an exhausting but lovely weekend – JJ and I were away at a friend’s wedding. So beautiful! I’m a little on the tired (ahem, hungover…) side, so I’m just going to launch right in to the recipes from Rachel’s tea. The tea went well – everything was ready on time and I was pleased with the results, although I changed my mind at the last minute and changed the biscuity things for raspberry buttermilk cake (absolutely yummy! One of my favourites) as I had a lot of excess raspberries from the individual pavlovas. These are the little cubes of cake you can see in this photo with the meringues.

The one item I was particularly chuffed with was the chocolate mousse cakes. So pretty! They are a time consuming, but trust me, so worth it! Incredible. And looked so impressive, don’t you think??

So to make these, I first made a chocolate cake base. The first version was a flourless chocolate cake, but yummy though it was, it proved wholely unsuitable as it crumbled when I attempted to transfer it to the pan I wanted to mould the mousse in. This did nothing for my stress levels as you can imagine!!

After having a cup of tea and pondering the problem, I decided that a chocolate roulade recipe would work as these are about the right depth for what I was after and, as they’re supposed to be rolled, would be able to withstand the transfer. And it worked beautifully! Once I’d made the base and allowed it to cool (under a tea towel as per the recipe – unusual but worked like a treat!) I lined a loose bottomed tin with cling film, with a large overhang so that it was easy to remove. I cut the cake to fit snugly into the bottom of the pan, filled with the dark chocolate mousse and chilled until the mousse was set.

I then made the white chocolate mousse and poured this on top of the dark chocolate mousse layer, carefully smoothing the top. After this was thoroughly chilled and well set, I made a simple chocolate ganache and poured a thin layer onto the top of the cake. Et voila! A highly luxurious, deeply chocolaty chocolate mousse layer cake. The only thing I didn’t quite master was cutting beautifully equal squares… Ah well, I shall have to practice!! I’m sure JJ won’t mind – he happily sat there scoffing the left overs!

Rosy xx

Chocolate Roulade
175g/6oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces

175g/6oz caster sugar

6 eggs, separated

2 level tbsp cocoa, sieved

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly grease a Swiss roll tin and line with non-stick baking parchment, pushing it into the corners. Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk on a high speed until light and creamy. Add the cooled chocolate and stir until evenly blended.Whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until stiff but not dry. Stir a large spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, mix gently and then fold in the remaining egg whites, then the cocoa. Pour into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until firm to the touch.

Remove the roulade from the oven, leave in the tin and place a cooling rack over the top of the cake, being careful not to touch the cake. Place a clean damp tea towel on top of the rack, and leave for several hours or overnight in a cool place - don't worry, it will sink slightly. (If the tea towel dries out, simply re-dampen it.)

Pate a bombe

180g Caster sugar
120ml water
6 egg yolks

Dissolve the sugar in the water in a pan. Bring to the boil. Boil until a sugar thermometer reads 120C or the liquid gets syrupy and the bubbles bigger. You could drop a teaspoonful of thickened syrup into a glass of ice-cold water; if it forms a small, soft ball it is ready. This should take approx 5-7 minutes of boiling.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with an electric mixer until creamy. Once the sugar syrup reaches temperature, remove from the heat at once. Turn the mixer onto slow and drizzle the sugar syrup into the yolks. Beat on full speed for 3-5 mins until you have a firm yellow foam. Remove and cool, whisking occasionally.

This freezes well and you can flavour the syrup by adding whatever you fancy (lemongrass, vanilla, cardamom) to the sugar and just removing before adding to the yolks.

Dark Chocolate Mousse
4 oz (110g) Pate a bombe
3 sheets gelatine
6 oz (165g) chocolate (70%), melted and cooled
16 oz (440g) double cream, whipped into soft peaks

Soften the gelatine in ice water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and mix with 2 Tbs of the heavy cream (it's ok if it's already whipped to soft peaks). Melt them together in the microwave for about 7 seconds. Add this mixture to the soft peak whipped cream and whisk together until mixed. But be careful not to overmix. Add the cream to the pate a bombe and fold. Add the melted and cooled chocolate to the base and fold. You’re your chosen container with mousse and pop in the fridge to set.
For the white chocolate mousse, just repeat the above with white chocolate rather than dark.

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