Do you love chocolate? I mean really LOVE it? Would you like to make a chocolate dessert with real WOW factor that tastes even better that it looks? Read on…
This mousse cake is a chocolate trifecta. The bottom layer is a rich dark chocolate cake… the middle layer is a milk chocolate mousse… and the top layer is a white chocolate mousse. But I didn’t stop there. The bottom layer pairs intense dark 85% chocolate with espresso. The middle layer is flavoured with salted caramel. The top layer is infused with vanilla beans.
The resulting dessert is rich yet incredibly light, silky-smooth and indescribably delicious. Serve with a strong cup of coffee and be prepared for a semi-religious experience.
Despite the long recipe, this cake is not actually complicated, you just need to invest a little time. Trust me, it is well worth it. The easiest way to make it is to buy ring moulds which make the assembly a breeze. But if you haven’t got them you can still achieve this look by simply creating a collar with baking paper. Another way is to layer the mousse in glasses – trifle style. It doesn’t look as polished, perhaps, but it tastes equally delicious.
Note: it is important that the ingredients for the cake are a room temperature otherwise the batter may curdle. Cake can be made a day ahead.
Makes 6-8 depending on size (mine were 7cm/2.8in wide)
For the cake layer
90g | 3.1 oz Thornton’s Belgian Extra Dark Chocolate, chopped
100g | 3 1/2 oz (7 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
200g | 1 cup light brown sugar
5-6 tbsp whole milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
150g | 1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tbsp espresso powder (I used decaffeinated)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp coffee liquer
For the milk chocolate mousse
180g | 6.3oz Thornton’s Belgian milk chocolate, chopped
120ml | 1/2 cup whole milk
280ml | 9.5 fl oz double cream (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 tsp gelatine powder
2 tbsp very hot water
3-4 tbsp store-bought Toffee sauce or Salted caramel sauce
Pinch salt crystals to taste (omit if using salted caramel)
For the white chocolate mousse
60ml | 1/4 cup whole milk
70ml | 2.4 fl oz double cream (just over 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp very hot water *or follow instructions on gelatine box
1/2 tsp gelatine powder
1 large vanilla podMethod
- First, make the cake layer. Preheat the oven to 180C | 350 F. Line a rectangular tin* with baking paper. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and set aside to cool. (*My tin measured 4cm/2in deep and 28cm/11in x 19cm/7.5in)
- Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well. Add the milk and beat till incorporated.
- Combine all the dry ingredients and sift them. Add them to the batter alternately with the melted chocolate and mix until combined. The batter will be quite thick. Pour it into the prepared tin and level with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cake is firm. Brush some coffee liquer over the top and let it cool completely. Use the ring moulds or a round cookie cutter to cut 6 rounds.
- If you are using the ring moulds keep the cake in them. If you are using the paper collar method, then fold a large square of baking paper (approx. 30cm/12in) in half. Wrap around the cake base to create a collar and secure with tape. Put the cakes in the freezer while you prepare the mousse.
- To make the milk chocolate mousse, pour 2 tablespoons of very hot water (**some powders specify to dissolve gelatine in COLD water – follow instructions on gelatine box) in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatine on top. Stir briskly to dissolve.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan. Take it off the heat once it starts to bubble and add the gelatine. Whisk together to combine. Pour hot milk over chopped chocolate leave for a couple of minutes. Stir together until completely melted. Set aside to cool. Once it has cooled down, stir in the toffee sauce and salt (or salted caramel). Taste to see if you need to add more.
- Whisk the double cream until you have firm peaks. Add a scoop of cream to the chocolate and stir to combine. Fold the remaining whipped cream in the chocolate. Either spoon or pipe the milk chocolate mousse into the rings (or paper collars) about half way up. Return to the freezer.
- To make the white chocolate mousse, put the milk into a saucepan and scrape the seeds of the vanilla pod into it. Drop the vanilla pod in as well. Once the milk just reaches boiling point, take off the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Follow the same method as with the milk chocolate mousse.
- Spoon the white mousse on top of the milk mousse and put back in the freezer for an hour to set (you can leave cakes in the freezer until you are ready to serve them).
- Warm the ring moulds in your hands and then carefully push the cakes out. If you have used the paper collar method, simply remove the collars. Make sure the cakes are at room temperature when you want to eat them. Serve with melted chocolate and toffee sauce or topped with chocolate curls.
This post is in conjunction with Thornton’s chocolate.