Author Notes: (from www.iatethewholething.com) This Chocolate Mousse Cake is the richest, densest, most decadent, chocolatey cake--it's like a cross between velvety chocolate mousse and devilish chocolate cake... I guess this is really like a flourless chocolate cake but somehow I think a Chocolate Mousse Cake has much more allure to it. And let me just say that a flourless chocolate cake is not made flourless so we can pretend it’s health food (though, if you want to lie to yourself then just unread that last sentence… I’m already going to pretend I never wrote it). Keep reading and you’ll see it isn’t. A flourless chocolate cake is made flourless because it creates the fudgiest, richest, deepest chocolate intensity that… wait, what was I saying? You can really use any liqueur you want here, too. I like using Amaretto in both the cake and the whipped cream but you could use an orange liqueur (Cointreau would probably be preferred here to ordinary triple sec so you get the full, slick flavor of orange), espresso or coffee liqueur, chocolate liqueur (though that might be too one-noted and I always think it has a faux-chocolate flavor) or a cherry brandy or liqueur (like cherry heering). Or hazelnut! The first time I made this I used dark rum actually (Brandy is the traditional spirit for mousse but there was only a bottle of dark rum in my parents liquor cabinet when I made this many years ago). Any which way you decide, this will really feed all of those chocolate cravings you’ve been having… at least, for now. —David Rash
Serves: 8 - 10
Chocolate Mousse Cake
cup butter, softened slightly
ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao minimum)
cup almond meal
teaspoon espresso powder
teaspoon vanilla extract
cups heavy cream
cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Create a double boiler by heating a small pot of water until it steams, but kept below the boiling point. Rest a heatproof glass dish on top of that but do not allow the water to actually touch the glass dish.
- Place the butter, chocolate and espresso in the bowl and stir about with a rubber spatula until it has melted completely. Remove from the steaming water and set aside to cool. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to stir it every now and then, too.
- While you wait for the chocolate concoction to cool, get on with the rest of the cake. You will need two separate bowls to prepare the eggs in. You cannot beat your yolks in the bowl of your mixer, pour it out and then start in on your egg whites or they will never whip and stiffen. The slightest trace of fat in the bowl, or anything that comes in contact with the whites, and they will give up on whipping for you without second thought.
- So, in one bowl, cream your egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and Amaretto until it turns a pale canary yellow and falls from the mixer/beater in a smooth, constant ribbon. Fold in the cooled chocolate-butter mixture and almond meal and set aside.
- Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
- To marry the two, spoon out about a quarter of the whites into the chocolatey yolks. Without any concern for deflating the whites, stir them into the mix. Doing this helps to loosen and aerate the mixture and makes folding, in the truest sense of the word, so much easier.
- Once you’ve beaten in the first quarter of the whites, add the rest of the whites to the mix and, with a rubber spatula, fold the whites in gently. The best method to do this is by cutting into the center of bowl on an angle, through the whites and yolks, to the bottom. Scrape the spatula along the bottom and sides of the bowl and in a single motion fold it over the whites. Turn the bowl about a quarter-turn and repeat. Ideally, you’d do this as few times as possible because the more folding you do, the more air you will loose and you want to keep as much air as possible. Since there’s no flour or leaveners you are relying solely on the egg whites to give the cake some bulk and make it rise.
- Pour the batter immediately into a greased and sugared 9” spring form pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Keep an eye on it after the 20 minute mark though, as it can start to scorch a little (if it does it’s not the end of the world—you can flake any really dark bits off and cover them up with the cream later). You’ll know it’s done when the edge of the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan just slightly and the center has a slight wobble to it.
- Remove the cake from the oven and set on a cooling wrack, in the pan still, to cool completely before retiring it to the fridge. It will get much firmer and denser in the fridge but it does benefit from having a slight chill to it. The cake will fall a moderate amount from the height it had risen to, but this is normal and leads to a much fudgier, chocolatier cake.
- Serve with the spiked whipped cream either on the side or covering the top as a whole.