Named “Dessert of the Year” by San Francisco Focusmagazine in 1987, this dessert was all the rage at my chocolate dessert shop, Cocolat. Countless brides ordered it for their wedding cakes! It would make an equally fabulous (also gluten-free) choice for any celebration today.
Here, the recipe is updated so the eggs in the bittersweet mousse are no longer raw. All three mousses are excellent as stand-alone recipes.
The secret to silky smooth (rather than grainy) mocha and white mousses is in the timing and details: You’ll fold very soft under-whipped cream quickly into barely cool chocolate that’s been melted with water or espresso. Don’t whip the cream stiff, or let the chocolate get cold, or dilly-dally while folding, and success will be yours!
The recipe is meant to fill the pan to the rim. The denser dark mousse should fill nearly half of the pan, with the remaining space divided between mocha and white. The latter recipes are generous to prevent your being caught short, so there will be extra mousse—scrape it into a bowl and give it to someone special! The thin base of chocolate under the dessert is just to make it easier to slide a spatula and detach a slice of mousse from the pan or cardboard when you serve the dessert.
Please don’t use baking chips/morsels for any of the chocolates in this dessert.
Note: This recipe is reason enough to acquire an 8x3 inch cheesecake pan with removable bottom. You will forever use it in place of your 8-inch springform pan and you’ll be able to use it for professional style desserts that call for a bottomless dessert or cake ring—including this one! —Alice Medrich