Sunday, September 4, 2016

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Cake

As you might guess from seeing this photo first, I didn't get a "beauty shot" because, well, because my cake wasn't very beautiful.  When Rose said that this was her favorite recipe in The Baking Bible, I was glad she was going to be in Rio and maybe she won't see the mess this turned into.  Even messy as it was, though, I have to admit it was awfully good, especially the mousse.

When I read through the directions (several times, hoping they'd make more sense to me), and I realized I was going to have to make templates and cut the biscuit into pieces that would make up a shell and fill the shell with chocolate mousse, my heart sank.  I don't do well with templates.  This is not my sort of recipe.  I toyed with the idea of just making a trifle, which is Vicki's clever solution when things don't go together too well.  But eventually I decided I'd give it a try.

It's been so long since we've made a sponge cake that I almost forgot how it was done.  But then it came back to me because of the miracle of the eggs.

Amazing how the mixture of egg yolks and whites turns into this fluffy, creamy mixture.

And this mixture, which looks more like an icing than cake batter, actually turns into a sponge cake.  I would have been feeling happy about this if I hadn't been so fixated on the templates.  I wished Woody were here baking with me.  He'd have cheerfully cut out the templates, humming as he measured precisely.

Meanwhile, on to the mousse.  A neighbor of mine who abruptly decided to give up all sugar.  Before this decision, she loved to bake, and bought huge quantities of 70% Callebaut dark chocolate chips gave me her storehouse of chips.  She says she's very happy being off sugar.  I admire her, but I'm happy with my new stash of Callebaut, which may last me through the rest of the book.  (Or may not, depending on how many chips get nibbled).

Add egg yolks to the mixture of cream and chocolate and it becomes even creamier and tantalizingly delicious.  Yes, I tasted it.

By now, I was starting to feel a little more confident.  The cake tasted good and it was cutting nicely.  I already knew the mousse tasted amazing, so how bad could it be?

I should never have asked myself that question.  As you can see, half of the lovely brown top of the cake got left on the plastic wrap, making it look like it had gotten a bad sunburn and was in the worst stage of peeling.  Not a yummy thought.

The end was no better, although at least the chocolate wasn't oozing out.  It's about to get worse, though.

I took it to my brother and sister-in-law's house for dinner.  By dessert time, it had been in a hot kitchen for a few hours, and it no longer looked like a loaf.  It looked like a tired, sunken mess.  And I forgot to tell Julie to clean the knife off between slices, but it clearly wouldn't have made a difference.

Cue the grandchildren enjoying chocolate pictures!  JJ got a two-dessert plate:  rhubarb pie, made by my talented sister-in-law, and chocolate mousse cake, made by Lulu.

For Lily, it was an evening of wonder.  Both ice cream and chocolate mousse, two of her favorite flavors ever!  And you don't see her complaining that her highchair tray looks messy.  I still hope that Rose doesn't see what I did to her favorite recipe.


  1. Looks like everyone liked it regardless of the smoosh factor!

  2. Better that it tastes wonderful instead of looking great and tasting flavorless. Cute pictures!

  3. I was just going to suggest a dusting of icing sugar or cocoa as a solution but that was before I saw the photo of the cake cutting. I laughed out loud, because it's always so funny when it happens to someone else :) Don't worry mine is highly likely to end up the same.