Photo by Katya
Whenever I botch a baking project, I get comfort out of seeing that other people had the same problems. Yes, I wish I were a better person, but .... So I got some solace out of seeing that most bakers had some trouble with the mousse being a little on the soft side, but other people at least managed to get a decent shot of either the whole cake (see above) or a nice slice. But the world doesn't revolve around me, so let's talk about other people's sponge mousses (or mousse sponges).
Katya made hers as a birthday cake for a friend (hence the candles), who, when asked what kind of cake she'd like for her birthday, said "Surprise me." As Katya noted, "this Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Cake was not what she was expecting." Because "who would think, 'Gee, I'll bet she'll surprise me with a thin layer of sponge wrapped loaf-like around soft spongy chocolate mousse.'" Well, probably no one, when you put it like that. But it turned out to be "a great birthday dessert" and "even better for breakfast two days later."
Now Vicki reported mishap after mishap, but still she got a great picture of a slice of this cake, so I'm not sure I'm buying it. Okay, so she forgot to put the egg yolks in the mousse, which resulted in chocolate soup, but once she discovered the missing egg yolks, she added them in, and they did what they're supposed to do. And, okay, before the egg yolks could do what they're supposed to do, the whole mixture threatened to disintegrate. But she just channeled the other Alpha Bakers, who told her to whisk it back into shape, and she did. And okay, her sponge walls weren't perfectly symmetrical, but who cares? It still "made for a mighty tasty breakfast." Have you ever noticed that Alpha Bakers seem very happy to have dessert for breakfast?
Vicki was unhappy that her cake walls weren't symmetrical "like Orin's." So we will just move right along to Orin and see what she did to get the perfect piece of mousse sponge. Oh. She claims it was just her "lucky day." Hmm. She also says it was "one of the easiest cake rolls I've ever made." So possibly skill had more to do with the outcome than luck? And the outcome looks very nice. "It was so divine I wanted to share this cake with everyone. A cake that is easy to follow, a joy to make, and will make any bakery vitrine shine." It reminds me of a song: 🎶 I'd like to make the world a cake, and keep it company." 🎶
Rachel felt a little like singing too. Because the dog didn't eat her sponge cake. Well, you know, that is always good news. Other good news: The egg whites beat perfectly. The chocolate and cream melted perfectly. The single egg white whipped to perfection in an immersion blender. The "making templates and cutting the sponge cake to size" worked "better than she might hope." All in all, a pretty great cake. Definitely too good for the dog.
Even though Jen's cake looks great--"a wonderful, decadent and rich cake that is all about the heavenly mousse filling"--she did have a little trouble cutting it into slices and thought she would refrigerate it before slicing next time. So it wasn't so perfect that we can't still be friends. It's the best kind of typical Rose cake, because "even though the project took most of the day, all the components were easy to do." Jen concludes that "this would be a wonderful finish to a nice dinner with people you love and a good cup of coffee." And, really, what more could you ask for any day of the week?
Jen gives you a 4-point recipe for a perfect moment in time. Catherine gives you a 4-point recipe for what you learn from making this cake.
- Sometimes a haphazard effort is good enough
- A dusting of cocoa will hide our imperfections
- One should always refrigerate
- People at work are never unhappy about cake.
Or, in which Catherine, starting a new job realizes that people at work are pretty much the same all over. And that Rose's recipes always seem to call for an inordinate number of bowls. Although Catherine's rules might make you think that her cake didn't turn out so well, it really did. She didn't think her chocolate mousse would ever set up properly, but it looks great (because she refrigerated!), and, indeed, the people at work loved it. But who wouldn't love going to a plain old work lunch room only to find it bedecked with a chocolate mousse cake!
Next week: Rummage around in your freezer looking for leftover pieces of pastry from our many pastry adventures. This is the week you'll be glad you saved them. (Or you'll be sorry you didn't).
Countdown: Only 14 more adventures in baking--and no more chocolate mousse cakes! If you didn't bake this, you missed a special treat.