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Friday, 30 May 2014

Chocolate Mousse Torte

Well this is my first real blog post in a long time.  I feel like I have let my blog down a little by not posting as I usually did. Since getting back from Thailand I have had 4 (yes only 4) weeks of work, the shortest term ever, however also the busiest and most stressful.  Now its finally over and I am on half term I feel like I can start getting back to normal posts.  I do have a few things lined up for the coming month and actually did expect to have more produced this week but due to the poor weather I had to change my original plans and not bake what I intended.
This post is all about chocolate.  Chocolate mousse torte by Anna Olson is something I have seen her make on TV a couple of times and have thought about making it for a while.  It does have a lot of steps and I don't feel like it turned out as well as I hoped this time but I did learn a lot and feel more prepared the next time I make it.  

If you intend to make this recipe be prepared to take your time.  Making the base is quite quick but the mousse needs to set in the freeze for at least 4 hours  and the chocolate coating will need making, chilling, then heating again.  Then the whole thing needs to set in the fridge for a few hours.  I would recommend if you wanted to try this cake you should make it at least the day before you need it and then store in the fridge.  An hour or so before you wish to serve take it out the fridge and allow it to return to roomish temp.  I found the chocolate sponge a little tougher when cold and an hour or so out of the fridge helps soften them.

When I tried this torte I thought of the classic 90's dinner party frozen dessert that you deforest before serving - Sara Lee's Chocolate Cake.  The chocolate mousse is pretty much identical!!  It is very nice though and I will be making another one again.  

Oh, an important point to note is you actually make two sponge bases but only require one of the recipe.  They freeze perfectly and if you wanted to make another torte later in the month you are already halfway there or another suggestion would be to whip up some cream and add some crushed raspberries, the sandwich, very thickly the left over cake together.  Dust with cocoa and you would have some sort of raspberry chocolate sponge cake.

Finally, I have presented the ingredients using american cup measures, as the original recipe, if you require it in UK measures then search for the recipe online and FoodNetworkUK has the full recipe.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
by Anna Olson

For the cake
1/2 cup boiling water
2 ounces plain chocolate (56grams - buy 100g block and keep the left over for later)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (55 grams)
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup strong, hot, coffee

For the mousse
3 cups whipping cream
12 ounces milk chocolate (actually buy 300g and use the left over plain from before)
3 large eggs yolks, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

For chocolate glaze
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 & 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder (or veggie equiv.)

Start with the cake layers.  Preheat the oven to 160C and grease and line 2 8-inch cake tins.

Whisk the boiling water, chopped chocolate and butter together until melted.  It will look grainy and set aside.


Whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla until the mixture doubles in volume and looks mousse like - about 2 minutes in a stand mixer.  Fold in the chocolate mixture, I use the whisk, don't worry about knocking out air, it isn't that important.


Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt over the batter mix and fold in.  Stir in the hot coffee.  Expect a very liquid batter.  Divide between the two pans.


Bake the cakes for 20 minutes, test by inserting a tester in the middle, if it comes out clean the cake is baked.  Allow cakes to cool in the pans.

Now for the mousse.  Line the bottom of a 9inch spring form tin and set aside. When cooled carefully slice the cake in half so you have two thin layers of cake.


Whip 1 and 1/2 cups of the whipping cream to soft peaks and set a side in the fridge for later.


Heat the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of whipping cream to just below a simmer.  Pour over the chopped milk chocolate.  Let stand for 1 minute and then stir to a glossy mixture.


Place the egg yolks in a stand mixer fitted with whisk.  Whisk on high for 1 minute to break up the yolks then turn off.  In another pan, place the sugar and water and boil until it reaches 120C on a thermometer.  Start whipping the yolks on high and carefully pour down the side of the bowl, avoiding the beaters, until combined and leave to whisk until doubled in volume and pale yellow.


Leave the egg mousse mixture and chocolate mix to come to room temp, about 15 minutes, this is important or the mix will be too loose later.  Then fold together.

Add the whipped cream and fold in carefully.  

Now, pour half the mix in to the spring fold tin.  Place the top layer on top of the mousse.  Pour over the remaining mousse and then carefully press in the final chocolate later, push down but do not cover.  (see image).

Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or better still, overnight.

To make the glaze, place the water, sugar and cream in a small pan and bring to boil.  Off the heat add in the cocoa and whisk.  Expect the mixture to bubble up but not that much.  Place back on the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.  Mix the gelatine with 60ml of cold water and then add to the mixture.  Whisk to combine and leave in the fridge.


Remove the now frozen cake and using a kitchen blowtorch or hair dryer, heat the sides of the pan and then unclip.  Invert on to a wire cooling rack and heat the top.  Remove the top and you may need to tidy up the sides if it too soft.


Heat the chocolate glaze, it would have set to jelly by now, until its liquid again.  Pour over the top of the cake and leave to set in the fridge, and also defrost.


Remove from the fridge about 1 hour before you want to serve.