Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cake

There's been a lot of chocolate mousse in my life lately.

First, there was this version. A true chocolate moose. 1,700 pounds. Over fifteen years old.

Yes, we did drive out of our way to see him.

His name is Lenny, and he's at a delightful chocolate shop outside of Portland, Maine. The chocolate I sampled definitely made the trip worth it (and yes, it was a chocolate peanut butter cup). Plus, when else will I have the opportunity to see a chocolate moose again?

Second, there was a chocolate mousse version that was a major flop. Deb's recipes never fail me, so I'm sure the mistake was made on my end. It was grainy and clearly off. I'm a firm believer in tasting all the components as I add them together, and I guess I missed one. Time improved the graininess a bit, but in the end I poured the mousse down the garbage disposal.

Then I deleted the pictures. They were just too painful.

This third chocolate mousse definitely was an improvement. It was creamy, almost silky. It screamed chocolate. Despite all the ingredients, it felt surprisingly light and airy.

Finally, I had a chocolate mousse worthy of my mom's birthday cake. I mean, you need a kind of spectacular chocolate mousse if you're planning on putting it on top of an almost flourless chocolate cake and topping it with whipped cream barely kissed with vanilla extract.

The chocolate mousse is delicious on its own, but it's just over-the-top decadent on this cake.

It's the perfect cake for a celebration. Happy Birthday Mom!

Chocolate Mousse Cake
recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen and The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Chocolate mousse:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled

Whipped cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups raspberries

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan, and dust with sugar.

In a heavy, large saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool the mixture. Whisk in the sugar, and then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the vanilla and salt. Whisk in the flour.

Pour the batter in to the prepared pan. Bake until the cake rises up in the center, about 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will NOT come out clean. Cool the cake completely in the pan. Leave the sides on the springform pan.

Prepare the chocolate mousse: Microwave the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl, whisking often, until melted and smooth. Stir in the coffee, vanilla and salt. Add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.

With a mixer, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Continuing to whip the egg whites, slowly add in the sugar until the whites are shiny and form soft peaks.

Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mouse. Gently fold the remaining egg whites in using a rubber spatula.

Whip the heavy cream with a mixture until soft peaks form. Gently fold the heavy cream into the mousse. Spoon the mixture on top of the cake and smooth the top.

Chill the cake for at least 6 hours.

Prepare whipped cream: In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form, and pour over the top of the cake. Smooth the whipped cream, and top with raspberries.

Slice and enjoy!


  1. A lot of chocolate moose/mousse in your life can't possibly be a bad thing. I'm going to have to find someone to make this cake for because I certainly wouldn't want to be alone with it for very long!

    1. No, I don't think it can possibly be bad to have chocolate mousse cake around. It was nice to make it for my mom and leave all the leftovers at home with my parents. I wouldn't trust myself with more than a few slices of this around!

  2. oh how lovely - chocolate cake plus chocolate mousse plus whipped cream AND berries! your mom is really lucky!

    1. Thank you, though I think I'm the lucky one to have her!

  3. I will have to try this one for my friend's birthday that's coming up. She's a chocolate freak! yum!!!

    1. She will not be disappointed. This is definitely dense and chocolate-filled!

  4. I might have to plan a trip around going to see that real chocolate moose! How awesome is that.

    I'm also going to have to make this cake...kind of immediately.

    1. Thanks, Joanne. I think trips planned around chocolate are always a great idea.