Chocolate mousse cake. Literally.
First of all, may I just say how awesome I think Citrus & Candy is? Just about every recipe seems totally doable, not just in the sense that Karen gives instructions that reveal a sense of fun, but the way she talks about making things like creme brulee from scratch as something lazy people do. Yeah. That made me laugh too, but in a good way – so good in fact that yesterday I separated seven eggs without a single swear word leaving my lips. Not for creme brulee though (I really need to get around to that…but my first ever milk purchase in three years requires careful planning).
I made mousse. Oh, and chocolate mousse cake. Made of mousse, topped with mousse. GENIUS! The cake part is baked mousse, and it’s topped with the uncooked mousse, then sprinkled with grated chocolate or whatever you want. The cooked mousse takes on a cake like texture but when it meets the mouth, it melts into smooth, creamy, airily light and decadently chocolatey goodness. Unlike most gluten free cakes, this is one that really shines because of the lack of flour. The lack of nuts in place of gluteny flour means it’s not remotely gritty. It’s also light on the butter and sugar, and when you pick it up, you’ll notice – it’s surprisingly light as there’s so much air beaten into it.
All technical brilliance aside, what sort of cake lover would it really appeal to? Anyone who likes ganache over icing because of its silky smooth texture, anyone who likes their desserts rich without being cloyingly sweet or greasy feeling, all those who want the unadultered taste of chocolate to dominate their chocolate desserts, and anyone who likes moist but not dense and stodgy cake. This last point is important, because as someone who dislikes anything meringue-y (pavlovas, for example, make me do this irl: >.<), I loved this cake for its lack of meringue-y texture. There is not a single gram of this cake that is dry or hard or crusty. It is simply pure, unadulterated bliss on a plate. Surprisingly though, it holds together quite well despite being so light and airy.
I halved the recipe for the original cake (which was a 10″ cake) to make an 8″ cake, although I forgot to grease the sides so mine kinda collapsed a bit more than it should have, hence it being quite thin. I’ve provided the recipe for an 8″ cake because, well, it ain’t cheap to make if you’re going to get ingredients that do it justice, but feel free to go all the way. If you’ve only got an 8″ pan, you could totally do a double layer cake too.
Chocolate mousse cake found on Citrus & Candy
makes 1×8″ cake
- 180g bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 140g Lindt 70%, 40g Lindt milk chocolate)*
- 25g unsalted butter, cubed
- 7 eggs (55g each) or 6x65g eggs, separated. Yolks can go in a small bowl, whites into a medium large, dry, clean bowl**
- 30g caster sugar (for yolks)
- 20g caster sugar (for whites)
*Mine still tasted quite dark-chocolate, despite the light colour. I think it would be safe to go down to 40% cocoa content, or all 70% if you like dark chocolate.
** So the whites don’t spatter, use a deep bowl with relatively parallel sides and rounded corners.
Preheat oven to 150C (300F), arranging a rack in the centre. Grease and line (with paper or foil) a metal springform cake tin. A friend lined hers with silicon but apparently it didn’t turn out very well, so take note!
Melt the chocolate over lowest heat setting in a small saucepan (make sure the bottom of the pan never gets too hot to touch), then whisk in butter until fully combined. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks with 30g caster sugar until pale and thickened. Whisk into melted chocolate and butter until fully combined.
Whisk egg whites (with electric beaters or whisk attachment) until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form (when the whisk is lifted out, a small peak should hold its shape).
Beat a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mix until fully combined – this is to loosen the mixture, it should be sort of pourable. Add this chocolate mix to the rest of the egg whites and gently fold in until fully combined.
Spoon out a quarter of the batter into a container and refrigerate. Pour the rest of the batter into your cake pan and bake for 35-30minutes, until risen and the top is dry. To test, press your finger into the centre of the cake. The indentation should remain when you do, although don’t worry if it springs back somewhat after a few seconds.
Remove from oven, and let cool on a rack for a few minutes. Then remove the springform ring and base and leave to cool completely. The cake will collapse to leave a crater in the centre. Remove paper or foil lining and plate. Fill the crater with the reserved cake batter and scatter with chocolate (grated or curls). Refrigerate or leave in a cold kitchen until serving time.
PS. Just realised I actually forgot to halve the amount of sugar! This might explain why my cake looks quite different. Since the sweetness level is perfect for me, I’d probably keep it that way, although it also depends on the sweetness of the chocolate you use.