Carl’s birthday was in February, so the fact that I’m getting around to sharing the dessert from that occasion in April is a little sad, since all this time it’s been weighing on my mind how you’re all missing out on having this chocolate decadence in your lives.
Obviously it wasn’t weighing too heavily, since it didn’t keep me up at night, but not much can do that these days ;)
Carl’s favourite food is chocolate, and mousse and whipped cream are two of his favourite food groups. I love chocolate ecstasy for a quick crowd-pleaser that hits all those points (in fact, I’m bringing it to Easter dinner this week), but for the love of my life’s birthday I’m willing to go all out. That means no packages involved in the preparation, just all the real ingredient good stuffs and a bunch more time. I’m a bit of a time hoarder sometimes, so giving of my time is really giving for me. Giving new squash balls is much easier, so we did that too. He is so pleased :)
The difference real ingredients make is huge. Good quality chocolate, real whipping cream, homemade brownies, and gorgeous fresh raspberries. All this together makes each bite incredibly lush and rich, so you can cut the slices small to feed a crowd, which we did, hence the small portion left to photograph the next day :)
If you have a special occasion or special person to make dessert for, I highly recommend taking this into consideration. All about the chocolate, all about the smooth and silky texture, and super pretty, because that matters too! I could go for another piece of this right now…
- CAKE BASE:
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- MOUSSE LAYER:
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 5 tablespoons hot water
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1½ cups cold heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING:
- ¾ cup cold heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Grated chocolate, for garnish (optional)
- 2 cups fresh raspberries or strawberries for garnish (optional)
- For the cake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.
- Combine chocolate and butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar, vanilla and salt. Make sure the mixture is lukewarm, not too hot, then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes (a tester will not come out clean from the middle, it will still be a bit fudgy).
- Cool completely in the pan (the center of the cake may fall slightly). Chill in the fridge while making mousse.
- For the mousse, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl; set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl on 50% power, stirring every 30-60 seconds, until smooth. Whisk the cocoa/water mixture into the melted chocolate until very smooth (if there are lumps, press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl). Let it cool to room temperature.
- Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, whip the cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into chocolate mixture to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. (Don't rush this by stirring vigorously, you want to keep the airy texture the whipped cream adds).
- Spoon the mousse over the cooled cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
- For the whipped cream topping, using an electric mixer, beat the cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the torte. Dust with grated chocolate, if desired. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it's loose, then release the springform pan sides and transfer to a platter (leaving it on the springform pan base is the easiest).
- Top with raspberries and refrigerate until needed, or serve immediately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe