Saturday, 2 June 2012

Mel's Mousse Madness

Rating: Easy, but time-consuming

This one was made for a netball friend, so I'm glad it set well!
It's a chocolate and raspberry mousse cake, recipe below. From bottom to top the layers are a flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, raspberry and white chocolate mousse and raspberry jelly all wrapped in a white chocolate collar.

Flourless chocolate cake:
200g dark chocolate
85g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
1/3 cup brown sugar

Grease a 23cm spring-form tin and pre-heat the oven to about 180 degrees celcius. Melt chocolate and butter in a large bowl, leave to stand until it's no warmer than blood temperature then stir in egg yolks and vanilla.
Whisk egg whites with salt and brown sugar until soft-peak, and gently fold 1/3 into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites (doing it in 2 lots helps prevent knocking the air out, keeping the cake lighter), and pour batter into tin. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the cake has risen, the edges are cooked and the top is springy when touched (if you're not sure a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean).
This cake WILL and should sink as it cools - you've not done anything wrong! Once it's cooled, you can do the next layer...

Chocolate mousse layer
1 1/2 cups thickened cream
350g dark chocolate
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 egg yolks

Put water and sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved (it may boil but that's ok). Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl, then drizzle in the syrup slowly (you'll need to continually whisk this as it will cook the egg yolks and if you don't whisk it you'll get lumps). Whip cream to soft peak, set aside. Melt chocolate and then whisk it into the egg mixture. You may need to heat the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds, before adding 1/3 of the cream and stirring until fully combined. Add in the rest of the cream, and fold in gently. Pour layer on top of the cake (you'll need to have kept the cake in the spring-form tin of course - I should probably mention it's a good idea to use greaseproof paper to line the tin all the way up the sides, it helps get the mousse out of the tin without making a huge mess and it'll just peel off when the mousse is set) and put in the fridge to firm up for at least half an hour. Then you can do the next layer...

Raspberry and white chocolate mousse layer, plus raspberry jelly
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1kg frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar
170g white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup thickened cream

Thaw and squish the raspberries through a strainer to remove pulp and seeds and make a smooth syrup. Try to get as much juice out of them as you can. Put the liquid into a saucepan and add sugar. Heat until boiling, and reduce to about half, stirring occasionally. Add gelatin to water, and stir into the raspberry syrup. Place white chocolate in a bowl, and add about 1/2-3/4 of a cup of raspberry syrup. Set the rest aside for use later as the jelly layer. Stir in the white chocolate, until all is melted and it is smooth. You shouldn't need to heat it any more to melt the chocolate - it should melt with the residual heat of the syrup. Whip cream to soft peak, and stir 1/3 into the raspberry/white chocolate mixture, then fold the remaining cream in gently. Pour over chocolate mousse layer, and put back in the fridge to set.

When the raspberry mousse layer is firm (but it doesn't have to be completely set), pour over the remaining raspberry syrup* and put back in the fridge.

Once mousse is completely set, you can make the white chocolate collar. Take a piece of grease-proof kitchen paper, and cut/tear it to a length slightly more than the circumference of the cake. Fold over sides and ends to make a rectangle of the desired length/width, keeping the folded pieces facing upwards (sorry, wish I'd got a photo of this to make it clearer). Melt chocolate in a small bowl, pour onto paper and spread evenly with a palate knife.
Once chocolate ribbon is set but still soft, remove spring-form tin and wrap it around the cake. Refrigerate until you're just about ready to eat it, then remove the paper (it should just peel off). By folding over the sides of the paper, you should get a nice straight edge. And hooray! A delicious mousse-y cake :)

*You may need to add more gelatin to this syrup - just dissolve a bit more in some more water and stir it in. I tested this by putting a small amount in the fridge and seeing if it set before I put it on the top of the cake :) I did indeed need more gelatin, so testing it was a good idea!

In a word? Moussey :)