Recipe: Chocolate Mousse Cake
Not this year.
Since it's 2020 and I'm home now (together with the whole world), naturally when I asked Carl what cake he wanted, he requested the Red Ribbon cake again. So... I took a stab at it. There were some recipes already available online but I didn't really like the addition of gelatin or egg yolks. Gelatin just gives it that fake gummy/jelly feel. So I just stuck with the basics in my head and put them all together. I stuck with making a straight-up ganache and folding it into whipped cream. Good thing it held up! Oh! And yes, it kept well in the fridge and didn't collapse at all.
I thank the French for coming up with the "mousse". All the different applications and versions - sweet, savoury, textured, fruity, chocolate, duck liver even. Yes, the Chocolate Mousse originated from France but not really sure exactly when. They started with savoury mousses (in the cold kitchen, they'd make salmon or liver mousse) and later on developed sweet dessert mousse variations. And just so you know, you can celebrate this every year too because... April 3rd is National Chocolate Mousse Day.
Just for reference, the photo on the left below (not mine) is the Red Ribbon cake. Mine is on the right.
And yes... it took Carl about a week to finish this cake. I want to say I contributed to eating 2 slices worth. But he took the crown and owned it.
Chocolate Mousse Cake
This makes a truffle-like chocolate mousse cake. If you want it sweeter, there's a replacement below. I made this with a 9-inch springform pan. If you decide to use a 10-inch pan, it will be slightly thinner.
You'll need the following equipment: 9-inch springform pan, a saucepan, parchment paper, mixing bowls, a whisk, spatulas, pastry brush, an off-set spatula, hand mixer, piping bag with start tip, and... a hair dryer (optional).
Brownie Base Ingredients (bottom layer)
(You may or may not notice that my photos below show and have a slightly increased amount of ingredients... that's because I wanted to make extra batter so I could eat the brownies on its own. All mine!!! Don't judge me!)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter, unsalted and softened
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
2 eggs, large, at room temperature
extra butter for greasing the pans
Chocolate Mousse (middle layer) and Whipped Cream (top layer) Ingredients
2 cups heavy whipping cream (I used 35% whipping cream)
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream (I used the same whipping cream... just so I finish the whole carton I bought.)
+ half of the sweetened whipped cream
***TO MAKE A SWEETER VERSION, use this instead of the above
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
+ half of the sweetened whipped cream
Brownie Base Procedure
1. Preheat your oven to 350℉. Grease your pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Sift together all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Set aside.
*Tip 1: Use chip bag clips to seal the bag just before the tip and also at the main opening. This keeps well in the chiller so it doesn't dry up the whipped cream until you're ready to use it.
*Tip 2: Use a glass or a vase to hold your piping bag in place while you fill with the whipped cream.
9. By this time, the brownie base has cooled off completely. Top with the chocolate mouse (ganache and whipped cream) and level with an offset spatula. Tap the pan on the counter once just to let the mousse fill in the nooks and crannies. (You don't want to keep tapping it and deflate the mousse.) Let this chill in the freezer for 1 1/2 hours.
10. Pipe a layer of whipped cream on top of the chocolate mousse and smoothen out with an offset spatula. Return to the freezer and let it set again for about 1 1/2 hours.
11. To release the cake, you can easily run a knife in between the cake and the pan ridge. But this might create streaks. I use the hairdryer method. Let the hair dryer pass through the outside of the pan so it "softens" the edges and releases the cake (once the frost disappears, that's good enough). You can then release the springform pan and smoothen out any edges on the side with your offset spatula.
13. Finally...... ENJOY!!!!
**You can definitely make the top layer a white chocolate mousse - this will allow it some depth and a sweeter and butter flavour. I just stuck with plain sweetened whipped cream. If you wanted a white chocolate mousse for the top, make a ganache (mix 1/2 cup white chocolate chips with 1/3 or 1/2 cup heavy cream, let this cool, and fold with the whipped cream).
***Springform pans are still best to use when you're working with desserts that need moulding and quick release. In case you don't have one, you can use a regular round cake pan, line the bottom with plastic wrap, line the sides with a border of parchment paper (enough so it can hold it's form), and then once the cake is set, you can pull the plastic our and peel off the parchment rim/border. But of course, you can always just make this cake on a pyrex dish and eat it off from there.
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