So last night was a quiet, yet fun New Years Evening with some friends. I made a roast, garlic chive mashed taters, peas, the most important food group of gravy, and the usual trimmings like pickles, olives, cheese, buns, etc. After everyone had their fill, we sipped on drinks and chatted until the food had settled enough to shove dessert into the crevices. As mentioned in my honeycomb (seafoam) post, the inspiration was the chocolate and cardamom mousse cake with honeycomb, by the Incredible Spice Men.
I ended up making a few changes and next time will make a couple tweaks. Looking at their recipe, I didn’t think that the mousse would stand up very well, so found a recipe where gelatin was added. I think in the recipe I followed, it was too much as although the cake was tasty and rich, it was a bit too firm for being a mousse cake. So in the recipe below I have put half the gelatin amount I used.
Another change I’ll make is not topping the cake with the honeycomb. It tasted great and the cake tasted great, but to me they didn’t tie in very well with each other. I think just a simple whiskey whipped cream would go well with the cake. And take the honeycomb, break into big pieces, dunk them in chocolate and serve separately. I think taking the toffee off the top would actually make the cake a bit more versatile in flavor. For instance: for the middle layer using all white chocolate chips, folding in some raspberries. Or milk chocolate chips. Or peanut butter. You get the idea.
Note, its a very rich cake and you don’t need to make huge slices. Its surprisingly not a very sweet cake and would be great served with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Sponge Cake Layer
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup caster sugar super fine or berry sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/ s teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup flour sifted
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder sifted with the flour
- 2 teaspoons whisky preferably single malt
- 9 oz / 1 1/8 cups / 250g dark chocolate finely chopped**
- 1 3/4 cups whipping cream divided! (1 1/2 cups for the middle layer)
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon whiskey
- 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1 tablespoon water
SPONGE CAKE LAYER
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. PAM spray an 8" springform pan.
- Melt the butter and set aside.
- Place the sugar in a metal bowl and set over a pot of simmering water (don't let the bottom touch the water).
- Use an electric hand mixer and beat the mixture (over the water) for approximately 3 minutes, until it becomes pale and frothy.
- Remove the metal bowl from the heat and continue to beat the mixture for a further two minutes while it cools.
- Gently stir in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
- Carefully fold in the sifted flour and cocoa powder.
- Slowly trickle in the melted butter and continue to combine gently.
- Pour the mixture into the greased tin* and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and let cool a little in the tin. Use a pastry brush and coat the sponge cake with the whiskey and set aside to cool completely in the tin.
MOUSSE LAYERS (do middle layer first)
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, 3/4 cup (dark chocolate top layer) or 1/2 cup (middle other layer) of the cream, and salt. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring every time, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour it into a large bowl, and let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- While its cooling, whip the remaining cup of whip cream until stiff.
- Whisk the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl, once the water is absorbed (it won't take long) then nuke for about 10 seconds to melt.
- Add the gelatin to the melted chocolate mixture and stir until the chocolate is smooth.
- Add half of the whipped cream and stir until combined.
- Fold in remaining half of whip cream.
- Pour onto sponge cake layer (once it has completely cooled!) and put in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Follow the above steps for the dark chocolate layer and put in fridge overnight.
- Keep chilled until serving. Cut with a knife thas been put under hot water and wiped dry.
** For the dark chocolate layer I used 1 package of dark baking chocolate and 100g of a 85% Lindt bar. For the middle layer I used half white chocolate chips and half butterscotch chips.