Chocolate mousse is one of the most favorite desserts. It’s relatively easy, and always impressive.
For the Cake Layer
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
215g (7 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3/4 tsp instant espresso powder
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
75g (1/3 cup) packed light brown sugar
For the Chocolate Layer
170g (6 oz ) semi sweet chocolate, chopped fine
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy (whipping) cream
For the Chocolate Mousse
4 large egg yolks
52g ( 1/4 cup) sugar
420ml (1 3/4 cups ) heavy / whipping cream, divided
227g (8 oz) semi sweet chocolate, chopped fine
86g (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
For the White Chocolate Mousse
1 1/4 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
1 1/2 Tbsp (23ml) water
225g (9 ounces) white chocolate, chopped fine
420ml (1 3/4 cups) heavy / whipping cream, divided
58g (1/3 cup) powdered sugar
MAKE THE CAKE LAYER
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 23 cm (9-inch) springform pan.
2. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, combine butter, chocolate and espresso powder. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool, about 5 minutes. Whisk in egg yolks and vanilla. Set aside.
3. Beat egg whites and salt on medium-low speed until foamy. Add half of sugar and continue whipping until combined. Add remaining sugar, increase speed to high, and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Using rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it Fold in remaining egg whites. Carefully transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth top with spatula. Bake cake until it has risen, is firm around the edges and just set in the center (cake center should spring back when gently pressed with finger), 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not remove cake from pan.
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE LAYER
5. In a medium heat-proof bowl, add the chocolate, corn syrup and vanilla extract.
6. Heat the heavy / whipping cream until it just starts to boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with clear wrap and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
7. Pour the chocolate on top of the cake and spread into an even layer. Place the cake in the fridge while the ganache firms, about 1 hour.
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
8. In a bowl, set over a pot with simmering water ( or double boiler), combine egg yolks, sugar and 1/2 cup (120ml) of heavy (whipping) cream. To ensure that the steam cooking the eggs doesn’t get too hot, occasionally lift the bowl to release the steam. The egg mixture will be ready when is has thickened, lightened in color and has more volume. (The mixture will thin out at first, then begin to thicken). Do not boil. When done, set aside.
9. In a medium bowl set over a pot with simmering water, place the chocolate for mousse and melt, stirring well until smooth.
10. Vigorously whisk the egg mixture into the melted chocolate until smooth. Set aside to cool.
11. In another bowl, whip remaining 1 1/4 cups (300ml) of heavy (whipping) cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
12. Fold about a ¼ cup of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Mix well. Fold about a 1/4 of the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Slowly fold the remaining chocolate mixture into the whipped cream.
13. Spread the chocolate mousse into an even layer on top of the chocolate layer. Refrigerate for an hour.
MAKE THE WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
14. In a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the water, making sure the powder is all touching water. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
15. In a medium bowl set over a pot with simmering water, place the white chocolate and melt, stirring well until smooth. Heat the heavy/whipping cream until it just starts to boil. Add the gelatin mixture to the hot whipping cream mixture and whisk until the gelatin is dissolved.
16. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and let stand, covered, for 3-5 minutes. Whisk the white chocolate mixture until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to about room temperature.
17. Using a mixer, whip remaining 1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy cream and powdered sugar at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold about one third of the cooled white chocolate mixture into the whipped cream until combined. Add the second third of the cooled white chocolate and gently fold into the whipped cream. Add the remaining white chocolate and fold together until completely combined.
18. Spread the white chocolate mousse into an even layer on top of the chocolate mousse. Refrigerate until completely firm, at least 3-4 hours.
FINISH THE CAKE
19. Remove the cake collar from the sides. If needed, smooth the sides of the cake using an offset spatula. Place cake on a serving plate.
20. Decorate using chocolate curls, blueberries, fresh mint leaves - using your imagination.
“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.''- Kenneth Branagh