Michel Rostang’s Double-Chocolate Mousse Cake

4 years ago, a guy from class commented that should he see a pretty girl and a not-so-pretty girl in danger, he’ll just save the pretty one. Is that chivalry? I don’t think so…

But who/what will should I save from a fire, a box of this delicious mousse cake or him from drowning? I think you know the answer. Because, this cake, is awesome!

It was my brother’s birthday, or early birthday celebration to be exact. “What do you want?”, I asked.

“Chocolate mousse”, he simply replied.

And so chocolate mousse it was.

Through tastespotting, I found plenty of double-chocolate mousse cakes by French Fridays with Dorie bloggers. As you can see, it isn’t the most eye-pleasing dessert around. It’s in fact, ugly. The cracks are inevitable and it works much like a souffle. And why call it double-chocolate anyway? It’s twice-baked, almost like a chocolate cheesecake.

Nevertheless, this mousse is not what you’ll normally find in regular bakeries, where the mousse is usually gelatinous. Not the nicest thing to have, I say. I suppose that’s the reason why this recipe has “cake” in it.

Use chocolate that’s 66-70%. I used 70% Valrhona and it tasted bittersweet, in a delicious way. It’s not too heavy as a dessert and you could probably eat the whole thing in one sitting, if you were hungry enough.

And maybe, just maybe, once I’m done with the cake, I’d toss a life buoy over to my “chivalrous” classmate.

Buoy oh buoy.

Michel Rostang’s Double-Chocolate Mousse Cake

from Around My French Table

makes an 8-inch cake

Printer-Friendly Version

1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate (70% would be the best), coarsely chopped

1/3 C hot brewed espresso

7 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

2/3 C sugar

2 pinches of salt

4 large eggs, separated

cocoa powder, for dusting

Whipped cream/vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 400F. Generously butter the sides of an 8-inch springform pan (you won’t be using the base). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment, and put the springform ring on it.

Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Once smooth, whisk in the espresso. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon. Gently whisk in the sugar and one pinch of salt, then add in the egg yolks, one at a time. You’ll have a lovely, velvety mixture.

Using an electric mixer and a clean , dry bowl, whip the egg whites and the remaining pinch of salt until they are firm but still glossy. Very gingerly whisk about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula, and gently fold in the remainder of the whites.

Scrape a generous third of the mixture into the buttered ring on the baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate the remaining mousse.

Bake the mousse in the ring for 15 mins, at which point it will be puffed. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack, and let the cake cool to room temp. There will be a dip in the center. Place the cake, still on the baking sheet, in the refrigerator.

Now you have a choice:

TO SERVE BAKED AND CHILLED (recommended; my favorite method): Chill the base of the cake for at least 1 hr. Preheat the oven to 400F. Scrape the chilled mousse onto the chilled base (still on the baking sheet). Bake for 30 mins or until top is puffed and dry. It will crack, and a knife inserted inside a crack will come out almost dry. (In my case, it was more than 30 mins. I tent the cake with foil and baked it longer)

Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack, and cool to room temp. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan. (Run a blunt knife around the edges or warm the pan with a hairdryer). Carefully transfer the cake to a serving plate, and dust with cocoa. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

TO SERVE BAKED AND WARM: bake as for “baked and chilled”. After transferring the baking sheet, with the cake on it, to a cooling rack, wait 5 mins. Then run a blunt knife round the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. The cake will sink so just let it settle for another 5 mins. Transfer to a serving platter, dust with cocoa. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

TO SERVE CHILLED: Let the base of the cake chill thoroughly. Scrape the remaining mousse over the base. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight.

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