Friday, September 17, 2010
The weather in L.A. is weird, it could be cool as the temperature range in the mid to high 60s Fahrenheit on one day, then, hot like an oven in the mid 90s F. the next day. The temperature between day and night is easily 20+ degree different! According to the Chinese/Luna calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival will be here in less than a week. Why are we still in the 90s F? I couldn’t wait for the weather to get cooler!
The reason I mentioned the temperature was because during the photo shoot of this mousse cake, the chocolate whipped cream on top of the cake melted too quickly before I had a chance to capture a nice shot (see above picture)!!! Oh well, I guess I should work on my photography skills instead of “complaining” about the temperature! LOL…at least, L.A. has 99% sunny days on average. :P
Anyhow, my son finished the whole (2-inch) cake all by himself right after lunch and wanted more!!! Apparently, the melted whipped cream didn’t bother him! I guess he really wanted a chocolate cake as he’s been asking me to make him one for a while. In the past, I’ve made chocolate Swiss Rolls, many times. I wanted something new. Something with even more chocolate flavor. So, I created this Chocolate Mousse cake. It is simply perfect for chocolate lovers (did I mention before that my family loves chocolate?) This Chocolate Mousse Cake is soft, fluffy, creamy, and chocolaty. Hm…heavenly in every bite.
Chocolate Mousse Cakes: (Printable Recipe)
Makes about 16 2-inch cakes
For the Chocolate Cake:
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Cake Flour
3 Large Eggs, separated, plus 2 Egg Yolks
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
4 Tablespoons (1/2 Stick) Butter, melted
1/4 Cup Whipped Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Instant Coffee Granulate
Pinch of Salt
For the Chocolate Mousse
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Granulate
6 Large Egg Yolks
1 1/4 Teaspoons Powdered Gelatin, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
5 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, roughly chopped
1 Cup Whipping Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray an 11 x 17 baking pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper. In a bowl, sift the cocoa powder and cake flour together, set aside.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt at medium-high speed until soft peaks. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until medium peaks. Transfer the egg whites mixture into another bowl.
Place all 5 egg yolks in the mixer bowl with the rest of the 1/4 cup sugar and whisk on medium speed until pale yellow. Pour in whipped cream, vanilla extract and instant coffee, beat for another minute. Add butter and continue to beat until well combined. Turn mixer to low and add cocoa and cake flour. Mix until just combine, do not over mix the batter.
Fold egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a rubber spatula in 2 batches. Spread the batter onto the lined baking pan and even out the surface. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes. The surface should be just dry and springy to the touch. Let cake cool completely on a rack .
To make the mousse:
Combine the milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer. Whisk in the instant coffee and stir until fully dissolved. Remove mixture from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Pour in about half of the milk mixture in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and return to the stove. Cook for another 2 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly.
Remove saucepan from heat and add the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Add in the chocolate and stir until melted and incorporated. Let chocolate mixture sit and cool to room temperature.
Whip the cream and vanilla to stiff peaks. Stir a quarter of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten up. Fold the rest of the whipped cream gently into the chocolate mixture. The mixture may look a bit runny now but it will firm up as it cools and the gelatin sets.
To assemble the cakes:
Place 16 2-inch cake rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a slightly under 2" round cookie cutter to cut out circles from the cake. You need 3 circles of cakes for each cake ring. Place a circle of cake into the bottom of a cake ring, then spoon a heaping spoonful of mousse in. Top with another circle of cake, then another heaping spoonful of mousse. Top with the final circle of cake, and then the final heaping spoonful of mousse, gently even out the surface. Chill cakes in the refrigerator overnight. Unmold cakes shortly before serving them. Dust a little cocoa powder on top and enjoy.