Thursday, 8 September 2016

100 Bowl Chocolate Mousse Cake

This week we go on a cake adventure in which we learn that;
  1. sometimes a haphazard effort is good enough
  2. a dusting of cocoa will hide our imperfections
  3. one should always refrigerate
  4. people at work are never unhappy about cake.
This delicious cake is a dense chocolate mousse wrapped up in a thin skin of soft cake. It's always fun to make something out of the ordinary but I defy anyone (well, any run-of-the-mill domestic cook) to make this look really neat and tidy.

Thanks to my colleague, Wati, for the photo collage taken in our work kitchen. I cut the cake straight out of the fridge and you can see the chocolate mousse was very dense. Lucky, because Plan B was handing out spoons.

So. I made a few substitutions and had a few mishaps.

I needed extra dark chocolate but the local shop only had coffee flavoured. It gave the mousse added depth of flavour, as they say on Masterchef. 

I decided that I would try out the option Rose suggests for the cake layers by substituting ground hazelnuts for some of the flour. Chocolate and hazelnut being one of my favourite combinations.

The project got off to an inauspicious start with the production of two oddly-shaped, burnt cake layers. Enter stage left, cocoa and the sieve.

I spent aaaaages stirring that damn custard on the stove. It never reached the minimum 77C but I gave up after I thought it must be ready, i.e. I couldn't be bothered any more. The problem with the temperature could have been influenced by the fact that the thermometer slipped out of my hand into the depths of the custard. Not once, but twice. This called for a quick wash and removal of the battery to dry out. I think my custard probably had a faint tinge of battery. More of that Masterchef depth of flavour I was looking for.

The cooled mousse never whipped up into soft peaks as it was meant to. Maybe it was still too warm although it felt cold to me (I had given up on that slippery thermometer by then).

The egg white whipped perfectly.

I eyeballed the cake tin size (looks about 6 cups...) and then spent some time trying to work out the best coverage I could get from my oddball cake layers. In the end dumb luck triumphed and it sort of fit itself together into the tin relatively cosily. It was certainly not attractive but it was in there. 

I was not at all convinced the custard would set properly as I put it into the fridge much later in the evening than I had planned.

Twelve hours and quite a lot of poking later, I unveiled the cake at work with no apparent custard leakage. A thick dusting of cocoa to cover the extensively 'blemished' surface, and we had the taste of success.

Being a carb addict/cake lover, next time I would put a layer of cake in the middle as well. But it was pretty delicious.

*Update - I forgot to mention all the WASHING UP!

Next week we're making New Spin on Rollie Pollies.


  1. Oh my goodness this is classic! The coffee/hazelnut combination sounds amazing. I would think a cake layer in the middle would be nice. I resisted making Rose's raspberry sauce but if I ever, and that's a big ever, make this again, I will. Kudos to you for making this. It looks lovely with the powdered cocoa. My sink looked like the Eiffel Tower.

  2. Coffee, chocolate, hazelnut … it's won on all fronts and it does look all "mousse-y" delicious!