Petitchef

Chocolate Mousse Cake

I was craving for the chocolate mousse cake from Red Ribbon, a bakery in the Philippines. Since there's no Red Ribbon here, I decided to try and make one myself - another baking challenge for me.



I found one recipe from Annie's Eats, called a Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake which she got from Cook's Illustrated. The cake is made of three layers - bottom layer is chocolate mousse cake or a flourless chocolate cake, middle layer is made of chocolate mousse, and the top layer is made of white chocolate mousse.



Red Ribbon's version is ALMOST the same with a slight difference - bottom layer is a plain chocolate cake, middle layer is chocolate mousse, and top layer is whipped cream.



I followed Annie's Eats recipe, except for the top layer. To make it more of Red Ribbon's version, instead of making white chocolate mousse for the top layer I just removed the white chocolate and just used whipped cream with a bit of gelatin. So I can't really say that this is a triple chocolate mousse cake because the top layer isn't made of chocolate. :D Check out Annie's Eats to see the recipe with the white chocolate mousse.



Hubby liked it! I love it! He even added some chocolate chips on top to make it more like Red Ribbon's.



The recipe below calls for a 9 inch (or 10 inch) springform pan. But since there were only two of us that will eat the whole cake, I cut the recipe in half and used my 6inch springform pan.



Chocolate Mousse Cake

adapted from Annie's Eats





Ingredients



For the bottom layer

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (plus extra for greasing the pan)
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾ tsp. instant espresso powder
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
For the middle layer

2 tbsp. cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
5 tbsp. hot water
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
For the top layer

¾ tsp. powdered gelatin
1 tbsp. water
1½ cups heavy cream
Direction

To make the bottom layer, butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325? F.  Combine the butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water.  Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the vanilla and egg yolks.  Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds.  Crumble half of the brown sugar into the mixing bowl with your fingers to remove any lumps.  Beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds.  Add the remaining brown sugar and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake until the cake has risen, is firm around the edges and the center has just set but is still soft (center of cake will spring back after pressing gently with finger), about 14-18 minutes.  Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour.  Do not remove the cake from the pan.  (If not making the second layer right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to proceed.)
To make the second layer, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl; set aside.  Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly, 2-5 minutes.
In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and salt on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds.  Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds.  Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture until smooth.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Pour the mousse into the springform pan over the cooled cake and tap gently on the counter 3 times to remove air bubbles.  Gently smooth the top with a spatula.  Wipe the inside edge of the pan to remove any drips.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while preparing the top layer.
To make the top layer, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let stand at least 5 minutes to soften.  Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl.  Bring ½ cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved.  Pour the hot cream mixture over the white chocolate and let stand about 1 minute.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Cool to room temperature, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken.  Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  Spoon the white chocolate mousse into the pan over the middle layer.  Smooth the top with an offset spatula.  Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours. 
Notes:

The flourless cake will really shrink and collapse when it cools. It shrank so much that it pulled away from the sides. Next time I'll try making a normal chocolate cake for the bottom layer. From the picture below that the bottom layer's sides were already covered by the chocolate mousse layer, because there was too much space when I poured the chocolate mousse to the cake.


The bottom layer was too bitter for our taste. I think it was because I used 70% dark chocolate, and on top of that I added too much espresso powder. I used the Starbucks Via for this. Will adjust this next time.








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