Saturday, July 2, 2011

Decadent Mousse Cake with a Black Forest Twist

This is a cake I make often for special occasions.  The sort of decadence I like to take along to Christmas Family get-togethers and birthday parties.  It is decadent and rich and yet not sweet, not sickeningly rich tasting and definitely the sort of thing you can eat after dinner.

My sister's little girl turns one tomorrow.  Amazing, how time flies.  It feels like only the other day we were waiting for news of her birth and wishing every inch of the miles and miles of sea between us and her in Canada could just disappear.  Wishing that we could time travel to be with her.  The distance is always worse at times of joy.  Tomorrow is no exception.  The kids are yearning to be there too.  They try to climb into the computer, fighting the strange notion of seeing them, but being worlds apart.

My sister asked me for the recipe of this cake to bake for little A's birthday.  And on the very same day my mom gave me a tin of cherries, some eggs and a jar of cream and asking for a decadent yet light cake with a black forest twist.  Strange coincidence or telepathy?  Not sure, but reason enough to bake the ever dependent mousse cake.  

I had no time to photograph the whole cake before it was sliced and eaten by very happy family members.

We are selling some orchids at a nearby country stall this weekend.  Our town is overflowing with festival goers for the Innibos music festival and we are trying to share some orchid love with some of them.  Hope we see some of you there today.

Decadent Chocolate Mousse Cake with Black Forest Twist

Sponge Cake
9 eggs
255g castor sugar
200g self raising flour
40g cacao

Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Grease and line a 300mm round cake tin.
Sift the flour and cacao a few times and set aside.
Beat the eggs and sugar with the whisk attachment of your mixer until it is really foaming and light and have reached the ribbon stage (you should be able to make a large eight with the batter and it should stay visible for a few seconds).  Sift the flour and cacao onto the egg mixture and gently fold in.  Make sure you incorporate all the flour without beating the air out of the mixture.  Pour into the tin and bake for 55 minutes.  Remove and let cool slightly before removing from the tin.

Cherry layer
1 tin black cherries
2 tbs arrow root
2 tbs cherry liquor
1 cup cream, whisked until stiff

Drain the cherries and put the syrup into a sauce pan.  Pour the cherry liquor over the cherries and reserve.  Mix the arrow root with a bit of cold water to form a paste and set aside.  Bring the syrup to the boil, remove from the heat and whisk the arrow root into the mix.  Pass through a sieve, mix with the cherries and place in the fridge to set.

Chocolate mousse
I use this recipe from Cannelle et Vanille

150 grams 70% chocolate, melted
450 grams organic heavy cream, whipped to soft peak.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Remove from the heat. Add a third of the soft peak whipped cream to the chocolate while whisking. Work quickly so the chocolate doesn't set too fast. Add the rest of the cream but this time fold using a spatula.  Put in the fridge to set.

Chocolate ganaché
200g 70% chocolate
1 cup cream

Brake the chocolate into small pieces in a heat resistant bowl.  Heat the cream over a low heat until almost boiling.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand for a minute or two and then whisk until all the chocolate is melted, whisk until cool and beginning to thicken.  You want a it to be runny, but to stay on the cake, not run down the sides all at once.

Now it is time to assemble the cake.  Have all your component ready, for easy assembly.

First, cut the cake with a sharp serrated knife into three layers.  Place the top of the cake at the bottom of a pastry ring, that is big enough for all the layers. Add all the mousse on top of the bottom layer and use an offset spatula or back of a spoon, dipped in hot water to even out.  Add another layer of cake and then the layer of cherries and then the layer of cream.  Now place the last layer of cake on top.  It is best to use the layer that was at the bottom of the cake tin for this layer, as it is the smoothest.  Leave the cake in the pastry ring for a few minutes in the fridge to set and to cool down sufficiently for the ganaché to set quickly.  Remove from the fridge and carefully remove the ring.  Pour the ganaché into the middle of the cake and smooth over the whole cake with a spatula.  Work quickly, before the ganaché starts to set.  Store in the fridge before eating.  It is best left for a few hours before eating. 

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