Just to be clear, this isn’t chocolate mousse fashioned into the likeness of a cake. I don’t want anyone to think I’ve cheated them out of a really intense dessert cake. Instead, you have here a fairly intense dessert cake. Sure, it’s not quite a torte or gateau – I don’t think it’s quite lavish enough to be either. But it is certainly a step up from a straightforward chocolate cake!
I call it chocolate mousse cake because the frosting is basically chocolate mousse. Well, it tastes like chocolate mouse, and it looks like chocolate mousse. But I guess it’s a little bit of a lie to call it chocolate mousse, because really, there aren’t any eggs in it…but there is a lot of cream! And chocolate! And that counts, right? Ugh, maybe not. I don’t know. I don’t even like chocolate mousse! (Oh I know, what kind of baker doesn’t like chocolate mousse? In fact, who in their right mind doesn’t like chocolate mousse? I must be insane. I won’t argue; I’m not convinced I’m not insane – see, I just used a double-negative, and I completed an Arts degree; I’m definitely insane, or at least regressing).
Anywho, the idea was to make a chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday (because, really, what else do you want on your birthday than a massive chocolate cake you can eat all by yourself?!). But as it was a birthday, ie. a celebration, it had to be more than just a chocolate cake. For a fully explanation see my Banana Bundt post – but basically, I wanted it to be a little bit more special than a slab of brownie or a simple chocolate cake. So, I thought, let’s go all out and just do chocolate overload in a cake. So I did. And this is it.
A note on the decoration – I didn’t have any berries, and really I think the perfect accompaniment to any sort of chocolate mousse is berries, because (this coming from someone who doesn’t like chocolate mousse) the berries cut through all that butter and cream that sticks to the roof of your mouth and makes you feel fat. So I had to improvise. I use lollypops. I know that doesn’t really serve the same purpose as berries, but I thought they looked cute, so I left them there. But if I did it again, I would definitely use strawberries, or some other berry depending on what’s around.
Chocolate Mousse Cake
2 tsp instant coffee
3 cups boiling water
2 cup caster sugar
400g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
3 cups self-raising flour
4 eggs at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla essence
140g milk chocolate, chopped
85g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon golden syrup
200g unsalted butter, softened
- For the cake: preheat the oven to 150C fan-forced, and line three 17cm tins with foil or baking paper.
- Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave, then add the coffee and hot water.
- Add chocolate and sugar, then stir until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Add the eggs, then vanilla and flour, whisking until smooth
- Pour into a lined 17cm tins and bake for about an hour.
- For the frosting: place chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and golden syrup to just below a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and allow to melt. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture by hand until completely smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, add the butter and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until mixture is combined.
- Place the mixture in the fridge to cool for around 20 minutes (or in the freezer for 5 minutes). Then remove from the fridge and whisk in a stand mixer until the mixture is thick, smooth and mousse-like.
- Layer the cake and frosting, finishing it with lashings of frosting. Then poke a bunch of lollypops into the top of the cake for a touch of fun, or just cover it with strawberries.