Friday, January 4, 2013

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

 

I know this is cruel. We've all vowed to eat healthier in 2013 and our waistlines are still aching from all of the cookies and goodies we consumed during the holidays. This dessert is just too good not to share and I thought perhaps you might bookmark it for your next holiday gathering, Superbowl party or to woo your Valentine on Valentine's Day.  It can be made entirely the day before which makes it perfect for entertaining.

 

I brought this to my daughter's home for Christmas day dinner.  It fed eight happy people but could have served 12-14 easily.  There wasn't a speck left on anyone's plate :)  I was able to leave a large slice with my daughter and bring one home to enjoy the following day. 


The bottom layer is a flourless chocolate cake, the middle layer is chocolate mousse and the top layer is white chocolate mousse.  Each layer is made, then cooled or chilled completely before making the next layer.  I decided to serve it with fresh raspberries but the recommended topping was shaved chocolate.  I thought that might be overkill ;)

This was a little time consuming but outstanding!
  
Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Printable Recipe

Serves 12 to 16

Notes:

You will need a 9" spring-form pan with 3" high sides. The entire cake can be made and refrigerated up to a day in advance.  I removed the cake from the pan the day before, put it on a cake pedestal, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight. I used a thin knife dipped in hot water to release the edge of the cake from the spring-form pan and also to cut each slice when serving. I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate for the two bottom layers and Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips for the top layer. 

Bottom Layer:

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, plus extra for greasing pan
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon fine table salt
1/3 cup packed (about 2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

Middle Layer;
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
5 tablespoons hot water
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 1/2cups cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Top Layer:

3/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon water
6 ounces white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

Fresh raspberries or shaved chocolate for serving, optional

1. FOR THE BOTTOM LAYER: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 9-1/2-inch spring-form pan with 3" high sides. Melt butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in large heat-resistant bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool mixture slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in vanilla and egg yolks; set aside.

2. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add half of brown sugar and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. Add remaining brown sugar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 1 minute longer, scraping down sides halfway through. Using whisk, fold one-third of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Carefully transfer batter to prepared springform pan, gently smoothing top with offset spatula (a smooth-bottomed cake server also works). 

3. Bake until cake has risen, is firm around edges, and center has just set but is still soft (center of cake will spring back after pressing gently with finger), 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. (Cake will collapse as it cools.) Do not remove cake from pan.

4. FOR THE MIDDLE LAYER: Combine cocoa powder and hot water in small bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate in large heat-resistant bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly, 2 to 5 minutes.

5. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream, granulated sugar, and salt at medium speed until mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, 15 to 60 seconds.

6. Whisk cocoa powder mixture into melted chocolate until smooth. Using whisk, fold one-third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Spoon mousse into springform pan over cooled cake and gently tap pan on counter 3 times to remove any large air bubbles; gently smooth top with offset spatula. Wipe inside edge of pan with damp cloth to remove any drips. Refrigerate cake at least 15 minutes while preparing top layer.

7. FOR THE TOP LAYER: In small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand at least 5 minutes. Place white chocolate in medium bowl. Bring ½ cup cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Pour cream mixture over white chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes (mixture will thicken slightly).

8. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip remaining cup cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, 15 to 60 seconds. Using whisk, fold one-third of whipped cream into white chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold remaining whipped cream into white chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon white chocolate mousse into pan over middle layer. Smooth top with offset spatula. Return cake to refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours.

9.  Run thin knife between cake and side of springform pan; remove side of pan. If desired you can use a very large, flat turner such as a cake lifter to remove the bottom of the cake from the cake pan. Run a cleaned knife along outside of cake to smooth sides. Cut into slices and serve using a thin knife dipped in hot water for each slice. 






68 comments:

  1. That looks so so good, especially with the espresso powder! Have a great weekend!

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  2. I believe that I might have enough will power to overcome my will power just this once (for now, that is)!! And, I can invite ten other people to share. How bad can that be?

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  3. Oh my word, what are you doing to me? I'm sitting here thinking how I can make this and not feel guilty. What a special dessert that would be.

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  4. My waistline has been aching from the holidays but, that has not stopped me (smile). This looks amazing and decadent.

    Velva

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  5. Oh it's exquisite!

    I have made a triple layer mousse but dark chocolate and milk chocolate..I love the white on this one..How celebratory!
    I will print it up..
    Thank you..
    A thing of beauty.
    In Plattsburgh I though of you at TJ's a darling pedestal..cake plate..the top was a girl figure (no head) in a Xmas apron..so cute..so cute..red..but I could just see it arriving to you in 10 pieces the bottom so heavy compared to the top..
    I have learned my lessons:)

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  6. Look absolutely beautiful dear, really perfect, love the plate too!

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  7. I cannot even express in words how much I want a slice of that cake right now!

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  8. Oh, wow... lovely layers and delicious looking dessert! Seems like a perfect Valentine's Day treat!

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  9. Love this beautiful cake; we both went the same road this week. This one is saved and the perfect dessert when my kids come to visit. Thanks for another one of your goodies.
    Rita

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  10. Oh my! I am trying so hared to get motivated. This does not help...I 'm putting on my after a few lost pounds list. It is absolutely gorgeous!

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  11. It looks absolutely beautiful Susan! No doubt it was a huge hit:@)

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  12. Looks wonderful!! I need a slice of that to counteract the "not so tasty" fish I had for dinner.:)
    Enjoy your weekend!

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  13. Ok, so much for my peel a pound soup...I need a piece of your mousse cake for dessert. Looks delicious and I really like your red pedestal plate. Have a great weekend,
    Babs

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  14. A wonderful dessert! I just spent the last few hours copying chocolate recipes from a Pierre Hermé book, that one could have been one of them! I love the layering and the berries on top, definitely! I'd want to try this asap, especially with Valentine around the corner.

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  15. A little bit of sweet treat helps to stay firm with the diet ;-) The mousse cake looks splendid, Susan.

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  16. This is so beautiful I can't wait to make this. I like that you added raspberries on top. I agree. More chocolate sou ds too rich but the raspberries would lighten it up. I will definitely be trying this!

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  17. I might make this for Valentine's Day and will share with my entire family ;-) Looks wonderful!

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  18. You are a bad influence Susan :) This is an absolutely beautiful cake. I agree with Debbie, a perfect treat for Valentines Day.

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  19. This is so pretty Susan. I like desserts you can do in stages. A treat for Valentines Day indeed.

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  20. Hi, very delectable triple chocolate mousse cake. This definitely to die for kind of dessert, never mind the waistline I'll eat first cos hard to resist. LOL

    Have a nice weekend.

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  21. Oh, my! This looks amazing!!! I know I would eat way too much of this!!

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  22. Yes, that is absolutely evil of you to give out this recipe... I know about 12 people who would die to have it (emails on the way, ladies). Great combination of chocolates and such a perfect picture... perfect for Valentines Day!

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  23. It looks beautiful, and I am a big fan of anything that can be made the day before an event.

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  24. Oh how could you?! You are a temptress through and through. This cake looks and sounds magnificent. I love recipes from Cook's Illustrated. Pinned this and looking forward to trying it!

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  25. a wonderful dessert Susan!My mouth is watering! have a good week, a hug...

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  26. This is a beautiful delicious looking dessert! We do need this pampering once in a while! Love all the three different colours, three layers of yumminess! Perfect with the fresh berries!

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  27. Now that is a gorgeous dessert! I may have to consider this for a Valentine's treat for Randy. He loves chocolate mousse.

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  28. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I love anything with chocolate and this is so pretty too!
    Sam

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  29. i am ALWAYS up for dessert, Always. Especially when it looks as delicious as this! Resolutions be damned.

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  30. Wow Susan, this triple layer looks awesome...and perfect with fresh raspberries...love the combination of chocolate and raspberries.
    Happy 2013 and a great week ahead!

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  31. I care about eating healthy but I also never deprive myself of eating yummy delicious foods. I love the fact this cake is flour less and has lot of chocolate.

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  32. I care about eating healthy but I also never deprive myself of eating yummy delicious foods. I love the fact this cake is flour less and has lot of chocolate.

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  33. Love your beautiful chocolate mousse cake and the red cake stand-so bright and fun;-)
    Happy New Year to you Susan and thanks for sharing your cake-I think it's perfect for any holiday especially Valentines Day!

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  34. What a fun cake stand, Susan! Perfect for the delicious cake on top of it. Love the white chocolate layer...such a great idea. Those flourless chocolate cakes are very rich, so I imagine this would go a long way. It's a beauty.

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  35. Thank you so much, everyone! This cake will be made again and again - it's that good.

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  36. Your cake is a thing of beauty Susan! I love the layers and oh so perfect for Valentine's Day!

    I did use dark chocolate cocoa in my snowman cookies, so they were much darker. You're the only one who noticed :)

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  37. Oh my! This is beautiful and stunning! Must be decadent and delicious as well. :) Happy New Year to you and your family. Wish you a Healthy and Blessed 2013!

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  38. That is cruel to feature right now! It looks gorgeous and tasty - I can definitely understand why everyone went wild over it.

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  39. Oh Susan I am sure the people who ate this sweet must have been very, very happy eating this sweet! It looks absolutely irresistible!

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  40. Oh, this is decadent and irresistible! Diet or not, I could devour a slice quickly! I love the red plate--it would look great in my red kitchen with your cake on it! Thanks for the recipe, Susan!

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  41. That is completely gorgeous! How is it that I've never been here before? Goodness I will be back :)

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  42. What a beautiful cake! Love how even the layers are - well done.

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  43. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful dessert. I would happily break my New Year's resolution if I had a slice of that cake in front of me. This will be a much enjoyed Valentine's Day dessert. Bookmarked.

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  44. Looks amazing, like it came from a bakery, it's so perfect! You really have a lot of talent!!!

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  45. Looks amazing, like it came from a bakery, it's so perfect! You really have a lot of talent!!!

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  46. Not sure why the double comment but maybe because it looks so good I should say it twice?

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  47. Golly Neds, Susan, this has got to be the most delicious looking dessert I have ever seen! I love that you photographed it on a RED cake stand!!! Where ever did you find it?? Perfect for so many occasions...Valentines Day, 4th of July, Flag Day (Ms. C's birthday, too) Labor Day, Christmas. I WANT ONE!!!

    I've enjoyed all your postings this year, via email. Thanks for sharing your love of cooking & your beautiful photographs of it, too.

    Warm Hugs,
    Rett

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    1. Thank you,Rett! Gosh, the red cake stand is likely vintage Home Goods. I think I've had it for about 10 years already :)

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  48. Oh, you hit me in 3 layers! I never swear off sweets, just not every day. I have wanted to make one of these for years. It is definitely being pinned.

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  49. I have the recipe for this cake and it's on my to-do- someday list. I watched ATK make it on TV and it looked incredible and yours looks even better!

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  50. Lovely presentation and mouth watering mousse cake...

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  51. Wow. I have never made mousse cake before, but this looks great! On my to-do list!!

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  52. Oh my, this looks like an show stopping, outstanding dessert, Susan! I have to try to make it for Valentine's Day!

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  53. Wow looks divine I would share too thanks for traveling with us hugs

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  54. You are killing me my friend, this should be illegal :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  55. Not cruel at all. It looks awesome!

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  56. What a gorgeous cake! That's what life's about....sheer indulgence at times....this would be good to look forward to as a reward for dieting!
    Beautiful....and I'm your newest follower...you have an awwesome blog.
    Shel

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  57. I vowed not to have any alcohol in 2013, and so far I have not strayed once! I don't remember anything about a promise not to enjoy your delicious looking cake!
    What a wonderful dessert!

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  58. Realmente exquisito me encanta tiene un aspecto perfecto y delicioso,hugs,hugs.

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  59. I'm in chocolate heaven and I'm not even eating this now!

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  60. I've been eyeing this recipe for a long time, but had a question that I thought I could run by you.

    I don't own a spring form pan, but I'm wondering if it's possible to make this without one.

    I've made cheesecake without a spring-form using an Alton Brown trick. Simply line up the bottom and sides with buttered parchment paper and bake your cheesecake. Then when it's done and completely cooled, you can flip it out onto another pan, then flip back on its bottom.

    This works because the cheesecake is nice and hard-set when coming right out of the fridge, and has structure from the cream cheese.

    I'm wondering about the texture of the cake, its layers, and specifically the top layer when coming right out of the fridge. Is it hard when cold because of the gelatin? I know the recipe says to let is sit out at room temp when coming out of the fridge to properly be able to slice. Do you think its hard enough to support itself upside down?

    Thanks!

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  61. Personally, I think flipping could be very difficult with this cake. The middle layer is very mousse-like in texture and the top layer is also more mousse-like. It holds together when slicing but I don't know if it could stand being flipped over twice. It is not as solid as a cheesecake would be. Also, the flour-less cake layer on the bottom shrinks quite a bit as it cools so when you put the second layer over it, the second layer tends to seep into the sides of the pan over the bottom layer.

    The other major problem I see is that the three layers combined would likely be higher than a regular cake pan - unless you have a pan at least 3" high.

    Rather than flipping, I would suggest simply cutting the slices you plan on serving out of whatever pan you will be using (if you have a thin enough spatula) and leave the mousse cake in the pan. The first piece may not come out cleaning but the following slices would come out just fine. The presentation won't be as striking but at least your cake won't suffer as much trauma.

    Hope that helps!

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    1. Hi Susan,

      How did you solved the bottom layer shrinkage problem? Did you ignore it and poured the middle layer mousse anyway or do you have some tricks?

      Also, from the pics it seems there is nothing underneath your cake. How did you moved your cake to the cake stand? I didnt have the courage to move mine. :) But it doesn't look as nice when served off the black tin.

      Thanks.

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  62. Exactly what I wanted to know. Will have to borrow a springform pan, or just break down and invest. Thank you very much for your response!

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  63. I am making this with daughter today.
    She just screams everytime she sees a another photo of your beautiful desserts. She daid:
    "Mommy, I will gain weight in this vacation if I don't stop looking at these desserts!"

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