Not terribly impressive as visual images go, is it?
But what if I then show you this…
Yes, it is as moist and rich as it looks, and I take no responsibility for any strokes, cardiac arrests, type II diabetes or other assorted woes that may result from cake abuse.
Ok, to work! The cake part. This was my Mum’s recipe and one of the first things she ever taught me to make because it was so easy.
4 medium sized eggs [organic and free-range if the budget allows]
4 tablespoons of self raising flour
1 tablespoon of good quality cocoa – I use Van Houten but use whatever you can get.
4 tablespoons of caster sugar /or/ brown sugar [the brown has a richer flavour]
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract [that’s the strong stuff]
a 20cm [8″] ringform cake tin [the kind where the side comes off]
1) Preheat oven to 180C [or 375F]. Reduce temp. slightly if using fan forced setting.
2) Lightly grease the ringform cake tin and dust with flour. Shake off excess and set aside.
3) VERY IMPORTANT – wash all grease from your hands before you go on to step 4 because otherwise the egg whites will not whip!
4) Separate the four eggs into 2 mixing bowls [no! not 2 eggs in each bowl -rolls eyes- …yolks in one bowl and whites in the other].
5) Add a TINY pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat with an electric beater until nice hard peaks form. Set aside in a cool place.
6) Add sugar and vanilla extract to egg yolks and beat [can use the same beaters] until it looks nice and creamy.
7) Sift flour and cocoa over egg yolk mixture and mix together gently.
8) Spoon about 1/3 of the egg whites into the mixture and fold in to moisten the mix. Then add the rest of the egg whites and fold in gently. Do NOT mess around too much as it’s better to have a few white bits floating around than to have everything go flat.
9) As soon as all the ingredients are folded in, pour the cake batter into the ringform tin and place in the oven.
10) Do NOT open the oven door for the first 10 minutes. This is not a souffle but you still don’t want to mess with it. The cake should be done in 20-25 minutes. Test by poking a bamboo skewer or a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out dry the cake is done.
11) Remove cake from oven and let it stand in the tin for 5 minutes. Then open the ringform tin, place the cake on a cooling rack and start making the chocolate mousse.
250 gm [~10 oz] of dark chocolate [I use Plaistowe cooking chocolate coz it’s good enough to eat on its own. Please don’t use milk chocolate though – by the time everything is in the mousse you won’t be able to taste any chocolate at all ]
extra chocolate for decoration
200gm [~1/2 lb] unsalted butter [if you cheat and use salted butter you’ll regret it]
3/4 cup caster sugar or brown sugar
4 eggs preferably organic and/or freerange
1/4 cup aromatic rum [this is the secret ingredient and I use
a hungarian an aromatic rum I discovered right here in Australia. It’s called Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, and is just as good as the one I used to get from Hungary.
1) Break the chocolate in bits and gently melt in a small pan over a very low flame [or use a double boiler if you get easily distracted]
2) Cut the butter into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and beat on high, scrapping the mix down from the sides until the butter mix is very creamy [for me this usually takes about 10 minutes]
3) Keep beating as you pour the melted chocolate into the butter mix. More scrapping etc until chocolate completely mixed in.
4) Start adding the rum a teaspoon at a time. Keep mixing on high between each addition.
5) Crack an egg into a small bowl.Check for bits of shell [and remove if you find any!] then add to chocolate mix and keep beating. You can’t hurry this bit or you won’t get the velvety smooth texture.
6) Repeat step 5 with all remaining eggs.
7) Put the chocolate mousse in the fridge and lick the beaters 😀
Putting the whole lot together.
What you want is layers of chocolate mousse sandwiched between thin layers of cake with more mousse over the top and sides. You can do this any way you want but I’ve discovered the following is the easiest for me.
1) Slice cake into as many layers as you can manage. Usually about 3.
2) Wash and dry the ringform tin. Cover the bottom with cling wrap and reassemble.
The odd shine on the bottom of the pan is actually the cling wrap catching the light.
3) Spoon a 1/2 inch layer of chocolate mousse into the bottom of the cake tin. This will end up being the ‘top’ of the cake.
4) Place a layer of cake onto the mousse layer and cover that in chocolate mousse. Repeat until you have used up all the cake but don’t put mousse on the very last piece.
5) Place chocolate mousse cake in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour or until the mousse firms up a bit. Remove from fridge and gently unmould.
6) Slather the sides with extra chocolate mousse. Smooth the top and then grate the extra chocolate over the top. I use a vegetable peeler to get slightly longer, curly shavings.
That’s it – you’re done! Pop the cake back into the fridge until ready to serve. I think it tastes best after 24 hours but ours rarely last that long 😦
If you have lots of willpower the cake will last in the fridge for 3 days. The left over chocolate mousse can be frozen.
Naturally I love to hear from anyone who comes to my blog but… if you try my recipe please, please, PLEASE come back and tell me know how it turned out!