I made this back in December for my Christmas party, but I somehow forgot to post about it. I don’t necessarily think you can only make this at Christmas. Yes, it’s a stunning centrepiece and during the holidays we tend to exaggerate a little bit, but I feel you don’t need a special occasion and that every day is fit for chocolate cake. Despite looking rather impressive, this mousse cake is quite easy to whip up (and quite literally too). The mousse itself does not contain gelatine but sets thanks to the cocoa solids in the chocolate. I have to say I was a little bit skeptical at first, but it works. If you want to, you can add some gelatine just to be sure, otherwise the cake will hold even 3 hours after it has been taken out of the fridge. Quite amazing if you ask me.
The raspberries on the top are not compulsory and you could just serve the cake on its own. However, I agree you need a touch of colour on top of such a big mountain of chocolate, and what’s more festive than some red berries? As for the golden sparkle… well, I think you can really go all out under Christmas, don’t you think? The recipe is Mary Berry’s, so it’s foolproof, but I have made it gluten-free by substituting the plain flour with half the amount of gluten-free flour and adding some ground almonds to give it body. I have left the brandy out, however, as I feel you don’t necessarily need it. The ground almonds make the sponge very moist already.
Ingredients (for the cake)
- 25g cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp boiling water
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g gluten-free plain flour
- 60g ground almonds
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Ingredients (for the mousse & decoration)
- 300g dark chocolate (no more than 50% cocoa solids)
- 450ml double cream
- 225g fresh raspberries
- edible glitter (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm round srpingform tin and line the bottom and the sides with baking parchment. Leave some extra paper hanging over the top because the cake tin will be filled with the mousse.
- To make the chocolate cake, measure the cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk together until it forms a thick paste. Add the rest of the dry ingredients followed by the eggs and butter, then beat well with an electric whisk to combine.
- Smooth the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- To prepare the mousse, start by roughly breaking up the chocolate and putting it in a large bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water. Ensure the bowl doesn’t touch the water or your chocolate may seize. gently melt the chocolate by stirring it frequently, then set aside to cool slightly.
- In another bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form, then gently fold in the chocolate until no streaks are left and you have a homogeneous mixture.
- When the cake has cooled (and while it is still in the tin), gently pour the chocolate mousse over the cake and use a palette knife to level the top. Cover the cake with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set (best done overnight).
- To decorate the cake, gently peel off the parchment from the sides of the cake once you have removed the outer ring of the tin, then carefully remove the round of baking parchment under the cake, slide the whole dessert onto a serving platter and decorate with raspberries and/or glitter. Enjoy!