Triple Mousse Drip Cake

The month of March is one big celebratory month for me. Apart from it being my birthday month, a good few of my dearest friends and family are March babies, including both my husbands parents. To jubilate my Mother-in-law’s 78th last Saturday in sweet fashion, I decided it’s time for more birthday cake!

Keeping in mind that she loves mint and chocolate I took some inspiration from peppermint tart to create this cake – not that I think peppermint tart needs to be recreated, it’s angelic as is. For a birthday get-together though, there had to be that element of a good sponge (not biscuits) to uphold the celebratory mood so I started building this cake with a chocolate cake base, one that I am absolutely crazy about.

For years good chocolate cake eluded me, I’ve tasted many along the way and I’ve found that most were either too dry or too moist. When they were dry they lacked the flavour of real chocolate (not enough eggs and butter and poor quality cocoa powder) and then as if my concerns were heard by the Gods, moist chocolate cake took the over the world. No one could have been more pleased to know there was chocolate cake out there that was flavourful, rich and moist until I tasted a few. The concept is genius except that many of the recipes out there have turned moist chocolate cake into doughy chocolate cake.  My very first bite of moist chocolate cake turned into a ball of mushy dough in my mouth instantly.  If that’s ever happened to you, it’s probably because there’s a much too heavy dose of boiling water added to the recipe. The use of boiling water in a good chocolate cake recipe is to cook the cocoa powder by making a paste between the two, meaning that usually small amounts of water is required. Yet  another time I remember taking the cake up to my mouth and getting a strong whiff of oil – I don’t think that much oil belongs in a cake. 

In my opinion, if you want really good chocolate cake you have to be sincere with it. Cutting corners by replacing butter with oil, doesn’t work in the cakes favour. Adding too much flour to bulk it up, is a travesty of justice for the people who can’t wait to sample a piece. Chocolate cake should be made predominately with chocolate – a fair amount of good quality dark chocolate in relation to the flour. For a 20cm round cake, this foolproof chocolate cake recipe calls for only 40g of flour. It’s the butter, chocolate and eggs in relation to the small amount of flour that makes this chocolate cake rich, velvety and moist. There is so little work to this cake, (making it is amazingly easy) but oh so much reward that there was no doubt in my mind that it would make the perfect base for this Triple Mousse Drip Cake.

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A trio of decadent mousse, caramel, mint and white chocolate perch on top of the chocolate cake base before the top is adorned with a dark chocolate glaze that delicately drips off the edge, rendering this cake with it’s name. I suppose I should take the Birthday Girl’s exclamation, “Madonna!”,  when she took the first bite, as a lovely Italian compliment from a woman who spent decades of her life cooking and baking for her family. She was happy so we all were happy! 🙂

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For the Chocolate Cake Base
Ingredients
  • 2 small eggs/100g
  • 55g castor sugar
  • 15g honey runny honey
  • 75g dark chocolate
  • 60g unsalted butter cubed
  • 40g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Preparation
  1. Grease and line a 20cm round baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 140°C gas fan / 160°C electric fan / 180° C conventional.
  3. Create a double boiler on low heat and bring chocolate and butter to melt.
  4. Meanwhile sift flour and baking powder and set aside.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and honey until light and airy and tripled in volume.
  6. By this stage the chocolate and butter should be melted with a glossy shine. Fold the chocolate into the eggs.
  7. Fold in the flour and baking powder to combine.
  8. Transfer batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 25 -30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to finish the cooling process.
  10. Wrap in cling film and place in the freezer.
For the White Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients
  • 1 egg separated
  • drop of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 gelatine leaves (4g)
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 125g fresh cream
Preparation
  1.  Soak gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a grease free, heat proof mixing bowl whisk egg white with a drop of lemon juice to medium peak stage over a double boiler. Transfer into a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. Return the heatproof mixing bowl to the double boiler and whisk milk, sugar and egg yolk over on low heat until double in volume.
  4. In a separate bowl melt chocolate over the double boiler until smooth and glossy.
  5. Fold in the chocolate into the yolk mixture and set aside to cool.
  6. In a chilled bowl whisk cream to medium peak stage and fold in the chocolate mixture. Once combined fold in the whipped egg whites.
  7. Place a small saucepan onto the heat. Once the saucepan is hot remove from the heat, add gelatine and melt (10 seconds). Using a spatula transfer liquid gelatine and fold in until well incorporated to make a light airy mousse.
For the Mint Mousse
Ingredients
  • 1 egg separated
  • drop of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 gelatine leaves (4g)
  • 3 tbs mint syrup
  • 125g fresh cream
Preparation
  1. Soak gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a grease free, heat proof mixing bowl whisk egg white with a drop of lemon juice to medium peak stage over a double boiler. Transfer into a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. Return the heatproof mixing bowl to the double boiler and whisk milk, sugar, mint syrup and egg yolk over on low heat until double in volume.
  4. In a chilled bowl whisk cream to medium peak stage and fold in mint mixture. Once combined fold in the whipped egg whites.
  5. Place a small saucepan onto the heat. Once the saucepan is hot remove from the heat, add gelatine and melt (10 seconds). Using a spatula transfer liquid gelatine into cream and fold in until well incorporated to make a light airy mousse.
For the Caramel Mousse
Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • drop of lemon juice
  • 60g castor sugar
  • 50ml milk
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 125g fresh cream
Preparation
  1. Whisk egg whites with a drop of lemon juice over a double boiler to medium peak stage.
  2. Soak gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water.
  3. In a small saucepan place sugar on low heat to caramelise. Once the sugar has melted and turned amber, add milk and whisk with a hand-held whisk until smooth. If the sugar crystallizes keep whisking over the heat to melt and make a smooth sauce.
  4. Add gelatine to hot caramel to melt and stir until combined. Transfer from the hot saucepan and leave to cool.
  5. In a chilled bowl whip cream to medium peak stage and fold in the caramel followed by the whipped egg whites to make a light airy mousse.
For the Mint Simple Syrup
Ingredients
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 60ml water
  • 30g castor sugar
Preparation
  1. Muddle mint leaves with a pestle and mortar before adding to a saucepan with the water.
  2. Bring mint water to simmer with sugar for 10 minutes until sugar dissolves.
  3. Strain mint simple syrup with a sieve until no leaf particles are left behind in the syrup except for the colour and flavour.
For the Dark Chocolate Glaze
Ingredients
  • 50ml water
  • 50ml pouring cream
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 3 gelatine sheets (6g)
Preparation
  1. Place small saucepan (preferably with spout) on low heat.
  2. Add water, cream, cocoa powder and sugar and stir to combine.
  3. Place gelatine in cold water and leave to bloom for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the mixture is fully heated and all ingredients are well incorporated without lumps, add chocolate. Let the chocolate melt in properly by stirring gently with a whisk.
  5. Squeeze out the water from the gelatine and add to the chocolate mixture. Stir until gelatine melts and the mixture looks glossy and smooth.
  6. Pass glaze through a fine mesh sieve to remove air bubbles and any lumps. Repeat this step for extra assurance that the glaze is silky smooth.
Assembly

*Note that for this cake you will need an adjustable ring mould and a 22cm sheet of acetate. For the decorations on the cake you will need a silicone half sphere mould and a flower cutter. You will also need to follow the assembly guidelines carefully before executing the preparation of each separate mousse layer.

  1. Even though the chocolate cake is the base and is the last layer to be placed into the ring mould more often than not, I prefer to bake the cake layer first when making layered cakes. Once that is out of the way, we can concentrate on the mousse layers. First bake the chocolate cake and place it in the freezer. Cakes are easier to handle when frozen and more importantly they tend to stay moist.
  2. Prepare the ring mould by setting it to 20cm/200. Once it’s set to the right measurement, line the underside with clingfilm. This means that we are closing one of the two open sides to simulate a base for the mould. When lining the mould ensure that the cling film is pulled tight enough to prevent unwanted creases. Remember that the first layer of mousse will be set on top of the cling wrap so we want to ensure a smooth top. Once the cling wrap is firmly attached set the mould aside onto a flat board. Place the acetate inside the mould and keep it in place with two pegs. One peg should be placed where the two ends of acetate meet and the other peg should be placed directly opposite that.
  3. Begin the next step by preparing the white chocolate mousse. Once it is ready you must act quickly because the gelatine in the mousse will start to set rapidly. As soon as the mousse is ready pour it into the prepared mould, double tap the mould onto the board to even out and then place the mould with the board into the freezer so that when it sets it will set evenly and flat. Before freezing the pegs can be removed.
  4. The mousse should be left to harden in the freezer for about an hour so just before the hour is up, you may start to prepare the second layer of mousse which is the mint flavour. Once the mint flavour is ready, fill five half spheres of the silicone mould for the decorations and place in the freezer.  images
  5. Remove the ring mould from the freezer and touch the surface of the white chocolate mousse to ensure it’s fully set before pouring the mint mousse over the white chocolate mousse. Be patient because if this step is done prematurely and the first layer of mousse is not set, the two flavours will mix, preventing a distinct line between the two.
  6. While the second layer is setting start preparing the mint simple syrup. Once the syrup is made check the time because just before the hour is up you must begin preparation of the caramel mousse.
  7. Once the caramel mousse is done repeat the process as in step 5.
  8. As soon as the caramel mousse has been added into the mould and placed in the freezer, remove the chocolate cake from the freezer and using a sharp knife, neaten the edges and underside of the cake, discarding any overcooked bits. Over-cooked bits can alter the taste of the entire cake drastically so you must ensure to remove them neatly. Once this is done brush the sides, the top and the underside of the cake with the mint simple syrup. This process should take roughly 20 minutes giving the caramel mousse time to set just enough so that the chocolate cake can be placed on top without any damage to the caramel layer.
  9. Remove the ring mould from the freezer and with the help of an offset spatula gently ease the chocolate cake on top of the last layer of mousse, right smack in the centre.
  10. Cover with cling film and leave to set overnight or four hours.
  11. When it’s time to turn out the cake, have the chocolate glaze ready as well as the final cake plate/stand the cake will be placed on.
  12. Unmould the frozen cake by removing the cling wrap from the top that was covering the chocolate base. Transfer the cake onto the cake stand by placing the plate or stand over the chocolate base and gently flipping it over. Gently pull the ring mould upward to release it from the cake. The mould should pull away from the acetate easily, if it doesn’t wait for the sides of the mould to thaw for a few minutes and try again. Do not attempt to extend the mould wider to release the cake as the cake will crack along the centre.
  13. Once the ring mould has been removed, the cake should now be on the plate/stand with the white chocolate mousse layer on top. Gently peel off the acetate and cling film and smooth out any rough edges by running the flat side of the spatula around the cake gently.
  14. By this stage the glaze might have set to a thick consistency once again. Heat the glaze to ensure it is runny and begin to glaze the top of the cake by pouring from the centre of the cake outward in a circular motion. When nearing the edge of the cake stop pouring gradually so that the glaze drips ever so slightly over the edge to form a distinct drip pattern. Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 13.34.54 copy
  15. For the decorations you will need 20g of plastic icing/fondant, a small flower cutter, edible shimmer and 50g of white chocolate. Start by working the hard fondant between your palms so that it becomes soft and pliable. Measure the circumference of the chocolate cake base as well as the height and begin rolling out the fondant wide enough to be able to cut out a band long and high enough to fit around the chocolate base. Once the band has been cut use an indented rolling-pin to form the lines on the band. However if you do not have such a rolling pin you may leave the band as is or decorate it as you wish. You can use a simple fork if you so desire to decorate the band or decorating comb. Using a small brush dust on the edible shimmer before wrapping the band around the chocolate base. Use a drop of water to seal the point where the two edges of the band meet. Roll out another small piece of fondant and using a small flower cutter,  cut out a flower, dust it with edible shimmer and place it where the two points of the band meet to cover.
  16. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler, (you can colour it if you prefer by mixing a pinch of colouring powder into the chocolate) and drizzle over the melted chocolate like in the main picture using a teaspoon or a piping bag with writing tip.
  17. Remove half spheres from the freezer and unmould them before placing them on the cake. The cake should then be covered with a dome and placed in the fridge. Once the cake has fully thawed in the fridge it may be served directly from the fridge. However if transporting the cake, it’s best to keep it frozen. It will take roughly thirty minutes to thaw from frozen in warm weather. When serving the cake it will keep its shape for roughly an hour and a half before the remainder will need to be placed back into the fridge.
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