Hello! So it’s apparently my first anniversary since creating this blog, would you believe it? I’m very sorry I’ve been a lazy git and have vast periods of inactivity, it’s not easy juggling university, essays, exams and a year long trip to America! I felt like I needed to celebrate this year and realised that I’ve had these photos sitting around on my laptop for a few months now. So, whilst I am ill and bed bound, I feel like it is time to give you guys another recipe thats worth celebrating! I also have exams looming to I’m really procrastinating to the max right now, so an even better use of my time is to at least make you salivate huh? ..
This one was inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s recipe, and you can probably say its vegan friendly as there’s no cream, just dark chocolate and water involved here. I was sure it was going to fail (the big no no with working with chocolate is to add any water to it for fear of splitting it) but it surprisingly worked! I would recommend having a manual and electric whisk on hand, I started on manual but it got very tiring so I finished it off with the electric.
You know me and simplicity. I have a rubbish oven that burns everything and so things often need several attempts. I made macaroons once and was left in tears at the end of the 4th attempt because it was so time consuming and complicated and so easy to fail. So yes, if its quick and doesn’t use more than two bowls (because washing up is an awful thing) then it’s normally a winner! There are a lot of directions, but it is just because I wanted to break down the process step by step.
I turned this mousse into a showstopper by baking a very thin vanilla sponge cake for the base. I would have used a biscuit base but I didn’t have time to run to the shops to grab any. Maybe next time? Or maybe you could try it that way, to make the showstopper 100% vegan or dairy free or gluten free etc 🙂 I think it will look majestic however you try this.
My parents’ dark granite worktops really help make this cake look broody and sexy right? No? Let me spam you with more pictures then.
For the Mousse:
350g Good quality chocolate (I used 200g dark, 150g milk)
270ml hot water (but not quite boiling)
For the cake base:
100g Caster Sugar
100g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Firstly make the cake so that it can have time to cool completely before the mousse layer.
Cream your butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and fluffy.
Then mix in half the eggs, and half the flour until combined, then fold in the rest of the eggs, baking powder and flour until combined.
Pour into a greased and lined cake tin of the size of your showstopper (make sure the bottom of your cake has parchment paper on it to make transferring it easier later). I only had a 24cm springform cake tin at hand which is quite large so if you are using a smaller tin you might have a taller cake or have to use less cake mix. When baked my cake was about 2/3cm tall.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before levelling the top and starting the mousse.
For the mousse, prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Make sure the bowl you are using for your chocolate fits on top of it well.
Weigh out your 350g chocolate and chop it into rough chunks with a knife so that it will melt quicker. Put your water into the kettle to boil but stop it just before boiling point. Remeasure your water and pour over your chocolate. Leave the bowl untouched to let the chocolate melt before you begin whisking.
With a manual whisk, mix the chocolate and water mixture until it is combined and no longer grainy. Then place the bowl on top of the icy water and whisk until the mixture thickens.
Once the mixture has begun to thicken, take off the bowl of ice and continue to whisk until the mousse is at soft serve consistency. I whisked a little longer to make a firmer mousse so that it would stay set on my cake.
Pour the mousse into your original cake tin which is lined with parchment paper on the bottom and around the sides. Spread it as evenly as possible before placing the cake on top of the mousse and pressing it down to even the mousse and stick it to the cake. Make sure you have left the parchment paper on the sponge and that it is now facing you on top of the cake.
I used a springform tin so I unclipped the sides and peeled away the parchment paper from the sides before flipping the cake over, so that it is sponge on the bottom and mousse on top.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes before removing the parchment paper on top of the mousse and with a palette knife smoothing out the top (I created a scalloped design to neaten it up) Sift some cocoa powder on top and serve!
Love Sian xxx