The Bitter Sweet Treat

Incredibly, it is the 2nd day of 2015…….2014 ended on a bitter sweet note for me but I am still grateful to God for His mercies.

I dedicate this post to the angels that went up to Heaven in the past year……We love and miss you very much.

I am about to share a recipe who’s flavours and making process echo a bitter sweetness…….it’s a chocolate no it’s a TRIPLE chocolate mousse cake. It echoes deep tones of earthy dark chocolate with a gentle graduation to the light airy sweet top layer of white chocolate mousse. For all the gluten free diners, yes this one is 100% gluten free!!!

However, the making process is not for the faint of heart. It is daring, messy and a little bit painstaking; having said all that it is NOT difficult to make but requires a fair bit of attention or it could all end in splodgy, sticky, gooey mess! I used a recipe I found on the sugar duchess.

For this delightsome treat you will need;

For the cake:

300 grams (1-2/3 cup chopped) high-quality semisweet chocolate (I used Lindt’s À cuisiner 70% cocoa chocolate)

5 medium eggs, separated, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

116 grams (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature

For the middle layer:

300 grams (1-2/3 cup chopped) high-quality semisweet chocolate (I used Lindt’s À cuisiner 70% cocoa chocolate)

1-1/2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin, softened in 2 tablespoons cool water

For the top layer:

1 cup chopped high-quality white chocolate (I used nestlé’s white chocolate morsels)

1-1/2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin, softened in

1 tablespoon cool water

The How to:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius.

Using a 9″ or 10″ springform pan grease the bottom with cooking spray or butter and line it with a parchment round. This cake must be baked in a Bain Marie, that is, a water bath (a pan with about 1-1/2 inches of hot water) to keep the edges of the cake moist. Before placing the baking pan in the water bath, wrap it in at least two layers of aluminum to prevent water from seeping in while the cake bakes; I used three layers of aluminum. I was so nervous I just had to be extra sure that the cake didn’t drown…….lol…

Now for the first layer, the flourless cake:

Chop the chocolate into small chunks. Melt it slowly in a heat proof bowl set over pot of gently simmering water until it is about 75% melted. Continue to stir slowly until the rest of the chocolate melts.

While the chocolate melts, place the room temperature egg whites in a large, grease-free mixing bowl with about a third of the sugar. The bowl must be devoid of any impurities and the egg yolks as well if not you won’t get the desired results. Using an electric mixer, start beating the mixture on low speed and gradually increase the speed. Continue beating until the whites begin to look fluffy then add the remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla, and continue to beat until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is shiny and nearing the soft peak stage.

Then use a whisk to stir the soft butter into the melted chocolate until you have an even mixture. Whisk in the egg yolks next and then fold half of the meringue into the chocolate mixture with a whisk. Be careful not to knock all the air out of the meringue during the folding in process. Now, fold in the remaining meringue with a rubber spatula ensuring that you mix in the heavier batter at the bottom of the bowl. Keep folding until there are no streaks.

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Ok, so you survived the first step, now pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 25 – 28 minutes. The top will be shiny, and a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Mine was done at the 25 minute mark so keep an eye on it.

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At the end of this phase, your sink should look something like this.

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So wash up and prepare for stage two. Oh I forgot to mention…..there’s a lot of washing up involved!

When the cake is done, take it out of the oven immediately, and let it cool to room temperature. As it cools, it may sink and lose some of it’s volume; this is perfectly normal. Place the cake in the fridge for 1 hour, then carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment circle, and replace the ring from the springform around the cake; this will act as the mold for the two mousses.

Round two – The middle layer:

Chop the chocolate and place it in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture gently, until smooth; if the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, heat it briefly on low over a pan of simmering water and continue to stir until melted.

Once, the chocolate is melted, soften the gelatin in a small pan with the cool water. Once it has softened, heat it on low heat stirring to dissolve. When the gelatin mixture is completely free of lumps, incorporate it into the melted chocolate. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, being very careful not to overwhip it; over whipping will yield butter. You want it to just hold a soft peak. (Be sure to have chilled the bowl and whisk for at least 15 minutes in the freezer before whipping)

Check the chocolate mixture; it must be free of lumps and the temperature should be about 27 degrees Celcius. It should be warm enough to keep the chocolate from hardening but not so hot the whipped cream melts when it’s whisked in. Add about half of the whipped cream to the chocolate and whisk and fold as you did while making the cake. Fold in the remaining whipped cream once the first half is whisked in. When the chocolate and cream are evenly blended, pour the mousse over the top of the cooled cake in the ring. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top and return the cake to the fridge.

This should be your washing up stash at The end of this round 🙂 We’re more than halfway there!

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For the top layer:

Round 3 – The top layer

Repeat the directions for the middle layer, using the white chocolate.

Now, I must confess that this stage did not go as smoothly for me but I blame it on the quality and possibly the quantity of white chocolate I used. I ended up with a liquidy mousse which I KNEW I daren’t pour over my cake so, I whipped up an extra cup of cream, added some gelatin and then added about half the mixture of the “liquid” mousse to it. Then spread it over the cake. I opted to set the cake I’m the freezer, for a couple of hours, so that the top layer would set up quickly. My tactic work beautifully!

When it’s ready to serve, remove the ring by running a thin knife gently around the circumference of the pan, then open the lock and lift it off.

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Slice the cake with a warm, wet knife, wiping it off between slices; this will ensure that slices come out cleanly. Garnish with chocolate shavings or curls, chocolate sauce, or fruits.

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This cake was very satisfying to make. I highly recommend it especially of you’re entertaining.

FFF Tip of the Day:

Making this cake requires a fair bit of preparation. Ensure that things, like the bowl and whisk for whipping the cream is adequately chilled before using. The cream should be chilled too.

It is so much easier to separate cold eggs. This recipe calls for room temperature eggs so you must allow them come up to room temperature.

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9 thoughts on “The Bitter Sweet Treat

    • It really was! And although the flavours came through, the cake itself was so light! Please try to make it! You will love it!

    • Awwww wish I had posted this sooner! Actually packaged a fair bit of it and gave it out to friends! And they adored it! Next time you will be on my list 🙂

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