Looking for a romantic dessert to share? Want to impress your loved one with your own creation? Then this is the dessert for you! Super chocolaty* goodness paired with wine will do the trick!
* - I definitely thought it was spelled chocolatey. You really do learn something new every day.
Step 1: Ingredients
This recipe yields 3 cakes.
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg (room temperature)
1/4 cup whole milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/3 heavy whipping cream
8 egg yolks (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
7 oz bittersweet chocolate
7 oz milk chocolate
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 pinches of salt
Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
4 oz white chocolate almond bark
2 oz semi sweet chocolate
Step 2: Making the Cakes
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 and greasing 3 or 4 small ramekins/pans. I used mini springform pans which are slightly larger than most ramekins. The slightly larger size worked well as it produced a final cake which was the perfect size to be shared by two.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt) in a large mixing bowl.
Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Once combined divide batter evenly among the ramekins/pans.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes. This may vary a little depending on the pans you use. A toothpick stuck in the cake should come out clean.
Transfer the pans to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Step 3: Making the Mousse
The following recipe will need to be made twice. Once with the bittersweet chocolate and once with the milk chocolate.
Whip 1 2/3 heavy whipping cream in a mixing bowl until you get nice soft peaks. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Whip 4 of the egg yolks on high until the whipped egg begins to form very soft peaks and is a more pale color.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/8 cup corn syrup, and 1/8 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove from heat when large bubbles begin to form.
Resume mixing the egg yolks on low and pour the sugary mixture down the side of the mixing bowl. Mix for 5 minutes, increasing speed up to medium high.
Melt 7 oz of chocolate (bittersweet or milk).
Add chocolate, 1 tsp vanilla, and a pinch of salt to the egg mixture and mix completely.
Add 1/3 of chocolaty egg mixture to the chilled whipped cream and whisk together until uniform. After combined add remaining mixture.
Pour/scrape contents of bowl into a gallon zip lock bag, attempting to keep it all in one corner. This bag will be used for piping and should be placed in the refrigerator.
Step 4: Assemble the Stack
Remove the cooled cake from the ramekin/pan. Slice off the rounded top of the cake.
Cut a piece of parchment paper for each cake that is long enough to wrap around the cake and is wider than 3 of the cakes stacked tall.
Wrap each of the cakes in the parchment paper and tape the paper into as tight of a cylinder around the cake as possible (beware that scotch tape does not adhere well to parchment paper).
Once all cakes are wrapped begin piping the bittersweet mousse on top of the cakes. Divide evenly among the cakes. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mousse out flat and out to the edges of the cake. Place the cakes in the refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes.
For me the milk chocolate mousse was much runnier than the bittersweet mousse so I was hesitant to put as much milk chocolate mousse on the stack. I piped and spread a thin layer (1/4 inch thick) out on each cake. I then placed the cakes in the refrigerator overnight (an hour would likely be sufficient).
Step 5: Dip the Strawberries
Begin by cutting each strawberry in half vertically, attempting to keep each cut piece as looking as symmetrical as possible.
Cut a V shape wedge out of the top center of each strawberry half and then round the top to make it resemble a heart.
Melt the white chocolate almond bark in a bowl so that the strawberry halves can easily be dipped.
Dry the strawberry halves and insert toothpicks to help hold them (I used 3 toothpicks to create a sort of tripod stand, keeping the melting chocolate from flattening on the cooling surface). Dip the strawberries one at a time in the melted almond bark and then place to cool in the refrigerator.
Once the strawberries have cooled and the chocolate is hardened melt the semisweet chocolate in a bowl. Transfer the melted chocolate into a small zip-lock bag. Use this bag to pipe a thin drizzle on the strawberries.
Allow the chocolate to dry/cool completely.
Step 6: Finish and Present
Move the cake stack to the desired serving plate and slowly unroll the parchment paper to reveal the cake and mousse.
To finish off the cake simply remove any toothpicks from the strawberry and place it on the top of the cake.
Pair the dessert with red wine and candles - the rest is up to you...!
Martha Stewart's recipe for Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake was my inspiration. Check out her website for many more wonderful creations!