Today, I am going to start my post with a picture.
Are you ready?
Here it is.
When I think of this cake, I want to cry.
It is, I think, one of the tastiest cakes I have ever made. And that’s saying something since I bake a lot.
If you love chocolate, please continue reading this post.
If you don’t, well, you are a bit strange, but it is okay, you read my blog, so all is good. 🙂
I have to say up-front, that this is NOT a difficult cake to make. But you need patience. Quite a bit of it.
It took me an entire day to make this cake because I had to wait for each layer to cool or set before I could make the next. This sounds daunting but really, it was a matter of making a layer, go do something else, then come back to make the next.
In fact, it would be better to split the entire process into 2 days if you can plan ahead so that each layer has time to really set properly.
Okay, enough chatter. Let me show you how I made this cake.
To simplify matters, I am going to divide the entire process into three stages, starting with the base, then the middle and finally the top layers.
I started by lining and greasing the base and sides of a 9-inch Springform pan. This was set aside.
In a ban marie, I melted the chocolate, butter and espresso powder until a smooth mixture was formed.
While this mixture cooled, I whisked the egg whites.
Once the whites had reached the foamy stage, I added the brown sugar a little at a time, until soft peaks formed.
DON’T WALK AWAY!!! This can happen pretty quickly. This was set aside.
I used the paddle attachment of my mixer to beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Then I added vanilla extract.
I beat one-third of the egg white mixture (on very low speed) into the chocolate using the paddle attachment.
With a spatula, I very gently folded in the remaining egg white mixture.
The cake was left to cool on a wire rack. The cake may collapse. It is okay.
You must cool this COMPLETELY before you proceed to making the middle layer.
In a ban marie, I melted the dark chocolate. Please buy the best chocolate you can afford. This is a special cake and trust me, you can taste the difference.
While that happened, I mixed together cocoa powder and hot water.
I left them to cool slightly while I got on with the cream.
I like to leave my mixing bowl and the whisk in the fridge (or freezer) for a little while before I start whipping the cream.
Here, I whipped together cream, sugar and salt until soft peaks formed. This can happen very, very quickly, so DO NOT WALK AWAY!
This was set aside.
I added the cocoa mixture to the chocolate, and whisked. The chocolate will look like it had seized. (See picture below on the far right.) I nearly had a heart attack when this happened.
OH NO! MY VALRHONA!!
But it was okay. just keep whisking and it will come back together.
I added one-third of the cream into this and whisked it into the chocolate mixture. Just be firm but not violent.
This is a rather gentle cake.
Then, using my spatula, I VERY gently folded in the remaining cream in 2 additions.
You need to keep folding until there are no streaks in the mixture or it would not set properly.
Very carefully, I poured this onto the cooled cake. I dropped the pan 3-4 times from a height of 5-7 cm to get rid of any trapped air bubbles.
This was then placed in the fridge (minimum 1-2 hours, but more is better) to set. I left mine for about 5 hours. Yes, I am a bit kiasu, but it is expensive chocolate, you know. 😛
Finally, we have come to the last stage of the process!!
In a bowl, I placed some water (room temperature). Onto this I sprinkled gelatin and stirred it in with a spoon. This was set aside.
In the meantime, I heated the cream until it had reached boiling point (you will see bubbles forming at the edges of the saucepan).
I added the gelatin into the cream, and stirred until all the gelatin had dissolved.
I poured this into the mixing bowl in which I had placed the white chocolate. Using a whisk, I whisked this until all the chocolate had melted. This was set aside.
I whipped the cream on high until soft peaks formed. By now, you would know that you have to hang around while this takes place. I don’t need to type in capital letters again, right? 🙂
I whisked one-third of the cream into the chocolate until all the cream was incorporated.
Then using a spatula, I folded the rest of the cream very gently into the mixture.
This was poured onto the set dark chocolate, and placed into the fridge to set for at least 2.5-3 hours. I left mine over-night.
It is one gorgeous cake.
And totally decadent.
It is light, and so so smooth.
And totally melt-in-your-mouth good.
I am in love.
- 6 tablespoon (85.05g) unsalted butter, cubed
- 7 oz. (196g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped - I used Valrhona 70%
- 3/4 tsp espresso powder - I used Illy Espresso ground coffee
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5ml) vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (66.67g) packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (14.76g) unsweetened cocoa powder - I used Valrhona
- 5 tablespoons (75ml) hot water
- 7 oz. (196g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped - I used Valrhona 55%
- 1 1/2 cup (375ml) cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon (14.06g) granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 tsp powdered gelatin
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) water
- 6 oz. (168g) white chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup (375ml) cold heavy whipping cream
- Chocolate curls or shavings - I used Hershey semi-sweet chocolate baking bar
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (162.7°C). Grease and line a 9" round Springform pan. Set aside.
- Separate egg yolks and whites. Set aside.
- In a ban marie, melt chocolate, butter and espresso powder, whisking until smooth. Cool slightly for 5 minutes.
- Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.
- In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, whip egg whites with salt for 30 seconds, or until frothy. Add the brown sugar slowly, sprinkling it over the frothy whites. Whip until soft peaks form. It can take from 1 to 3 minutes. Keep checking your peaks.
- Whisk in 1/3 of whipped whites to chocolate mixture. Do not whisk vigorously. Be gentle. Whisk just until the mixture lightens in color. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the rest of whites, until no streaks remain.
- Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Smooth the top out.
- Bake the cake for 15 to 18 minutes ( center should spring back when gently pressed ).
- Leave the cake in the springform and cool completely, at least 1 hour. It will collapse. You can cover cooled cake and refrigerate overnight.
- In a small bowl, mix together cocoa powder and hot water. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Cool 3 to 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream, sugar and salt at medium speed. Whip for 30 seconds. It should slightly thicken. Increase the speed to high and whip the cream until soft peaks form. It should happen quite fast ( 20 to 30 seconds ) so do not walk away. Set aside.
- Whisk cocoa powder mixture with melted chocolate until smooth. At first it will look like your chocolate seized but keep whisking. It will come back together and be smooth.
- With whisk, fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream, until no streaks remain. It is important or the mousse won't set right.
- Spoon the mousse over cooled cake layer. Tap the form on your counter top 3 times to get rid of any air bubbles. Smooth the top with a spatula. Wipe the inside of the pan with a paper towel from any mousse smudges. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1-2 hours so the mousse can set.
- Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl. Quickly stir with a small spoon. Set aside.
- Place white chocolate in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small saucepan, heat up only 1/2 cup of cream until boiling. Remove from heat. Add gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Pour the cream and gelatin mixture over white chocolate. Let sit for 20 to 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally.
- It should slightly thicken.
- Whip the remaining cream at medium speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, about 15 to 20 seconds.
- With whisk, fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream to chocolate mixture. Do not whisk vigorously. Gently, until all smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the rest of the whipped cream into your chocolate mixture, until no streaks remain.
- Spoon the white chocolate mousse over the semi-sweet chocolate mousse. Smooth the top out.
- Chill the cake for at least 2.5-3 hours (I chilled my cake over-night).
- When ready to serve, remove sides of the springform and the lining.
- For clean cuts, use dental floss or warm but dry knife.
- Decorate slices with chocolate curls. Serve.
- Refrigerate the remaining cake, covered, for up to 3 days.
- Please read the instructions before proceeding. It is important to plan well when making the cake. You cannot speed up any process. Every layer has to set. Be gentle when folding the whipped cream into chocolate mixtures. Whisk gently. It is important to fold in until no streaks remain for the proper setting of the mousse. Take your time - this cake is worth it.