Life. Is. Nuts. How does time slip away from me? How on Earth is it September? Football season is starting? Summer is over? I made this cake a month ago and haven’t told you about it yet?! When the heck did this happen?! I am slowly realizing that life is, in fact, hectic and that no, it will not ever stop. What’s that? You have a baby and three dogs and I should stop whining over here about being busy, grad-student-with-no-dependents-not-even-a-fish?
Instead, look at this cake. It was the best thing I’ve ever made. Except for maybe this. And you know that one time I said I didn’t like cake? Well, this is the kind of cake I do like. It was Brett’s birthday cake. But I ate more than half of it. By myself. If you feel so inclined, you should make it. It kind of takes awhile. It’s got a lot of parts. But I’m pretty sure you can find the time. What’s that? Your baby is crying? Feed her this cake. I promise she’ll stop crying. By the way. This cake is totally gluten free. Winning.
Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake (I pieced this together from a whole bunch of sources, I’ll let you know where each part came from. It’s long. Bear with me. It ends in chocolate heaven so I swear it’s worth it.)
For the Cake (adapted from Joy of Baking. I used it pretty much exactly, just halved all the proportions because I have a tiny 15X10 pan. It turned out super duper thin. I liked it. But next time I might just make a whole batch of the cake and try it out a bit thicker. )
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 ounces super dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- scant 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a jelly roll pan and line it with buttered parchment paper. ( Jelly roll pans are usually 12″X17″X1″ but I have a smaller one. If you have a larger one, go ahead and double this recipe as it made a suuuper thin cake in my small pan).
- In a double boiler or in a microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In the very clean bowl* of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a mixing bowl with a hand mixer), whip the egg whites until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and whip until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1 tbsp of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer) Whip together the egg yolks and 2 tbsp of sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Set aside.
- Fold a small amount of egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gradually fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Gently shake and tap pan to eliminate bubbles. Bake for 10-15 minutes (seriously! it’s so fast!) until puffed slightly, it will spring back to the touch.
- Allow to cool completely.
*In recipes that call for whipping both egg whites and yolks, I always whip the egg whites first because any trace of yolk or grease left in the bowl or on the whisk will not allow whites to whip properly. Then, I can just dump the whites into another clean bowl while I whip the yolks in my mixer. You’ll dirty two bowls either way, but this way I don’t have to stop everything to wash dishes in the middle of making my cake.
For the Mousse ( from Martha Stewart. Holy cow. If you make nothing else, make this. Now.)
- 1 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 7 ounces dark chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk …. I’ve said this a lot already. You get it right? We are whipping a lot in this recipe.. whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk the egg yolks until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until large, clear bubbles form and burst, about 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low and slowly (and carefully!) pour the sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl. Turn speed up to medium-high and whip until thickened, about 5 minutes. (this is partially cooking the egg yolks, so you aren’t eating completely raw eggs. But you probably want to use nice fresh eggs as they won’t completely cook through)
- Stir in melted chocolate, vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
At this point, you should probably refrigerate this mousse for at least an hour or something. I was impatient. I didn’t wait. That’s why my cakes are all kinds of lopsided and crazy looking. They tasted uh-may-zing. But they’re not exactly beautiful. So if you have more patience (or more foresight) than me, go ahead and refrigerate this before assembling cake.
For the raspberry sauce (I’m kicking myself for this, but I can’t for the life of me remember what recipe I used! I think it was this one from Martha Stewart, because I know it had cornstarch in it. Blogger fail. I’ll put up Martha’s proportions but my method..kind of counts?)
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
In a small saucepan, stir together cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice and salt. Add in raspberries and stir to combine. Turn heat to medium and cook until raspberries break down completely and sauce begins to thicken. Strain through a mesh sieve. Cover and refrigerate.
Assembly! (the fun part)
Wow. If you made it this far I’m impressed with you. And also thankful. Thanks for reading all my blather! Here goes: the magical assembly that will make your mouth want to die of happiness and joy.
- Using a large (mine was about 4 inches in diameter) cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 6 circles from your cake. Place two circles on serving plates or platter.
- Top with a heaping tablespoon of raspberry sauce. For the mousse, you can go one of two ways. If you have refrigerated it, you can either a) scoop a dollop on top of the raspberry sauce (it will look a bit rustic, like mine) or b) Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip, fill with mousse, and pipe a neat circle of mousse on top of your raspberry sauce. If you want to be really neat about it (which I did, but I have no tape in my house so it didn’t really work) You can tape a circle of parchment or waxed paper around the edge of your cake, about 5 inches tall, so that it will stay perfectly round as you layer. This is a picture of what I’m talking about in case it doesn’t make sense.
- Top with another round of cake, another spoonful of raspberry, more mousse. Repeat one more time. You will end up with three layers, ending with mousse on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, sift a good layer of unsweetened cocoa on top and place a few fresh raspberries on top. Because it’s pretty.
Now. Stuff yo’ dang face.