This weekend I was tasked with making my aunt’s 70th birthday cake.
It was the perfect opportunity to try a decadent chocolate mousse layer cake, bringing together a few techniques I’ve learned over the past few weeks.
I also wanted to attempt a ‘chocolate collar’ for the first time. I am keen to do a good few weeks focusing on chocolate preparation but this was a cheeky cheat in the meantime.
First of all, I really can’t go past Julia Child’s chocolate mousse now that I’ve tried it so I knew I wanted to use that recipe but decided to use rum instead of Cointreau this time.
For the chocolate cake, I wanted something light and fluffy but also not too delicate. I ruled out chocolate sponge, and decided to go for a vegetable oil based cake which I hoped would stand up to the weight of the mousse.
The chocolate collar was a challenge but worked out well in the end. I think my mistake was pouring the chocolate too thick which meant it took a long time to set.
It wasn’t tempered but I will give this a go later down the track.
Last thing, please forgive my rubbish photo! I didn’t finish the cake until shortly before serving and as always things were a bit manic in my household so I didn’t manage a decent snap of the cake.
Chocolate mousse layer cake
1 portion Julia Child chocolate mousse
- 1 ½ cup plain flour
- 1 oz. cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ `tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 water
Sift together the dry ingredients, then add the oil, egg and vanilla extract.
Whisk together until combined, then add the water.
Pour into two lined and greased cake tins, then bake at 160 degree for 30 minutes.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
150g dark chocolate
In a springform tin, place the first layer of cake then pour over half of the mousse.
Repeat this process again, then refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Make your chocolate collar by first measuring out a piece of baking paper so that it fits around the circumference of the cake. Make a mark on the paper for the height you want – roughly an inch higher from the height of the cake itself.
Melt the chocolate, then pour over the prepared baking paper. Smooth it across the paper with a spatula then leave it to set.
It will be hard to know exactly when to move on to the next step, but be sure that the chocolate is not too runny but also not too hard.
Wrap the chocolate covered paper around the cake, then place back in the fridge.
Just before serving, carefully remove the baking paper.