A decadent dark chocolate mousse cake that’s a cinch to make
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it looks so impressive and is so easy
Dark chocolate mousse cake. Photograph: Harry Weir
Dark chocolate is one of those things people either love or loathe. For me, I used to have a lacklustre relationship with it. I failed to understand why anyone would like the taste of something so bitter. As I got older, I came to appreciate different levels of quality in chocolate and gradually came to value its layers of flavour.
Dark chocolate can be categorised as anything from about 55 per cent cocoa solids and up, however, purists may disagree. The higher the cocoa percentage, the less sugar there is added to the chocolate. I usually opt for 70-80 per cent if I am baking with it. This is a happy medium between sweet and milky and rich and dark.
The wonderful, and possibly surprising, thing about this recipe is there is absolutely no sugar in the mousse. On top of that, there are only three ingredients in it. Don’t let the lack of sweetness phase you, this cake is rich and decadent, and the notes from the dark chocolate really shine.
The mousse needs something sturdy as its base, so I’ve opted for a basic chocolate sponge. It is very thin, you can barely see it, but it provides a decent foundation for the cake on top and makes it easier to portion and serve.
There are many ways to make chocolate mousse, but this method is by far the easiest. Traditionally, egg yolks and whites are whisked and folded into the chocolate mix separately, resulting in a light, airy and bubbly mousse that dissolves on the tongue. This mousse, however, is rich, dense and creamy, making it perfect to serve in cake form.
Most of the time, I freeze this cake whole. It keeps incredibly well for up to a month. It is a clever recipe to whip up and store in the freezer, then all it needs is an hour or two to defrost in the fridge and it will be beautifully silky and creamy.
I love serving this with the first of the summer berries, they cut through the richness perfectly. The finished mousse cake will keep for up to three days in the fridge. You will need to use a 20cm springform tin to release it easily for serving.