|Margarita's Restaurant Recipes|
This chocolate mouse filled cake is positively delicious. It's, without doubt, one of the best tasting desserts I've ever made and while time consuming, it's not particularly difficult. I was actually surprised at how good the cake turned out because none of its parts (the cake, the mousse, the creme anglaise) were particularly outstanding on their own, yet they worked great together, the chocolate mousse livening up and accentuating the almond taste of the cake, the cake taking away some of the sweetness of the chocolate mousse, and the creme anglaise softening and bringing together both. It's certainly one example of how the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.
I stuck to the original recipe as much as I could, but I had to deviate from it somewhat. The original cake recipe called for 8 egg whites in the list of ingredients but only for 5 in the instructions, a mistake that frankly surprised me. I compromised and used 6 and I think it worked out well enough. I also didn't have a large enough cake pan so I used a small 8" one - this was a costlier mistake. A larger much deeper cake pan is really the way to go. The original recipes for the mousse and creme anglaise called for using stainless steel bowls, as I don't have any I improvised with aluminum and other metal saucepans. Again, I think this usually worked well. I messed up in making the creme anglaise (I didn't have whole milk so I mixed in half-and-half with non-fat milk and I overcooked it, so straining it was a pain and it ended up being lumpy) but it tasted fine.
I would totally make this dessert again, it's really, really good.
Chocolate Mousse-Filled Almond Cake with Creme Anglaise
For the cake
1 tube (7 oz.) almond paste 6 whole eggs, separated 2/3 cup sugar 6 tbsp. self-rising flour powdered sugar for dusting
For the chocolate mousse
7 oz. dark chocolate 2/3 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 5 egg yolks 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
For the creme anglaise
1 cup whole milk 1/4 cup sugar 2 tsp. vanilla extract 5 egg yolks
Prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cobine almond paste and 2 egg whites in a bowl and beat until smooth. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whip the egg yolks with 1/3 cup of sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the almond paste and beat. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold it in, a little bit at a time. In yet another bowl, whip 4 egg whites with 1/3 cup of sugar until stiff. Fold into the cake mixture. Grease a 10-inch tall round cake pan. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 35-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry. Cool the cake in the pan. Unmold and cut horizontally into equal layers.
Prepare the chocolate mousse. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl or pot over warm water and set aside. Whip the cream until stiff and set aside. Put the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil. Put the egg yolks in yet another metal bowl and add the water and sugar mixture. Beat well. Place the bowl with the egg mixture over a pot of boiling water and whip until the volume doubles. When it's ready remove, fill a large bowl with ice water and put the bowl with egg mixture on it. Continue whipping until the mixture cools down to the same temperature than the melted chocolate. Add the chocolate to the egg mixture and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate until it sets, about 1 hour.
Prepare the creme anglaise. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the milk, the sugar and the vanilla extract. Put the egg yolks in a bowl, add a little of the warm milk and lightly whip. Pour in the rest of the milk and mix well. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat until it starts to thicken, stirring often. Pass it through a fine strainer into a metal bowl. Put the bowl into a larger bowl of ice and gently stir the custard until it cools. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Assemble the cake. Spread the chocolate mouse between the two cake layers. Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Cut the cake into slices and place in serving plates. Pour creme anglaise around each slice and serve.
Adapted from the recipe for Chocolate Mousse-Filled Almond Cake with Creme Anglaise, page 15 of the Bay Wolf Restaurant Cookbook.