So for my birthday I decided to do something crazy… I baked myself a cake. Now that doesn’t sound so crazy, but if you knew me you’d gasp. I hate cake (gasp!). Maybe hate is a strong word, but I’m very picky about my cake and often prefer to just not go there. But I defied all odds and found this GEM of a recipe in a cookbook, The Pastry Queen. Trust me, the title is well deserved.
Look at that sexy thing. Look at how the chocolate glaze just wants to run right into my mouth. Look at the creamy mousse peeking out from underneath…
Are you dying yet? Because I’m dying and the only thing that will save me is a slice of that cake. Did I mention it’s flourless? Happy Birthday to me, indeed.
Until next time. x
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- 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 12 oz premium-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 6 large eggs
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- 2 TB dark rum, or a liqueur of your choice, such as Kahlua or Grand Marnier (optional)
Milk Chocolate Mousse:
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter
- 10 oz premium quality milk chocolate
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 3 TB sugar
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- 1 c. chilled heavy whipping cream
Dark Chocolate Glaze:
- 4 oz premium quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 c. light corn syrup
- 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Raspberries or fruit of choice for garnish (optional)
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake or springform pan with parchment paper and coat evenly with cooking spray. Melt the butter and chocolate in a metal bowl set over a medium saucepan with 2 inches of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove the bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar and add the chocolate mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and rum.
- Place your cake pan in a larger roasting or deep baking pan. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come about two-thirds of the way up the cake pan.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until firm. It will rise during baking and settle as it cools down. Cool the cake completely on a rack.
For the Mousse:
- Melt the butter in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the milk chocolate slowly, making sure not to over mix and dry out. If this is difficult, try melting them in a microwave stirring every 10 seconds until smooth. Set the mixture aside to cool.
- With a mixer or whisk, beat the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and then combine with the chocolate mixture.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until shiny, stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture one-third at a time to keep it light and fluffy. Next, in a clean bowl, whip the cream on high just until peaks start to form. Over mixing will cause the mousse to get lumpy. Gently fold the cream into the chocolate mixture.
- Spread the mousse over the cake, filling the pan to the top. Cover and freeze for 6 hours to overnight. At this point the cake can be kept in the freezer for 3 weeks.
For the Glaze:
- Place the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. In a saucepan, bring the corn syrup, cream and vanilla to a boil. Immediately pour this over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Do not refrigerate as it will harden. It pours best at room temperature. Add cream if it is too thick.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and immediately dip the bottom of the pan in hot water to loosen. Use a knife to separate the edges if needed. Invert it onto a plate, then invert again onto a serving plate so that the mousse is on top. Pour the glaze on top and gently spread with a knife or spatula to drip over the sides. Garnish with fruit. Put it in the fridge for 1 hour for the glaze to set, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze it until ready to serve. If left at room temperature, it will begin to melt, so this is best served straight from the freezer.
Fully assembled, it can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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