Chocolate Mousse Cake

Often simple desserts are better than complicated ones.

Chocolate Mousse Cake 

That is not to say that the flavors are simple.  What I mean is that the dessert itself is made of only a few very well constructed components.  This mousse cake is an example of this.  Tender cake fluffy, rich mousse, and a light dusting of powdered sugar are all you need to create something very impressive.  Well, maybe a few well placed berries would not go amiss.

Chocolate Mousse Cake 

The mousse should be made first so it can completely set up while the cake bakes and cools.  You could frost this cake if you wanted, or pour some warm ganache over the top but it does not need it.  The mousse is rich enough, and the cake is moist enough, that frosting or ganache might actually take away from the delicate flavors.  You can make this a day in advance, just let it sit at room temperature for thirty minutes before cutting.

Chocolate Mousse Cake      Serves 8

For the mousse:
10 ounces dark (65% or higher) chocolate
2.5 ounces water
5 egg yolks*(See Below)
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg whites*(See Below)
2 ounces sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 cup cream

For the cake:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons water

Begin by preparing the mousse. 

Chocolate Mousse Cake 

In a double boiler melt the chocolate with the water until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Chocolate Mousse Cake 

In a small bowl combine the egg yolks with the liqueur and vanilla.  Pour this into the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

Chocolate Mousse Cake 

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until they begin to foam.  Gradually add the sugar and whip until they form medium peaks.   Move to a clean bowl and set aside.

In the same bowl you whipped the egg whites in add the cream and whip until the cream holds medium peaks. 

Chocolate Mousse Cake Chocolate Mousse Cake Chocolate Mousse Cake 

Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and fold in to lighten.  Continue adding egg whites, 1/3 at a time, until they are completely folded in.  Add the whipped cream in two additions and fold into the chocolate mixture.  Cover the mixture and chill for at least two hours.

While the mixture chills prepare the cake.

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray an 8″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt until well mixed.  In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and water.  Pour the wet into the dry and whisk until smooth. 

Chocolate Mousse Cake Chocolate Mousse Cake 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the center springs back when lightly pressed.  Cool ten minutes in the pan before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Mousse Cake Chocolate Mousse Cake Chocolate Mousse Cake 

To assemble the cake begin by cutting the cake in half.  Place one half of the cake, cut side up, on a cake board or plate.  Use parchment paper, or wax paper, to form a ring around the cake.  Secure with tape.  Pipe the chilled mousse into the cake, making sure to pipe it in an even layer.  Top with the second half of the cake cut side down.

Chocolate Mousse Cake 

Chill the cake for two hours before removing the parchment paper ring.  Allow to sit at room temperature for thirty minutes before cutting.  Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Enjoy with fresh fruit.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

*Please note, this recipe contains raw or undercooked eggs and should not be eaten by those with health problems, young children, pregnant women, or the infirm.

© 2010, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • Paula – bell’alimento

    Now THAT is calling my name ; ) Just scrumptious!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet

    Give me some NOW! Beautiful.

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    aaand now I’m craving mousse. This looks unbelievably good.

  • Heather (Heather’s Dish)

    holy crap that looks good! moaning ensued just by looking at the photos alone!

  • Maria

    Beautiful cake. I love the mousse filling.

  • Daydreamer Desserts

    That looks absolutely divine… must… have… a …. sliiiiice.

  • Mollie

    Wow. When I saw this come up on my reader, I actually said *out loud* OH MY GOODNESS.

    This cake looks awesome – good work!

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    Your cake is lovely, and I can only imagine how amazing it must taste!

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  • Cookin’ Canuck

    Chocolate mousse has been one of my favorite desserts since I was a little girl. This recipe is absolutely over the top! I can’t wait to try it.

  • My Man’s Belly

    Perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee – YUM

  • Natalie (The City Sisters)

    Wow, this looks superb! I love light and airy desserts…especially when they contain chocolate mousse! I will definitely give this a try this summer and thanks for the tip about wrapping the cake in parchment. makes so much sense!

  • marla {family fresh cooking}

    That is chocolate heaven!!! Wonderful looking dessert.

  • marye

    fantastic. What time are you bringing it over?

  • Megan

    This cake is beautiful! I love the chocolate cake on the bottom and the top. And I can tell that is a nice thick, creamy mousse. Gorgeous job! For a variation, you might want to check out the triple chocolate mousse cake I posted on my blog.

  • Victoria

    Oh wow! This looks sooooo good :) I think I need some chocolate, stat!

  • Adam the Home Baker

    This looks amazing, will defo be trying it! Although i’m a bit concerned about tracking down some “Dutch-processed cocoa powder” lol.
    Might just have to try something similar

  • Jeanne

    Chocolate heaven on a plate! I wish I was your taste-tester!

  • bunkycooks

    The mousse looks so creamy and rich…This is a beautiful chocolate cake.

  • Paula

    YUM! looks divine! Double chocolatety deliciousness:)

  • Jennifer

    This cake looks amazing. I love chocolate mousse, so I’m gonna have to give this a try.

  • Pilar

    Sounds and looks amazing!

  • Sommer

    Mmmmmmm! Looks like heaven!

  • Marly

    What beautiful pics! Looks almost too good to eat…

  • citronetvanille

    Oh That is such a gorgeous slice of heaven! beautiful job, and I can tell that mousse is so fluffy! Evil cake…

  • roxan

    Kelly this doesn’t look simple at all! I am totally impressed.

  • Esi

    I want this…now

  • The Chocolate Priestess

    That looks lovely. Thank you for taking us through the process step by step with photos to help us understand how to make it.

    We’re hosting another giveaway this week over at my blog so I hope you enter. I bet you could do something great with that product.

  • Valerie

    Gorgeous! The trick with the parchment paper ring is brilliant – thanks for sharing that. I doubt I would have thought of that and my cake would have been sliding all over! :) Definitely have this recipe down as a “must try.”

  • Michelle

    Oh my gosh, this looks positively amazing.

  • Alta

    Please send me a slice, ASAP!

  • joanna

    This looks so delicious and I’d love to make it. Would the recipe require any changes for high altitude cooking?

  • jenn (Bread + Butter)

    That looks so rich and moist. I would love to have myself a nice of that cake right about now. I’m in need of a chocolate fix.

  • Mags

    Ohhh…. you are evil! This looks sinfully good!

  • Jill @ All Things Chocolate

    Those are very yummy looking. Serves 8 but eaten my one, me!!

    I really need to try this recipe out.

  • julia

    Ding dang this looks good!

  • Fuji Mama

    OH YUM! I’m with you–often the dishes made up of a few simple ingredients/components are the best. They aren’t muddled and just celebrate great flavors! This seriously looks fantastic.

  • Memoria

    It looks lovely! Great process photos.

  • jo

    Looks absolutely gorgeous and full of chocolate. I would so love to try this out.

  • Cherine

    This cake is irresistible!!

  • Yum Yucky

    My stomach is getting full from just looking at all the pics today.

  • Steph Brauer

    Wouldn’t a springform pan work for assembling this? Planning on making it for a family fish fry this weekend! Curious…

  • Kelly

    Steph – Yes, you could use a Springform pan if you have an 8″ one. I did not, so I had to improvise! :)

  • Shree

    ooohhh it is high time I made a chocolate mousse cake…. your pictures are sooo tempting!

  • Crystal

    What decadence! I feel like I gained 5 lbs by looking at the pictures, lol.

  • Eliana

    So decadent! Love it.

  • Chrissi

    I just made this cake, it was AMAZING!!! greatest cake ever. fo sho.

    thank you the recipe

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  • FlimFlam129

    OK so I made this a few days ago – I was looking everyone for a choc mousse recipe to try out and wow this was it! I skipped the chocolate cake part b/c I had my own recipe but next time may try it out too. The mousse was fantastic, taste and texture was great. I had to make some changes b/c I had semi sweet chocolate instead of dark, so i adjusted the sugar content so it wasn’t too sweet. This is a keeper recipe for me, thank you for the great instructions.
    PS the parchment paper did not work for me because i was too impatient to try it and should’ve waited for the mousse to set longer :) Lesson learned hehe.
    PPS def don’t overwhip the cream (now i know what she means by medium peaks vs stiff peaks!) – it makes it harder to blend into the chocolate batch when you’re folding it.
    I wanted to post this b/c most replies I’ve seen aren’t from people that actually used the recipe, so for the next person I want them to know the mousse part at least is definitely wonderful! Easy recipe, simple steps, a little time consuming, but sooo worth it. Thanks.

  • Suellyn

    This was excellent! Show stopper for Thanksgiving yesterday. Thank you for the recipe. It was a two person job. Cutting in half and moving it without it breaking. Have you tried making in 2 pans, with one being a springform, so not to have to do the parchment wrap? Just a thought. The cake was moist and looked beautiful.

  • Nancy Caron

    Am getting ready to make the mousse. Am I correct in assuming you add the water to the chocolate over a double boiler? I wasn’t sure if she meant to melt the chocolate OVER the designated amount of water or to “add” to the chocolate. Anyone out there that can tell me? Thnx

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