Chocolate Mousse Cake

My baby daughter turned 16 on Wednesday. Whoah. Time has flown. I cannot believe my baby girl has become so big and is now driving:-(

Since her birthday fell on a Wednesday and it was the middle of the week, we decided to go to a restaurant that night and celebrate her birthday with a fun dinner at home on Sunday. At loss with my menu, I asked what she wanted and she expressed the wish to have raclette. How easy it that;-) All I needed to do was to buy cold cuts, cheese, various pickles vegetables and let my guest cook their own meal.

For dessert I also asked her what she wanted. And since she had a friend over, I thought she could cook it herself. And they did an awesome job following the recipe but they could not assemble the cake because the chocolate mousse was too liquid.  The recipe came from the Chocolate Edition of the Fine Cooking Magazine of Jan. 2010, but was altered by me since it had a few flaws and it did not turn out as expected.

For the three layer cake: 1 1/2 cup of cake flour, 6 tbsp of unsweetened chocolate powder, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 tsp of baking soda, 1/4 tsp of table slat, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 1 large egg, 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract, 1 cup of water.

Turn on the oven to 325. Place the large round mold on the perforated sheet. In a large bowl sift the flour, the cocoa, the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt. Add the sugar and mix well. In a measuring cup empty the oil, the egg and the vanilla extract and mix well. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir. Slowly add the water and mix until the dry ingredients are moist. Pour the batter in the round mold and cook in  warm oven for 30 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center comes clean. Invert the cake onto a cake rack to cool off.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the mousse. I used my recipe here since the one the girls made was to liquid to become a layer in this cake.

For the Mousse: 1 bag of bittersweet chocolate chips ( 12oz) at least 70% cocoa), 3 oz of butter, 8 eggs ( separated), 1 pinch of salt, 3 oz of sugar.

First separate the egg whites from the yolks. Place the egg whites with the salt and the sugar in a container, and beat until the egg whites form dry peaks. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a bowl melt the butter and the chocolate ( either over simmering water or in the microwave). Mix the egg yolks in the chocolate mixture. When it is well mixed, start adding the egg whites. Add about 1/2 cup of beaten egg whites in the chocolate mixture and very slowly mix in with a spatula. You want to make circular movements from the outside of the bowl to the inside while being very delicate so as to not deflate the egg whites. Continue adding the egg whites in the chocolate mixture as mentioned above until all has been added.

To prepare the cake, cut three layers out of the cake. Find a cheesecake mold, and place one layer at the bottom. Scoop 1/3 of the mousse on that layer. Place another layer, and again scoop another 1/3 of the mousse. Place the final layer and scoop a few tablespoons of the mousse on the top as your frosting. You may smooth out the frosting or add texture by “combing the cake’ with a cake comb or a serrated knife. Refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 6 hours and up to 24 hours. Decorate your cake as you like. I used chocolate shavings for the top of the cake. When the cake is ready, enjoy;-) It is so sinful!!! and yet to easy to make!!! definitely one of my favorite, it is so moist and that layer of mousse is so sinful….

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!

White Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake

I love Pumpkin soup, but can’t seem to acquire a good appreciation of the Pumpkin pie. I don’t know what makes it unsavoury to me, maybe it is the combination of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon… I am not sure. Since I was in charge of the desserts and  did not want to brush aside the traditions, I still wanted to offer a Pumpkin dessert. I had already made Pecan pies and A Cranberry and Pear Torte, so I wanted to go another route and settled for a recipe that I found in Holidays Baking of the Fine Cooking Magazine in store right now. Everything tastes better with chocolate so I added some to the recipe along with some other minor changes. Here it is:

Ingredients for 12 mini cheesecakes ( muffin size): 2 packages of cream cheese at room temperature, 20o gr. of melted white chocolate, 2/3 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp of vanilla extract, 2 large eggs, 1/3 cup of canned pupkin, 2 1/4 tsp of all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of ginger, 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg.

Materials; silpat, perforated sheet, scalloped muffin tray.

In a the bowl of an electric mixer, place the cream cheese and beat it on medium high until it becomes smooth and fluffy. Add the sugar and the vanilla and beat again until it is well mixed. Add the melted chocolate and beat at medium low until it is well incorporated and there are no lumps. Then add the eggs, one at a time and best them a bit  just enough to mix them in. (Do not overbeat, or the cheesecake will fluff up and crack). Place the scalloped cupcake tray on a perforated sheet and spoon about 2 tbsp of this batter in each cupcake. You shoud have 1/3 of the batter left. Add the pumpkin, the nutmeg, cinnamon, flour and ginger and stir well. Spoon about 1 tbsp of this batter in each cupcake tray on top of the vanilla/ chocolate batter. With the back of a spoon, dig down into the batter and make swirls. Bake in a warm oven for 15 minutes at a temperature of 300. When they are cooked ( the center of the cupacake should barely juggle), remove the cupcake tray from the oven and let the cheesecakes cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours up to 3 days. Before serving, make the caramel, and drizzle it on top of the cheesecake.

Caramel: 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp of fresh lemon juice.

In a small saucepan, place the sugar and the lemon juice and cook over medium-high until the sugar is melting and is becoming a golden color. Stir gently to prevent the sugar from burning in isolated spots. You want to cook the caramel until it becomes a light caramel color ( amber). Remove it from the stove and with a spoon, drizzle the caramel over the cupcakes and drizzle the rest of the caramel over a silpat making circles that you will use as decorations.

To serve, drizzle some caramel on each plate, place a cheesecake on top of the caramel, place a dollop of whipped cream and place a caramel decoration on the cheesecake. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!