For the second week running I have broken my “no more than one dessert a week rule.” And yet again it is down to the Weekly Bake Off. Having already made my chocolate and cassis pear tarts, I wasn’t meant to be making cake this week. But then @WeeklyBakeOff announced that this week’s nominated cake was Mary Berry’s Chocolate Mousse Cake from her book “100 Cakes and Bakes” and the die was cast. I mean how do you turn down a chocolate mousse cake?
To assuage my conscience a little, I made a mini version of the cake (like I did for last week’s hazelnut meringue cake) using my new 12cm loose-bottomed tins. This was easier said than done – I made a 1/3 of Mary’s recipe but this was still too much for my dinky tin which duly overflowed its contents on to the baking tray. Cue much cursing whilst I hacked at the top of my mushrooming cake, trying to carve it into something approximating a circle.
The filling of the cake is a brandy laced chocolate mousse which, in true Mary Berry fashion, was actually a lot easier to make than I anticipated. The only queasy moment was trying to find a conversion that would allow me to use sheet gelatine rather than the powdered stuff – there doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule for this according to the internet but I decided to use 1 sheet for every ½ tsp of powder and luckily the mousse set perfectly.
Thankfully (given the slightly wonky edges to my cake) Mary’s mousse cake is covered in lashings of whipped cream and chocolate curls. Coronary inducing it may be but it makes for a smart cake all the same. I have never actually made chocolate curls before using a vegetable peeler, but I was surprised by just how quick and easy this simple method of cake decorating can be.
As for the taste, the cake was miraculously light and airy given the vast amounts of cream and chocolate it contained. It was lovely but did have a slight air of a 1970’s gateaux about it – the sort of cake you would find on a hotel buffet. Only missing the glace cherries on top. If I made it again, I think I would add some jam between the layers of cake and mousse – just something to break up all that cream and chocolate. But a lovely cake all the same and another winner from Ms Berry.