Three Layer Chocolate Mousse Cake


My new Kitchenaid mixer has arrived, begging to be put to use. I was dying to fulfill its request.  I wanted to blend, to mix, to knead. Now just to find the perfect recipe.  Cookies…too easy, cake…no flair. I have struggled long enough using an electric mixer that probably was once used by my great grandmother.  I wanted to really put this mixer to work.  I settled on a three layer chocolate mousse cake.  Flourless chocolate cake on the bottom followed by a layer of chocolate mousse topped with a layer of white chocolate mousse.  Fun fact: white chocolate and I are enemies.  It pretends to be chocolate yet taste like plastic.  I am confused by it.  HOWEVER, this recipe really has no gross white chocolate taste so don’t be afraid.  Also don’t be afraid of the amount of cream in this recipe…embrace it, love it.


First Layer 

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, plus extra for greasing pan
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
Pinch salt
⅓ cup light brown sugar

 Middle Layer:
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
5 tablespoons hot water
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon table salt

 Top Layer
¾ teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon water
6 ounces (1 cup) white chocolate chips
1½ cups cold heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 325 and grease up a 9 inch spring form pan.

To begin, I disobeyed the recipe and used actual espresso grounds rather than instant.  I cheated.  If you have instant use it. If you don’t, well I haven’t dropped dead yet from using real grounds so I say go for it.  I love these grounds that I got from Zumbach’s in New Cannan, CT.


I added the espresso grounds, butter, and chocolate into a large heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan filled with about an inch of simmering water.   I used Nestlle TollHouse Semi Sweet Chocolate chips.



Keep the mixture over heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate becomes smooth and silky.


Remove the mixture from the heat and  cool.  Whisk in the egg yolks, making sure to save the whites, and set aside to cool.


Meanwhile in your mixer ( I can say that now, cause I have one) pour egg whites and salt.

ImageBeat on high until whites are frothy.  Add the brown sugar and continuing beating. ImageContinue beating until soft peaks form, about a minute longer.


Take 1/3 of the egg white mixture and whisk it into the chocolate mixture.  Continue until the chocolate has reached a light brown color.


Then fold in the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Be careful not to stir too much because the mixture will become very thin.  Stop folding when you can no longer see white streaks.

ImageThen pour the batter into the spring pan and bake for 13-18 minutes until the center is firm.

ImageThe cake needs to cool and any formal recipe would tell you to refrigerate it for like three days or something absurd but I have absolutely no patience for that, so I stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  That probably breaks many baking rules but I’m not a professional.

ImageYes that is my handprint.  I obviously thought the best way to test if this cake was cool was to smack the palm of my hand directly onto the top.  I repeat, I am not a professional.  The cake was in fact cool.

Now, for the middle layer whisk together coco powder and hot water in a small bowl and set aside. I used Hershey’s Coco Powder cause that is what I had in my cabinet.  You probably have something more fancy. Use it.



Melt chocolate over a large heatproof pan over a pot with 1 inch of simmering water.

ImageMight I add now that this is a great recipe for licking the spoon.  I think I might have gained five pounds just cooking this bad boy.  While your chocolate is melting, whip the cream, sugar, and salt.


Whip until soft peaks form.


Pour the coco powder mixture and 1/3 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate.  Whisk until the chocolate reaches a lighter brown color.


ImageFold in the rest of the whipped cream making sure the mixture remains light and fluffy.   Then top the chocolate mousse onto the flourless cake.

IMG_2384We are ready for the third layer HOORAY.   In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water and let it stand for five minutes.  Place white chocolate in a medium sized bowl.


Bring ½ cup of the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture, whisking until fully dissolved. our the cream mixture over the white chocolate chips and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is completely smooth. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes (the mixture will thicken slightly).

IMG_2394Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form.  How many times have I typed this in this recipe…I don’t know.  Whisk 1/3 of the cream mixture into the white chocolate mixture.  Fold in the other half until mixture is light and fluffy.  Spoon the white chocolate mousse into the pan over the chocolate mousse.


The cake now needs to firm up for two hours so it will set.  Some may prefer to put it in the refrigerator but I enjoy it to be the consistency of ice cream, so I pop it in the freezer for an hour or two.   Note: Do not forget it is the freezer because then you will be left with a rock solid mass.   That is all…enjoy!


This post was inspired by the Brown Eyed Baker 

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