April 29, 2011

dirty 30 mousse cake

kiwi turned the big 3-0 last week.. since it's a milestone birthday, i decided we should have a proper party rather than a meetup at a pub like he would typically do.  invites were emailed out and i organized a fun casino night filled with game tables (blackjack, poker, and roulette), a hookah area, and plenty of food and drinks to go around!  it was definitely a really great night :)

to make use of my kitchen aid, i decided to make his cake rather than buy one.  of course my nature is to experiment rather than making something i know will work well.  it's not the most elegant looking cake there ever was, but it actually turned out delicious!  *pats self on back*  i mixed two different recipes.  the original recipe i found was a chocoholic dream cake (perfect for me.. but not necessarily kiwi's kind of cake).  so i searched for a vanilla sponge cake to offset the chocolate'y'ness of it all.

adapted from chocolate mousse cake [what the fruitcake?!] and mini boston cream pies [la mia vita dolce]


Day 1:
  • Bake sponge cake (preferably in a springform pan)
  • Prepare chocolate mousse
  • Cut sponge cake in half
  • Pour chocolate mousse over bottom half of sponge cake in mould (acetate sheets, parchment paper or springform pan)
  • Refrigerate overnight to set (wrap top layer of sponge cake in plastic wrap to keep it fresh in the fridge)
Day 2:
  • Prepare whip cream topping
  • Place top half of sponge cake on top of chocolate mousse layer
  • Remove mould
  • Cover cake in whip cream topping
  • Decorate as desired


  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1-2/3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease baking tin with softened butter. Coat with a light dusting of flour.
  2. Separate the eggs when they are cold; place the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.  Cover with plastic wrap, set aside.
  3. Cut the butter into pieces and place with milk into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel. Heat in microwave for 15 to 20 seconds, check to see if butter has melted and stir.  Microwave for another 5 to 10 seconds and check and stir again. Continue to do this until the butter has melted.  Add vanilla to mixture and then set aside to cool.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, gradually streaming in one half of the sugar, one-tablespoon at-a-time.  Whisk until stiff peaks form, set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks while slowly streaming in the remaining sugar until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage (When the beaters are lifted, the batter will stream from the beaters forming a ribbon).
  6. With the mixer on, in a slow steady stream, gradually pour the butter mixture into the egg yolk mixture and beat to combine.
  7. Slowly mix baking powder and flour into the egg yolk mixture.
  8. Using a large spatula, in two additions, gently fold in the egg white mixture until just combined.
  9. Pour batter into the baking tin (no more than half-full).
  10. Bake until light golden brown and top springs back when touched, 17 to 20 minutes.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove cakes from tin and return to wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Cut in half and use in assembly of cake.


  • 1-1/2 cups (70% cocoa content) dark chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stir occasionally until smooth.
  2. Once melted and smooth, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks with the coffee and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add chocolate mixture.  (At this point it may look like a seized mess but it will come together at the end!)
  5. Refrigerate while you do the next steps.
  6. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar until it begins to get foamy.
  7. Gradually pour in the sugar and beat till medium peaks form, set aside.
  8. Whip the cream until medium peaks form, set aside.
  9. Remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge and stir in a few tablespoons of the beaten egg whites to loosen the mixture.
  10. Fold in the rest of the egg whites.  (Be gentle but thorough, you don't want to deflate the egg whites but you don't want to see too many white streaks in the mixture.)
  11. Carefully fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain.
  12. Use in assembly of cake.


  • 8 ounces marscapone cheese
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. Beat together all ingredients until firm peaks form.
  2. Use in assembly of cake.


I melted chocolate and spread it on parchment paper. About 10-15 minutes into hardening, I scored the chocolate into long pieces. (If I were to do it over again, I would have made wider pieces.) After another 15 minutes, I broke the chocolate into the scored pieces and placed them in the fridge until they were ready to use. I lined the sides of the cake with these chocolate pieces and topped it with Lindt chocolates.