Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chocolate and Hazelnut Mousse Cake

This is a rich cake. Eat slowly. Or you will repent. Not that I did! I made this entremet (oh what a fancy word!) as a part of this months Daring Bakers challenge and everyone loved it. This cake has three parts - A flourless chocolate cake, topped with chocolate hazelnut mousse and white chocolate whipped cream. The cake for the bottom layer doesn't take too much time and is very easy to prepare. Only thing was that I found it a little too bitter as I used a 70% dark chocolate, so next time I will use semi sweet (change given below). The hazelnut mousse requires something more to increase the hazelnut taste as mine was completely over powered with the chocolate in the nutella. Most of the reviewers added Frangelico but as I don't take alcohol, that was out. The original recipe has a chocolate mousse in the middle but I made the hazelnut mousse instead. This dessert can be made without the jaconde.

Update - I am linking this to Sweet As Sugar Cookies Linky Party.

Recipe Source - Adapted from Cook's Illustrated (November 1, 2009) via I am Baker and Gourmet (February 2006) via Epicurious

Bottom Layer - Flour less Chocolate Cake
6 Tbsp (3/4 Stick) Unsalted Butter (cut into 6 pieces, plus extra for greasing pan)
198 Grams (7 ounces) Semisweet Chocolate (Chopped Fine)
3/4 Tsp Instant Espresso Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Large Eggs, Separated
Pinch of Salt
1/3 Cup Packed (about 2 1/2 ounces) Light Brown Sugar (Crumbled with fingers to remove lumps)
Middle Layer - Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
1 1/2 Tsp Unflavored Gelatin
4 1/2 Tbsp Cold Water
1 Cup Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (E.g. Nutella)
1 Cup Whipped Cream Cheese (E.g Philadelphia)
3 Cups Chilled Heavy Cream
3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
4 1/2 Tbsp Sugar

Top Layer - White Chocolate Whipped Cream
1/2 Tsp Powdered Gelatin
1 Tbsp Water
100 Gms (Approx 3.5 ounces) White Chocolate (Chopped)
3/4 Cups Cold Heavy Cream

Make The Bottom Layer
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 165 degrees C (325 degrees F). Butter bottom and sides of 91/2-inch spring form pan. Place parchment paper on the bottom only (cut to fit the bottom).
2. Melt butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth (I melted mine in the microwave) Remove from heat and cool mixture slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in vanilla and egg yolks; set aside.
3. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add half of brown sugar and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. Add remaining brown sugar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 1 minute longer, scraping down sides halfway through. Using whisk, fold one-third of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Carefully transfer batter to prepared spring form pan, gently smoothing top with offset spatula.
4. Bake until cake has risen, is firm around edges, and center has just set but is still soft (center of cake will spring back after pressing gently with finger), 13 to 18 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. (Cake will collapse as it cools.) Remove cake from pan and add the jaconde imprime to the spring form side if using.  Place the cake back on the base, add the spring form side and snap shut. (If not using the jaconde, do not remove cake from the pan and continue with next step).

Make The Middle Layer - Prepare after bottom layer has cooled completely
1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat, stirring, just until gelatin is melted, about 2 minutes.
2. Whisk in chocolate hazelnut spread until combined and remove from heat.
3. Whisk together cheese and chocolate hazelnut mixture in a large bowl.
4. Beat together cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed until just combined, then increase speed to high and beat until cream just holds soft peaks. Whisk one third of whipped cream into cheese mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream until well combined.
5. Spoon filling onto cake base in pan, gently smoothing top, then chill, covered, at least 3 hours.

Make the Top Layer - Prepare after middle layer has set.
1. In small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand at least 5 minutes.
2. Place white chocolate in medium bowl. Bring 1/4 cup cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Pour cream mixture over white chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes (mixture will thicken slightly).
3. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip remaining 1/2 cup cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, 15 to 60 seconds. Using whisk, fold one-third of whipped cream into white chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold remaining whipped cream into white chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain.
4. Spoon white chocolate mousse into pan over middle layer (make sure middle layer has set). Smooth top with offset spatula. Return cake to refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours. Unmold and serve. Cake should be served cold as it melts if kept out for too long.

Happy Eating!!


  1. Wow, your cake is amazing. I don't think I could do something like that in a million years. All those layers would be so delicious to eat. I have a linky party going on at my blog right now specifically for sweet treats and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link this up.

  2. wow, I would like to come to your place and grab a slice :)


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