Friday, December 23, 2022


Red wine, dark chocolate, airy mousse, and complete enjoyment on each bite. That is the perfect way to describe this cake. Five layers of bliss.
Truly, this is just the way I like my cakes; thin layers and abundant filling. If frozen for mere 15 minutes before serving, it will taste like the most gorgeous ice cream you can think of.
If you like your mousse on a lighter side, whip it until soft peaks form, and use a cake form to assemble it. That will ensure the layers stay in place until it firms up fully. There truly isn’t a bad way to make or enjoy this cake.

For the dark chocolate cake
250 grams plain flour
40 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
300 grams granulated sugar
10 grams baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
50 grams extra dark chocolate (95%), grated finely
225 millilitres boiling water
200 millilitres unfined red wine
100 millilitres vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
For the chocolate mousse filling
300 millilitres plant double cream
200 grams extra dark chocolate (90%)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Start by making the chocolate mousse filling, as it will require quite a bit of chilling. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and gradually add the double cream, while mixing with a spatula constantly. Once combined, add in the vanilla, mix well, let it cool down slightly, and then place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add in the sugar and the grated chocolate, and mix very well. Take another large bowl, pour in the water, wine, oil, and the vanilla, and blend it very well. Create a small well in the centre of the sifted dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until only blended, being careful not to overmix.
Line a rectangular baking pan (20x30 cm) with baking parchment, bottom and sides, and pour in the batter. Tap the pan a few times on the counter, to remove any bubbles, and then bake it in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 20-25 minutes.
Check it for doneness early, as the cake should remain as soft and moist as possible. As soon as a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, it is done. Remove them from the oven and let the cake cool down in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then invert it on a wire rack, and let it cool down completely.
When everything is cool and ready, proceed to assemble the cake. Level the cake, if necessary, and slice it twice lengthwise, to create three thin layers. Set them aside for the time being.
Take the filling out of the refrigerator, and whip it into a mousse, using an electric mixer on the highest setting. It should be able to hold stiff peaks, and be quite dense and rich. Divide the mousse filling into three equal parts, reserve one into a separate bowl, and set it aside.
Place the first cake layer on the serving platter, and carefully spread on a portion of the chocolate mousse. Top with another layer, and continue stacking until all of the mousse and the layers are used up. Cover the entire cake in a thin layer of the reserved chocolate mousse, and place it into the refrigerator for at least eight hours. When ready, slice it into thin slices, and serve with additional dark chocolate shavings, and strong coffee. Yields 12 servings.

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