A month ago, I wrote about the end of the small person’s exclusive breastfeeding career and his hesitant steps into the world of solid food. Aside from his untimely introduction to Nutella, I had big, wholesome plans for small’s diet. Obviously he would only be eating organic, GM free, fair-traded, ethically sound, teensy carbon-footprint-leaving, nourishing things, which have been hand picked by free-ranging vegetarians and travelled only 1% of a food mile. And that would be just dandy, if he could live on sugar snap peas and eggs. Sadly, he won’t eat either of those, or anything else homegrown, unless you count chook poo. Mainly he likes things that come in the shape of rice grains…like rice and the little bran sticks that come in muesli. Oh, and croissants, macaroons, crispy potatoes, spicy eggplant, fruit toast, wholegrain ‘fruit’ bars, All-Bran (which, incidentally, is most decidedly not ALL bran, but anyhoo), grissini, thai spring rolls, puff pastry and this cake:
Luscious Chocolate Mousse Cake
180 grams of dark eating chocolate, chopped
180 grams of chilled unsalted butter, chopped
6 eggs, separated
180 grams of caster sugar
200 grams of dark eating chocolate, chopped
30 grams of unsalted butter
3 eggs, separated
300 mls of pure (not thickened) cream
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced).
Butter and line a 23cm springform tin.
Begin with the cake:
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over just simmering water. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In the meantime, whisk the eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a large glass (or metal) bowl until soft peaks form. Add half the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until the mixture is thick and glossy.
In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until thick and pale. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly.
Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the eggwhites, one third at a time.
Pour gently into your prepared tin and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin – it will sink as it cools.
Carefully transfer to a plate. Don’t be deceived by it’s crisp outer shell – this cake is a tender, delicate creature. You need to pop the outer part of the tin off and then ever so gently shimmy the cake across to a plate on the baking paper. And don’t be tempted to invert it for transfer as it will fall apart in your hands and you will cry.
Now for the mousse –
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over just simmering water (yes, I know, sounds familiar). Stir until smooth, then allow to cool to room temperature.
Whisk the eggwhites in a medium size glass bowl until soft peaks form.
Whip the cream into soft peaks in another bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks, one at a time, into the cooled chocolate mixture.
With a large metal spoon, gently fold the eggwhites and cream into the chocolate mixture.
Spread the mousse over the cooled cake, scatter with grated chocolate and refrigerate for about 2 hours until set.
This is not a pretty cake. Frankly, it looks like a cow pat. But damn it tastes good and at least the eggs are free range. Jeez we’re great parents.