Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake

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Preparation info

  • Makes one 9 inch 23 cm cake, about


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

For this type of chocolate mousse cake, baked cake layers are filled with chocolate mousse. (For another kind of cake that is basically a baked mousse, see the Cinnamon-Scented Baked Chocolate Mousse Cake.) This recipe is adapted from one by my friend Loretta Sartori, who runs a baking education program in Melbourne, Australia. I love the fact that the mousse sets only from the addition of the chocolate, without the use of gelatin, making it so much more delicate. Sometimes Loretta adds some prunes that have been soaked in Armagnac to the bottom layer of mousse filling. Make sure to prepare this the day before you intend to serve it to give the mousse filling plenty of time to chill and set.

1 Cocoa Génoise, baked, cooled, and cut horizontally into 3 layers (only 2 layers will be used to assemble the cake; wrap and freeze the extra layer for another use)


Moistening Syrup

  • cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Milk Chocolate Mousse

  • 3 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 12 ounces (345 grams) best-quality milk chocolate, cut into ¼-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • 4 ounces (115 g) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, cut into ¼-inch pieces


  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 cups milk chocolate shavings (about 8 ounces/225 g)
  • One 9-inch (23-cm) Springform pan


  1. For the syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl. Let cool and then stir in the vanilla.
  2. For the mousse, combine 1 cup of the cream and the sugar in a medium saucepan and whisk to blend. Place over low heat and bring to a full rolling boil. Meanwhile, set a fine strainer over a clean glass or stainless-steel bowl and place them near the burner where you are heating the liquids. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl to break them up. When the liquid boils, whisk about ⅓ of it into the yolks. Return the liquid to a boil and, beginning to whisk before pouring, pour the yolk mixture into the boiling liquid. Whisk constantly until the cream thickens slightly— it won’t be very thick—10 to 15 seconds after adding the yolks. Remove the pan from the heat, never ceasing to whisk. Quickly strain the sauce into the prepared bowl. Remove the strainer and set it over the saucepan. Whisk the sauce continuously for about 30 seconds to cool it down so the yolks don’t scramble.
  3. Combine the chocolates in a large bowl and pour the hot custard cream over them. Shake the bowl to make sure all the chocolate is submerged, then let it stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Whip the remaining 2 cups cream until it holds a soft peak. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  5. After the chocolate cream has cooled, place one of the cake layers in the bottom of the prepared pan. Use a brush to sprinkle the layer with half of the syrup.
  6. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and rewhip by hand if it has become liquid on the bottom. Quickly fold the cream into the cooled chocolate cream. Pour half the mousse on the cake layer in the pan and use a small offset spatula to spread it evenly. Top with the other cake layer without pressing it into the mousse, and sprinkle it with the remaining syrup. Top with the remaining mousse, and spread it evenly and smoothly. Refrigerate the cake overnight, covered, to set the mousse.
  7. To unmold the cake, run a small knife between the dessert and the inside of the pan. Unbuckle the side of the pan and lift it off.
  8. For finishing, whip the cream and spread it smoothly all over the outside of the cake. Use a metal spatula to press the chocolate shavings against the side of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining shavings all over the top and use the spatula to sweep them into an even layer.
  9. If your Spring form pan has a flat base, use a large spatula to loosen the cake from the pan base and move it to a platter.


Cut wedges of the cake at the table, using a long, thin-bladed knife. Wipe the knife with a wet cloth every time you cut through the cake to avoid tracking crumbs into it.


Keep the cake refrigerated until serving.