Chocolate Mousse Gâteau

Several friends have said that they have never tasted a better pudding than this. It is a mouthwatering soft dark chocolate sandwich cake made with just eggs, sugar and chocolate, no flour at all, and it is then packed with fruit and whipped cream. It must be made well in advance but it is not difficult and is extremely impressive and beautiful for a dinner party. In the summer, I fill it with strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants or sliced peaches. You could use blackberries in the autumn. In the winter you can use any good whole fruit jam but I usually do some stewed dried apricots which have such a sharp strong taste and are just as delicious as the summer fruit. If you do use apricots soak about 8 oz in water for a few hours and then simmer gently in a saucepan with 3 oz brown sugar, water to cover and juice of a lemon, for about ¾ hour until they go very thick. Then cool and let get very cold in the fridge before filling the cake with them. If you use fresh fruit reserve a few to decorate the top. This recipe serves about eight people.

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Ingredients

  • 6 oz Chocolate Menier or plain chocolate (175 g)
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 oz caster sugar (175 g)
  • 2 tablespoons very hot water
  • ½ pint double cream (275 ml)
  • about ¼ lb (350 g) fresh summer fruit, or good jam, or 8 oz (225 g) dried apricots, stewed as below

Method

Brush two 7–8 in (18–20 cm) sandwich tins with oil and put a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water. Stir occasionally until it melts. Meanwhile, separate the eggs putting the yolks into a large basin and the whites into a smaller basin. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk thoroughly together until the mixture is pale in colour and fairly thick in consistency. When the chocolate has melted remove from the heat and whisk it into the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of very hot water to soften the mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then fold gently but thoroughly into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon. Heat oven to Gas 4 (350°F/180°C). Pour the mixture into the prepared sandwich tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 15–20 minutes until firm to a light touch in the middle. When you take them out they will sink down a bit – do not worry about it. Cool and then let get completely cold in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight if you want. Have a large round plate ready. Loosen the edges of the cakes with a knife. Then turn out one cake on to the round plate. It will come quite easily with a gentle shake. Spread the fruit over the cake. If it is fresh fruit you may like to sprinkle it with caster sugar. Whisk the cream until stiff and spread it over the fruit. Then turn the second cake out on top of the cream. Keep cool. Before serving sprinkle the top all over with the icing sugar through a sieve and if you have filled it with fresh fruit put a few on the top to decorate.

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