For the past couple of months, I've spent my Sunday mornings at an advanced baking series at the New School of Cooking. Although I had to give up my lazy Sunday mornings (definitely had to double up on the coffee consumption --- wake up Linda!), I've learned a lot and made some terrific desserts in the process. Also, I've been fortunate to have a friend join me in class, MaryJo of Bash! Cakes & Desserts, and we had a blast baking together.
We made this chocolate mousse cake to learn all about genoise and mousse, and I've now overcome my fear of baking cakes that don't use any chemical leaveners. The key is getting the cake batter to the right volume and consistency (for me, it meant not undermixing). The resulting cake was delicious...my DH shamelessly hoarded this cake for himself, so that's definitely a sign that this cake was a success!
MaryJo also wrote about the other dessert we made this class, a delicious yellow genoise w. passionfruit mousse, and you can find the link to this post here.
1/3 C cake flour
1/3 C cocoa
2/3 C + 1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9" round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
Sift cake flour, cocoa and 1 Tspn sugar 2 times
Over a bain marie, heat eggs and remaining 2/3 C sugar to 110F.
Transfer the egg mixture to a standing mixer. Using a whisk attachment, whip until mixture is thick and pale yellow, and about three times the original volume.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients, butter and vanilla.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes then transfer to cooling rack
2/3 C ganache (recipe follows)
1 C heavy cream, whipped
Fold the cream into the cooled ganache
8 oz heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Scald cream and pour over chocolate. Let site for 2 minutes. Mix together and cool to room temperature.
1 cocoa genoise
sweetened whipped cream
chopped chocolate (for garnish)
Slice cooled cake crosswise and brush both halves with simple syrup.
Place one half of the cake on a serving platter or cake board. Spread half of the chocolate mousse evenly over the cake. Top with the other cake half and repeat with the chocolate mousse.
Chill until mousse sets, and then top with the sweetened whipped cream. Garnish with chopped chocolate.