Prepare Chocolate Cake. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare Chocolate Mousse. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepared Chocolate Sauce and Raspberry Sauces. Set aside until ready to assemble your cakes.
Prepare Creme Anglais. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made 1 day ahead or use softened vanilla ice cream.
Assembly of Chocolate Mousse Cake:
When you are ready to plate up and serve, remove the prepared Chocolate Cake from the refrigerator.
Center the cakes on individual serving plates, slip off the mold, and carefully peel off the parchment paper.
With the cake sitting in the middle of the plate, take a small spoon and put a small amount of prepared Creme Anglais, approximately 1/2 to 1 teaspoons on all four corners of the plate (good chefs will tell you to keep everything off the lip of the plate).
Then take a clean spoon and put a dollop of the prepared Raspberry Sauce between each dollop of Creme Anglais except one (do not let the sauces touch each other). You should have (4) four puddles of white and (3) three of red. With the blank space, put a fanned out strawberry (with the hull still attached) and a sprig of mint.
If you have some white chocolate, cut some shavings of this and top each cake with it. The color contrasts are very nice.
Then take your Chocolate Sauce (microwave the ganache if necessary until it is softened), in a squeeze bottle, and hold it upside down about 6-inches above the plate and squirt melted chocolate over your creation. I pour my sauces into clean plastic squirt bottle, like a mustard or ketchup one with a tiny squirt hole.
Then carry your creation to your guests at your decorated table and wait for the ohhhhs and ahhhhs!
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and cocoa.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter with water and oil; bring to boil. Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients; mix well. Add egg, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla extract; blend thoroughly.
Pour batter into a 10-inch x 15-inch cake pan. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until tester or toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Cut 16 round pieces from the prepared cake using a ring mold. Put empty molds on a flat plate or tray that will fit in the refrigerator; insert parchment paper around inside each ring, set aside. NOTE: Cake can be made one day ahead of time.
Soak each piece of cake with some brandy, I use a kitchen paint brush, then put one cake round inside each parchment lined mold. Place the mold with the cake on a flat tray or whatever you have that will fit in your refrigerator.
Chocolate Mousse Recipe:
11 ounces semi-sweet chocolate*
3 ounces melted butter, unsalted
4 eggs, separated
1 cup whipping cream
* Use a good-quality of chocolate.
In a medium-size saucepan, melt chocolate and butter together. Learn different techniques for How To Melt Chocolate.
To the melted chocolate, immediately beat in egg yolks; remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peak form; fold into whipping cream. Fold egg white/whipping cream mixture into cooled chocolate mixture. Let cool before using. NOTE: If you chill the mousse until it sets up, you will be unable to spread properly on the cake.
Creme Anglais Recipe:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks, beaten
In a heavy medium-size saucepan, combine cream and sugar. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into pan. Add vanilla pod. Bring mixture just to boil (BUT DON'T LET IT BOIL OR IT MAY CURDLE) over medium-low heat. Whisk yolks in medium bowl to blend. Whisk in half of cream. Return mixture to saucepan and cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes; strain into bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Can be made 1 day ahead or use softened vanilla ice cream.
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
In a heavy medium-size saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer; remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.
Can be made 2 weeks ahead.
Sugar to sweeten
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Take a good handful of frozen raspberries; put them in your food processor for a few seconds, add sugar to taste, and then strain them. In a small saucepan, heat raspberry mixture and add cornstarch; stirring to mix well. Remove from heat.
Can be made 1 week ahead.