Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 23rd August 2013
For the last month I’ve been testing various recipes and flavour combinations for an extra special dessert for an event I was hosting and I finally decided on these Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes with Grand Marnier Cherry Sauce. When it comes to stone fruit, my two favourites are peaches and cherries. Growing up our backyard was dotted with peach trees and I can’t tell you how much I miss freshly picked peaches, sliced and macerated in homemade red wine, mmm…yum!
We didn’t have cherry trees but luckily our neighbour, Mrs. Mascagni had a huge cherry tree that was always laden with dark red gems and thankfully, she shared generously. Recently I noticed the cherry tree was gone and I couldn’t help but feel sad. There are some things in life you grow to depend on and Mrs. Mascagni’s cherries were one of those things for me.
- Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 23rd August 2013
- The cake is fudgy, moist and full of flavour. When processing the nuts to almond meal instead of processing to flour consistency I prefer to process to a texture similar to coarse breadcrumbs so that the cake provides a good textural contrast to the smooth mousse. To prevent the nuts from releasing oils when processing, process with some of the sugar called for in the recipe.
- I chose to highlight cherries in this recipe because aside from going really well with almonds, cherries pair wonderfully with dark chocolate but also amazingly well with white chocolate too.
- To balance off the sweet creamy richness of the white chocolate I layered the cakes with two chocolate intensities, Callebaut bittersweet, 70% cocoa solids and semisweet, 60% cocoa solids. I also used the bittersweet with some added dark cocoa in the Torta Caprese. When I’m making desserts like this one where chocolate is the main highlight I splurge on excellent quality chocolate, it makes a big difference in the taste and mouthfeel.
- I’m always on the look out for different ways to decorate my mini cakes and when I was picking up my chocolate at the chocolatier I spotted the Callebaut’s Crispearls. I knew instantly that I was going to use them in some way to finish off the cakes because they would add crunch, a perfect contrast to the velvety mousse. Crispearls are pearl shaped beads that feature a toasted biscuit centre that has been enrobed in dark chocolate couverture. They have an exquisite aroma, they’re quite tasty and their pearl-like gloss make them ideal for adding a refined look to the dessert. They resemble tiny beads of caviar.
- The Crispearls served as a bed for the chocolate tempered discs that I prepared. If you choose, they can also be folded into the mousse, which would provide an unexpected crunchy surprise. I can’t recall if I’ve shared a new product I’ve been using, Mycryo. Mycryo, produced by Callebaut, is 100% cocoa butter in powder form and it makes the task of tempering chocolate so easy and simple to perform. I’ve tried many methods for tempering chocolate and to say I’ve struggled is an understatement, Mycryo is my saving grace, it works every time – thank you Callebaut!
- I wanted to bring some fresh cherries to the party, dipping them in caramel not only provided more texture but it also brought another flavour dimension to the dessert. Warning, they’re addictive, make extra, they’re so tasty. One thing to keep in mind when preparing the dessert, the caramel-dipped cherries should be made as close as possible to serving time. I tested with and without pits and although leaving the cherries in tact (and making sure I dried them well) prolonged the shelf life they still liquified rather quickly. The humidity could’ve played a factor but if you were preparing the cakes for a dinner party I wouldn’t take the chance on preparing them too early.
- To add a little whimsy to the plate I sprinkled the cherry sauce with very pale yellow popping sugar (hardly visible although red would be better if it’s readily available). You could hear the crackle pop as I was serving the desserts but the guests didn’t realize what was causing the sound so the fizzy feeling on the tongue was an unexpected surprise. A tip for you, when it came time to serve the dessert, I arranged all the plated cakes on a serving tray and immediately before delivering them to the table I sprinkled the popping sugar over top because the sugar melts rather quickly when it comes in contact with the liquid.
- My sisters and I were in Toronto shortly before my event and I was very lucky to have run across edible flowers (thank you Whole Foods – wish we had a store in London). I’ve been hunting for them in my area but unfortunately I’ve never been able to find any. I think they’re so pretty, an elegant finishing touch.
- I was really pleased with the finished mousse cakes, they were a hit, and my guests really enjoyed them. There are quite a few elements to this dessert but if you’re looking for something special to serve these are well worth the effort. Serving the dessert in glasses is a simpler option but just as tasty.
- Happy Weekend!
- Print Recipe
- Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes with Grand Marnier Cherry Sauce
- These cakes are almost to pretty to eat but with three layers of chocolate goodness they’re too difficult to resist.
- Makes 12 5 x 8 cm (2 x 3-inch) mini cakes and a few extra glass desserts
- Almond Torta Caprese
- Tempered Chocolate Discs, to decorate
- Extra Dark Chocolate Mousse
- Semisweet Chocolate Mousse
- White Chocolate Mousse
- Grand Marnier Cherry Sauce – Purée and Compote
- Caramel Dipped Cherries, to decorate
- Edible Flowers, to decorate
- Almond Torta Caprese
- Makes one 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13) cake and one 23 cm (9-inch) cake or 1 25 cm (10-inch)
- If making one 25 cm (10-inch) cake increase baking time to 45 to 55 minutes.
- 200 g (about ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, extra for greasing tins
- 6 g (1 tablespoon) good quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, extra for dusting tins
- 200 g (7 ounces) good quality dark chocolate, 60% or 70%
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 200 g (¾ cup + 2 tablespoons) caster (superfine) sugar, divided
- 300 g (2 cups) almonds, toasted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 16 g (1 package) Paneangeli or Bertolini Yeast for Cake with Vanilla