One of the nicest things, so far, about cooking my way through Dorie’s Around My French Table with the wonderful French Fridays with Dorie gang is that I usually have all or most of the ingredients already on hand. It’s so nice! Take this double chocolate mousse cake. I didn’t need to get anything for it. The ingredient list is very short – chocolate, eggs, sugar, coffee, butter, salt. That’s IT.
And it’s a good thing, because I made this, along with last week’s gnocchi, last Wednesday, which was A Day Of Much Snow in these parts, and no one was going anywhere.
By the way, to make the strong coffee or espresso called for in this recipe, I even used our French press.
Aren’t I cool? Not really – it was Bill’s idea.
Okay, so once I had the coffee brewed, I was ready to start. I’d already buttered my springform pan (minus the base) and set that on a parchment-lined pan.
I put the springform upside-down, because I didn’t want the batter getting stuck in that little ridge where the base fits in. In hindsight, I’m not sure if that was the best plan. You’ll see.
Okay, next, time to melt the chocolate…
Then I poured in the coffee, but there’s no picture, so you’ll just have to take my word for it…
And then, piece by piece, I stirred in the butter.
And the sugar.
And the yolks.
Oh, lush, chocolatey goodness!
And then I whipped the whites…
Whisked a quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture…
And, finally, I folded in the rest of the meringue.
Light, lovely, chocolatey goodness.
And then my brain shut off.
I poured ALL of it into the springform. Yes, I really did. Dolt. I even put it all in the oven…and then I looked at the mousse-less counter and thought – in speeded up slo-mo “wait…aren’t I supposed to put something in the refrig-!!!!” And then I pulled the pan out and scooped a bunch of the mousse out of the pan and into a bowl.
MORON. Me, not you.
Anyway, I slid the pan back into the oven and wondered how it would all turn out NOW THAT I’D RUINED IT.
Yes, my thoughts are usually overly dramatic like that.
Anyway, here’s what the base looked like:
Like the surface of the moon, if the moon was made of chocolate rather than cheese.
It smelled good.
Oh, and see the leaking?
Not sure if I caused that when I was yanking the pan around, or if it leaked because the top of the ring flares out, and I was using the top as the bottom.
But not too much of it leaked. And I cleaned it all up by breaking the leaked bits off and eating them.
Now, after reading ALLLLLLLLLL of the variations on the next step – adding the rest of the chilled mousse…to bake again or not to bake…to chill for a long time or just dig in with a spoon…all of that, I decided to go with what Dorie says is her favorite method.
So once the pan had cooled, I put that in the fridge for an hour.
Then I poured the rest of the chilled mousse into the pan and baked that for half an hour.
I worried that a lot of the meringue had possibly deflated during all my scooping-back-out-of-the-pan drama. But…I figured if I’d ruined it, I could always make it again.
Here’s how it looked after half an hour in the oven:
The surface was dry and crisp looking, and some doubting part of my mind worried that ALL of it was dried out and crispy. It would probably taste good…but…weren’t there supposed to be two distinct layers?
Well, we’d find out. I let the cake cool to room temperature and then put it in the fridge to chill for 4 hours.
Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock.
Four hours later…
I ran a knife around the edge of the cake and removed the springform.
Hm. Well, some of it looked like this:
But…some of it looked like this:
I was optimistic.
I served slices to everyone.
And best of all,
Two! Distinct! Layers!
Most of the cake was a lush, creamy mousse, and the very bottom was light and crisp.
The top that LOOKED so crispy and made me worry the whole thing was going to crunch was, in reality, papery thin.
Everyone agreed – this was very, very good.
Once again, thank you, Dorie, for giving us such a yummy recipe!
Try not to drool on your keyboard.