Published November 1, 2002.
Chocolate mousse cake runs the gamut from fluffy, insubstantial layer cake to dense-as-a-brick, and fudge-like slab. Could we make one that maintained the qualities of a perfect chocolate mousse--rich, creamy, and full of chocolate flavor?
This dessert has two distinct styles. One is a chocolate sponge layer cake, with mousse sandwiched between the layers, the other is essentially chocolate mousse baked in a cake pan. We opted to perfect the baked mousse style, which was simpler to prepare, although we found that such cakes can come out of the oven a dense, homely mess.
We were looking for excellence: The cake should be fudgy, chocolaty, and very rich, with a mousse-like texture.
Use bittersweet chocolate (we like Hershey's Special Dark) plus an ounce of unsweetened chocolate for a deep, chocolate taste and a darker, slightly more sophisticated quality. Eight egg yolks and 1 1/2 sticks of butter give the cake a melt-in-your-mouth texture. To keep the egg whites from collapsing under the weight of the chocolate, beat them with brown sugar, which adds flavor and stability. Finally, for a perfectly moist, creamy cake, bake it in a water bath. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.list of recipes