Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Decadent Dessert

Remember that white chocolate mousse from a few days ago?

OK, now picture it sandwiched in between moistened cheesecake crust and flourless chocolate cake. Just thinking about it makes me want to do cartwheels and backflips, which incidentally I've never been able to do. But a girl can dream, right?

Just like a backflip, this dessert just started springing in my mind. Well, like a backflip, or like a really annoying little child that can't stop nagging. For three days before making it, I just couldn't stop thinking about it. My class notes turned into drawings of trifle-like bowls filled with layers of cake and mousse. I couldn't decide between dark chocolate mousse, white chocolate mousse, or simply a nice flavored whipped cream--that's where my 10 pm outing to the grocery came into play. 
See, I often complain deep in my mind about how much smaller the cereal aisle in France is compared to the US. But we have one thing you don't: the chocolate bar aisle. In the larger supermarkets, called hypermarkets over here, it's one long stretch of really good chocolate. I'm not talking about "chocolate", the cheap stuff you find in a lot of grocery stores in America (although it has its positive aspects). No way--I'm talking Swiss milk chocolate, 75% dark chocolate bars with caramelized almonds. Multiply those by about 30 different possibilities and you get a chocolate bar aisle in France. If you didn't have enough incentive to come over and visit Paris, this is hopefully a piece of information you can't ignore. Chocolate! Everywhere! Alright, I'll stop.

In front of my grocer's chocolate aisle, the white chocolate bars kept calling out my name. White chocolate mousse it was. The rest of the dessert came together pretty quickly--I actually had spiced cheesecake crusts in my freezer from here and a whole lot of flourless chocolate cake from a time I had many eggs and, as the name suggests, no flour. Obviously, I always have chocolate, so that wasn't a problem.

Basically, all I can say is that you should probably make this sometime. It's a nice variation (albeit very varied variation) on a trifle. One word of caution: keep some chocolate cake on the side. Not for your guests, but for you. This cake is absolutely, positively, one of the most addictive things ever. 

I'm not saying I did this, but eating some straight out of the freezer is pretty amazing. Well, I just might have tried some. Several times.

The Decadent
serves 4, plus leftovers

2 TB coffee
1 drop almond extract

Flourless Chocolate Cake
4 eggs
8 oz. (230g) chopped semisweet chocolate
scant 3/4 c. or 11 1/2 TB butter (160g)
scant 3/4 c. (160g) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.

Butter a 9-in. springform pan and dust with cocoa powder. 

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler until smooth. remove from heat. 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar. Add chocolate mixture and whisk together. Pour batter into prepared pan and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. 

Put springform pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into second pan, so that it arrives about halfway up the springform pan. 

Bake approximately one hour, until cake is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out with "dry" streaks of chocolate.

Remove cake pan from the water bath and let cool on a rack.

Serve in small slices or freeze for later use.

For layered dessert:

In a small bowl, mix coffee and almond extract. Break cheesecake crust into pieces and dip into coffee. Place on the bottom of four large glasses.

Top with a quarter of the mousse in each glass. Refrigerate for thirty minutes or until set.

Cut half of the chocolate cake into chunks. Place on top of white chocolate mousse.

Topping dessert with toasted slivered almonds is also a delicious option! Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

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Paris Pastry said...

You've managed to find a way to top the white chocolate mousse! It's true that the European cereal isles are no way near the American grocery stores, but we make up for it with GOOD chocolate ;)!

claudia said...

you are right ! There are two aisles in the supermarket where the French cannot be beaten: the yogurt aisle and the chocolate aisle! looks like an nice dessert!!

vickys said...

I think I just fell in love with this. white chocolate AND flourless chocolate cake. I wouldn't mind having this for breakfast, lunch and dinne!

Ingrid said...

Well, you know I'm not fond of chocolate but I like white chocolate and mousse, love it. Cheesecake crust? Um, yes please. With all that said I'll take one!