Friends, I have made Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. And it’s gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and nut-free. It also tastes incredible, and it’s not just me: the dozen friends and teachers that received a piece all agreed.
Yield 4 insanely decadent cakes
FOR THE CAKES
1/4 cup of coconut milk
2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder
3 tablespoons of coconut nectar, honey, or maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1 tablespoon of tapioca powder
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
A generous pinch of salt
FOR THE FIRST MOUSSE
4 ounces of dark chocolate (anywhere between 55% and 85%)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 14-oz cans of full fat coconut milk, put in the fridge overnight
A pinch of salt
FOR THE SECOND MOUSSE
2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
FOR THE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 4 ramekins with a circle of parchment paper. Grease each one heavily with coconut oil.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or using just a bowl and a whisk), beat the eggs until light and bubbly on top, about 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat the coconut milk with the instant espresso powder until the granules are dissolved and the milk is warm to the touch, about 30 seconds to a minute. Set aside.
Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and pour in the coconut nectar and vanilla extract along with the coconut milk/espresso mixture. Mix for a minute more, then pour in the melted coconut oil.
In a small bowl, sift together the coconut flour, tapioca powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together with a spoon, then pour into the wet ingredients, 1/2 of the dry mixture at a time.
Once well-mixed, divide the batter evenly among the four ramekins and bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for at least 15 minutes, then slide a knife around its edges to loosen the cake from the sides. Carefully remove and let cool for another 10 minutes.
Using a sharp knife, cut directly across the top of each cake to make it flat. Discard the tops, or eat them for breakfast or snack as “muffin tops!” You can also throw them in the food processor to make crumbs for a tart crust or other dessert.
To make these triple chocolate mousse cakes hold together and look pretty, you’re gonna need to make parchment rectangles for collars to encircle the cake bases. Unfortunately, that means I now must impart some geometry on you people.
To figure out how long to make your rectangles, follow this formula: circumference = π * diameter of your ramekin. In case you have erased everything you ever learned about math from your brain, diameter is how long your ramekin is at its longest point. So take a ruler and measure. My ramekins were about 3.5 inches in diameter, so 3.5 * π = 11 inches, approximately. That means I made my rectangles 11 inches long.
If math scares the living daylights out of you, just make your rectangles 10-12 inches long.
Trace 4 3-inch by (whatever your circumference was) rectangles…so, for example, my rectangles were 3 in by 11 in. Cut them out, then wrap each rectangle around each cake. Secure with a piece of tape and set aside.
FOR THE FIRST MOUSSE
Place the bowl of your stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 15 minutes. You’ll need this later.
To begin, separate the eggs–when they’re COLD. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes, while you let the egg yolks come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, double boiler, or a bowl in the microwave, melt the dark chocolate until smooth and no chunks remain. Stir constantly so no chocolate sticks or burns. Once melted, set aside and let come to room temperature, stirring occasionally so it won’t seize up. When the chocolate is warm–not hot–to the touch, fold in the egg yolks and the vanilla extract and set aside. Don’t worry if it seizes up and starts to look like a cake batter–I promise it’ll all work out later.
Remember that bowl you put in the freezer earlier? Don’t forget it! Take it out and pour in the coconut cream from two cans of coconut milk.
Forget how to make coconut cream? Easy: just stick the cans of coconut milk in the fridge for at least two hours (and preferably longer), then open them from the bottom and pour off the “coconut water.”
Beat the coconut cream on the highest speed possible until light and airy, about 5 minutes. It should look very much like whipped cream!
Stop the mixer and pour in the chocolate mixture. On medium-low speed, mix everything is well-combined and no flecks of white or brown remain, about 2 minutes.
Using a big spatula, fold in the egg whites that you beat earlier with a pinch of salt. Go VERY slowly and stop as soon as everything is homogeneous–the less you fold, the airier your mousse will be.
In a very gentle manner, scoop half of the chocolate mousse into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip OR a large ziploc bag. Push the mousse to the bottom of the bag and twist the top; cut off about half an inch of the corner if you’re using the ziploc bag.
In a swirling motion, pipe the chocolate mousse into the prepared parchment collars atop the cakes. Do this until your chocolate mousse is about an inch high, then move onto the next cake base. Once you’ve finished, put the cakes in the fridge for at least a half an hour to firm up a bit.
FOR THE SECOND MOUSSE
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate with the instant espresso powder. Once completely melted, remove from the heat and let cool down until warm to the touch.
Pour into the remaining chocolate mousse and gently fold to incorporate. This will be your super-duper-extremely-chocolaty layer. Scoop into a clean pastry bag with the same tip as before or ziploc bag, push the mousse to the bottom, and twist the top.
Take the cake bases with the first layer of chocolate mousse out of the fridge. Swirl the next layer of chocolate mousse about an inch high on top of each of the cakes–or until there’s no more mousse left.
Transfer the mousse cakes to the fridge and let harden for AT LEAST two hours, preferably three or four. Let sit out at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before inhaling.