Chocolate Mousse Cake
From: Low Tox Life Food by Alexx Stuart
Serves 6–8 Prep time 25–30 minutes Cooking time 25–30 minutes
1 cup (200 g) rapadura, panela, coconut or maple sugar 5 eggs, separated 165 g (5¾) dark chocolate (70% cacao), roughly chopped 1½ tablespoons Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil, plus extra for greasing ¼ cup (60 ml) full-cream (whole) milk or coconut milk (optional)* 2 tablespoons hazelnut or pecan meal
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Line a 23 cm (9 inch) springform cake tin with unbleached baking paper and grease the paper with olive oil.
Separate the sugar into small bowls, one with 75 g (2½ oz) and the other with 125 g (4½ oz).
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and the yolks in a medium bowl.
Half-fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Rest a large bowl on the saucepan, without it touching the water, and add the chocolate. Reduce the heat to low and warm the chocolate until it’s almost melted, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon now and then.
Remove from the heat and stir in the 75 g (2½ oz) sugar.
Between stirs while the chocolate is melting, whisk the cocoa powder into the egg yolks until thick and well combined.
Gradually drizzle the olive oil into the melted chocolate mixture, whisking constantly. Does it look like curdled chocolate sick-up or silky smooth? For the first scenario, heat the milk until just warm, then add tablespoons, one at a time, to the curdled mess, stirring gently and watching for it to come together. You might need it all or only a couple of tablespoons.
Whisking constantly, slowly add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture until well combined.
Using the electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium–high speed until soft peaks form. Add half the remaining sugar and beat for 10 seconds, then add the remaining sugar and beat for a final 10 seconds, or until the sugar is just combined and the mixture looks glossy and rich.
Gently fold* the chocolate mixture, then the hazelnut meal, into the egg white mixture until just combined – don’t stir.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes, until there’s just a hint of wobble in the centre. Serve hot as a dessert with custard, cream or ice cream, or chilled as a mousse cake.
*Notes: You’ll only need the milk on emergency stand-by in case your chocolate splits during melting. You will totally know if this is happening to you! This milk save has been bulletproof for me over years of carelessly taking my eye off ganache chocolate, and if I can help you live a less stressful dessert-making life then I will. To fold it in, you just fold it in, David. Some of you will get this joke. Some won’t and I’m afraid our friendship will be strained…
Images and text from Low Tox Life Food by Alexx Stuart, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books RRP $36.99