Decadent Valentine's Raspberry Mousse Chocolate cake
A lovely romantic cake perfect to round off a special Valentine's dinner. The whipped cream filling is made into a ball shape using two Tala semi-spherical tablespoon measuring spoons as a mould, but you can use sphere moulds if you prefer. This recipe yields enough cake to make 3 extra heart-shaped cake pops – an extra one to practice making? Or to enjoy on your own. I'll leave that decision with you...
Cake and cake pops:
75g salted butter
60g dark chocolate, chopped
100g caster sugar
1 tbs cocoa
100ml hot water
2 tsp instant coffee granules
1 free-range egg (medium)
100g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla
100g frozen raspberries
2 tbs caster sugar
1 free-range egg white
1 tsp gelatin granules
100ml double cream (+ 2 extra tablespoons of cream)
50g milk chocolate, chopped
50g dark chocolate, chopped
100g double cream
A small quantity of buttercream
Sprinkles/dried rose petals
Hand-held electric whisk- optional
Foil-covered cake card (2mm thick, 10cmm / 4” diameter)
Cake pop sticks
Starting with the chocolate cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius (fan) / 302 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Stir the coffee granules into the hot water and set aside to dissolve fully.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and add dark chocolate, whisking gently until smooth.
4. Stir in the caster sugar, followed by the cocoa, the coffee solution, and the egg. Whisk again.
5.Place flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in the mixing bowl and whisk together.
6. Ladle the wet mixture into the dry, adding carefully to avoid lumps. Whisk until smooth.
7. Position the greaseproof paper circle into the bottom of the cake tin and the muffin cases into the muffin tray.
8. Fill the muffin cases with cake mixture and tip the rest of the mixture into the cake tin.
9. Pop both into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. By this time, the cupcakes should be done, so remove from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Leave the cake in the oven for a further 20 minutes until fully cooked. (The surface will be domed and spring back when gently pressed.) Put the cake on the rack to join with cupcakes and leave all to cool down completely.
Moving on to the raspberry mousse:
1. Whisk the cream until light and fluffy. Line the scooped spoon part of the tablespoon with clingfilm and fill with whipped cream, leveling it off so that the surface is flat.
2. Freeze until firm. Repeat to make the other half of the ball (either reuse the measuring spoon, leaving the frozen half in the freezer) or use a second measuring spoon if you have one). Leave the remaining whipped cream to one side for a moment.
3. Pour the raspberries into a saucepan with the caster sugar and two tablespoons of water. Heat gently and mash with a fork until the fruits break down (should only take a couple of minutes).
4. Remove the raspberries from the heat and push through a sieve to remove the pips.
5. Collect the pulp into a bowl add two more tablespoons of water, return to the pan, heat slightly and stir in the gelatin. Leave to cool slightly.
6. Whisk the egg white until standing up in firm peaks and set aside.
7. Return to the gelatin mixture, which should have cooled considerably by now (but which will not be quite a room temperature) and fold into the whipped cream.
8. Fold the egg white into the now cooled cream mixture as gently as you can. If you have any large clumps of egg white, you can disperse them briefly with a whisk, but try not to whisk too much.
9. Set aside briefly while you assemble the cake.
Assembling the cake. (For this stage you will need the cake tin, cleaned and dry):
1. Using the cake leveler, measure 1cm from the bottom and cut so that you have a disc of cake measuring 10 cm diameter and 1cm thick. This will be at the top of the cake. Put it to one side for now.
2. Returning to the original cake, measure another disc, this time about 1.5cm high – this will be the base of the cake. Keep the remainder of the cake.
3. Using the cake tin as a guide, measure a strip of cellophane that is long enough to wrap around the side of the tin and wide enough to be taller than the walls of the tin by about 1cm.
4. Remove the base of the cake tin, you don't need it for this stage. Place the base disc of cake onto the cake card. Line the walls of the tin with the cellophane and gently lower the cake card and cake down into the tin. It can be fiddly ensuring that the cellophane doesn't wrinkle or ride up – it may take a couple of attempts.
5. Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of mousse over the cake and spread out so that it is even.
6. Remove the half balls of cream from the freezer, stick them together firmly to create a ball of frozen cream and place on top of the mousse.
7. Cover the ball with the rest of the mousse, tapping now and then on the work surface to make sure the mousse is level without air pockets.
8. Place the tin in the fridge for an hour, then remove, place the top disc of sponge on top (peeling off the greaseproof paper first), and return to the fridge for another hour at least.
Making the cake pops. There will be enough to make extra cake pops if you like – if not, store the leftover cake in an airtight tub or in the freezer:
1. Make the ganache by heating the cream until just boiling, reserving two tablespoons of this cream in a ramekin and, then tipping both chocolates into the rest of the cream and stirring until smooth. The ganache should be loose and shiny. If it seems a bit thick, add some of the reserved creams.
2. Take two of the chocolate cupcakes and crumble into a mixing bowl. Add two dessertspoons of ganache and mix. Set aside the rest of the ganache for now.
3. Divide the mixture into three, and model each third into a heart shape. Place the hearts on greaseproof paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Dip the end of one of the cake pop sticks into the molten ganache and push into one of the heart shapes. Repeat for each and return to the fridge for an hour.
5. Transfer the ganache into a taller, narrower vessel (I used a small tumbler glass) and microwave very gently to loosen it up – it should not be hot.
6. Remove the cake pops from the fridge, they should feel quite solid by now and dip in the ganache, complete covering each one. Return to the fridge to harden.
Decorating the cake:
1. Remove the cake from the fridge and carefully take it out of the tin and remove the cellophane. Place it on the plate or cake stand that you wish to present it on.
2. Take the molten ganache and pour it on the top, smoothing it with a mini palette knife to encourage it to spread to the sides and drip over the edge. Return to the fridge to firm up.
3. Choose your two finest cake pops and stick them right into the cake and return to the fridge again while you prepare the finishing touches.
4. Mix the remaining ganache with a few tablespoons of buttercream icing. Fill the piping bag with the icing and pipe some peaks on top of the cake and around the base.
5. Decorate with sprinkles, dried rose petals, and some fresh raspberries if you wish. Keep in the fridge until showtime!