Last week I posted about my desire to make something molten, sinful and downright dangerously decadent in honor of Chocolate Week, and that I did. The final vote went to my husband, since he was the one who would be consuming most of it, along with me of course, but I was happy with any option, as long as it contained a serious amount of delicious, dark chocolate.
This recipe is more of an occasion recipe due to the sheer amount of (a) calories – that I try not to think about as I write this, knowing how much I consumed over the course of the past few days – and (b) effort. But please be patient as this chocolate chestnut mousse cakes reaps serious dividends in the form of an amazing, impressive dessert, worthy of the most elaborate of dinner parties or celebrations.
1lb good quality dark chocolate (min 60%) roughly chopped
6 eggs, room temperature
2tbs rum or brandy
1.5 cups ground chestnuts (cooked and vacuum packed are easiest)
3tbsp sweetened chestnut puree
3tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting on top to serve
1.5cups freshly whipped cream
Pre-heat oven to 325*F and grease 9in round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl on-top of a pot of simmering (not boiling) water, ensure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl and stir occasionally until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.
Put the eggs in a separate heat-proof bowl and add the rum or brandy. Put the bowl on-top of a pot of simmering (again not boiling) water and don’t let the water touch the bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer on high for approximately 5-7 minutes until light, frothy and foamy. Remove from the heat.
Using a metal spoon, quickly and lightly fold the chocolate, ground chestnuts and sugar into the whisked eggs. Fold in the whipped cream and pour the mixture into the cake tin – do not over stir, try to keep as much air as possible. Put the cake tin in a water bath that comes up about half way.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked in the center of the mousse cake. Let it cool for at least 2 hours in the cake tin on a wire rack before removing it.
Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and drizzle of sweet vanilla cream (heavy cream, vanilla bean paste and icing sugar lightly whisked). This cake is fudge-like, almost like eating a slice of a rich, smooth chocolate bar. It lasts a good few days in the refrigerator when wrapped in cling film.