“Not everybody likes, rich, moist, heavy chocolate cakes.”
I know, amazing, but true. Almost laughable, but still true. What’s worse, that strange, other wordly, demographic includes family 😦
Those outlying, aliens actually want something completely crazy from me. They want me to prove my abilities as a baker…I can’t imagine why, as most of them have eaten every cake I’ve ever baked (good and disastrous!) since I was 10. But okay, they want to know, can I bake cakes that fall into the category of ‘light’ of ‘sponge’ of ‘angelic’?
The answer is actually, yes, when I can be bothered to spend my time in that realm ( a little long winded, but captures the essence of my nature, quite nicely!!). My children have a fantastic little line, which comes out whenever they try to imitate me…”I’m going to make a sponge”
Yes, there was a time that sponge cake become a, very slight, obsession. Such was my dedication to perfecting my bouncy, white, old fashioned sponge cake recipe, that I made at least one every other day. Victoria sponges and Genoise are the technically correct ways to bake a sponge without oil, but the finish of these cakes just doesn’t appeal to me much. Victoria sponges, for me, are a little dry and mouth puckering, which is why I guess jam, cream and a cup of tea are the culturally accepted accompaniments. Genoise, on the other hand uses sugar to add moisture which just pushes the sweetness factor, way over the top! Most other sponge recipes have varying amounts of butter and oil added, which although, not technically correct, make for a more-ish texture that appeals to most of your average cake eaters, including me. Recipes that dip into corn flour and custard powders are great for a really soft, commercial texture, and if you are looking for something, ‘as good as the shops’, these are absolutely the recipes to use. But, for me, I believe a sponge should be well, spongey! My sponge cake is something I have worked on by testing and combining the best of recipes I have come across, since I was a kid to appeal to ….me! So, when I was asked to make a kid’s, family birthday cake, for non-gooey chocolate cake lovers, I knew it was sponge cake time. But, you know…I couldn’t resist Bliss-ing it up of course!!! I sandwiched the sponge with chocolate mousse, smothered it in fresh cream and smooshed some Lindt balls to put on top. For a more grown up finish I probably would have gone dark chocolate mocha mousse, couverture glaze, sprinkled with hazelnut praline but hey, I can’t win them all.
I think chocolate mousse is a great, easy way to turn something simple, into something absolutely luxurious! Now, there is a Bliss philosophy for you! Here is a pared down version of Michel Roux lovely chocolate mousse recipe, that will appeal to everyone in the family. Enjoy!!
125g milk chocolate
125g mild dark chocolate (I know, it seems wrong when I have 2 kg of 70% callebaut sitting in my kitchen!)
4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
50ml thickened cream
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a small bowl. Melt by microwaving in 30 sec bursts and stirring in between. Stir until smooth.
Separate eggs, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar, a little at a time and beat until a very firm snow (I just had to leave that unedited, what a way with words!) Or in other words, until stiff peaks form.
Beat egg yolks lightly. Stir egg yolks and cream into melted chocolate and immediately fold in beaten egg whites delicately with a spatula. Divide into 4 individual dessert glasses and refrigerate until firm.