Every entertainer needs to have an impressive, delicious, foolproof and easy recipe up their sleeve for all main occasions. A sumptuous roast, a mouth-watering pasta, a fantastic soup, a versatile salad, a delectable dessert and a special cake. This decadent chocolate mousse cake ticks all the right boxes and is a great dessert or a super special cake to have to for afternoon tea (It is also a great basis for our dinosaur fossil birthday cake as the adults will love it too!).
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Separating the eggs
Seriously, the most difficult part of this cake is separating the eggs.
There are numerous ways to separate eggs. I have an egg separator, which I love but rarely use. Actually, I have two, one that I ‘won’ at a Tupperware party and a ceramic one that belonged to my Mum. This boogeyman one leaves little to the imagination. Has anyone tried one of these fish egg separators?
I use large eggs in my recipes and my egg separator is made for medium eggs. More often than not, the egg separator loses the yolk over the side with the white, which is why I rarely use it.
Instead, I just use the eggshells or my hands to separate eggs. I do break the egg whites into a cup and then transfer each egg white into the bowl before breaking the next one. When I don’t I tend to stuff up the last egg and have yolk in with all my whites. When six eggs are involved, the risk of waste is just too great.
Long story short: use the method that you prefer. But I still recommend using large eggs for this recipe.
Tip: I find that eggs are easier to separate when they are fresh from the refrigerator. However, you should wait about 20 minutes after separating before you use them to make sure the eggs are room temperature for whipping.
Is it cheating?
Any shortcut busy Mum’s can make is worth knowing.
I’ll admit, sometimes, when I am short on time, I will use a packet mix for the mousse. The real recipe is not difficult, but waiting for the melted chocolate too cool is sometimes more time than I have. Or I am so busy that I get distracted. I have, for example, been known to forget the cooling chocolate to the point that it goes hard again and needs to be remelted…
Using a chocolate mousse packet mix is perfectly acceptable, especially when you are busy and distracted and have other things that need doing (like decorating and making other dinosaur birthday party stuff). Thre is no shame. While packet mousses used to taste powdery (even my young pallet could tell), this is no longer the case.
Tip: If you are going to use a packet mix, make sure you get a good brand, preferably one that you have tried before.
A little something special
With all the air from the egg whites, this decadent chocolate mousse cake is actually quite light. Yet the richness of the mousse adds a dimension that makes this cake a ‘wow’ cake.
Do you not want the raspberries and strawberries on top? Add more berries. Or use chocolate-dipped pieces of orange and consider adding finely grated orange peel to the mousse.
You could also use chocolate to decorate your cake. Just make sure that the chocolate is not too heavy as it will submerge into the mousse.
I used marshmallows and tiny chocolate chips to create a dinosaur birthday cake sensation.
Are you looking for something extra special to wow everyone at the end of a meal? Use white chocolate mousse and dark chocolate mousse and swirl them. Trust me, it will look and taste great.
Make this decadent chocolate mousse cake for your next dinner party
If you are a busy Mum like me, you won’t have a lot of time to whip up an impressive dessert for you next gathering. This decadent chocolate mousse cake is perfect. The base is quick and easy to make and for the top, you can use a packet mix if time is short. Make bake it the day before and all you will have to do is throw on some berries and dust with cocoa powder. Your guests will love it.
Are you a self-confessed chocoholic? Or are you short on time but need to impress your guests? Then this is the recipe for you!
Decadent chocolate Mousse Cake
- 8-10 inch springform pan
For the base
- 200 g dark semi-sweet chocolate
- 60 g butter
- 6 eggs separated
- ⅔ cup caster sugar
For the mousse
- 400 g dark chocolate
- 2 tsp instant coffee
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 600 ml thickened cream
- Fresh strawberries
- Fresh raspberries
- icing sugar or cocoa powder
For the base
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 22cm springform cake pan
- Break the chocolate (200g) into smaller pieces, and place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the caster in a large bowl until light and creamy. The mixture should be a pale gold colour.
- Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat until well combined.
- Beat the egg whites and the remaining caster sugar (about 1/6 cup) in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the other half.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes. Cool in the pan.
For the chocolate mousse
- Melt the chocolate: in a small saucepan over low heat, a water bath or in a microwave. Allow to cool.
- Dissolve the coffee in the water and allow to cool.
- Beat the cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks just form.
- Fold the chocolate and coffee into the cream.
- Pour the mousse over the cake in the pan, cover and refrigerate until the mousse is firm.
- Dust the cake with cocoa and top with berries
- Alternative: top with berries and dust the berries with icing sugar.