June 20th, 2016
Guess what! It’s SUPER EASY to make beautiful chocolate curls for your desserts–just like the ones shown on this chocolate mousse cake.
All you need is one of these. . .
And a giant chocolate bar. Unless you are making dessert for 50, you won’t use all of the chocolate for the curls, but you do need a wide piece of chocolate, so get the big one, and I’m sure you’ll figure out something to do with the extra. (Wink. Wink.) Oh, and put the chocolate in the refrigerator about one hour before you plan to make the curls. Not all day. Just an hour.
You also need a dessert that would look better with some chocolate curls on top!
Take your chocolate out of the refrigerator and, using your potato-peeler, make some practice curls over a bowl by carefully shaving some chocolate off one of the sides of the candy bar.
After you have made enough practice curls that you are comfortable making them, it’s time to put the dessert in front of you. The chocolate curls are very delicate, so you want them to fall from the chocolate bar right onto your dessert.
You did it!
By the way, this cute cake plate was given to me by my next-door neighbor. She made it by gluing a candlestick holder to a plate with instant mix epoxy. Isn’t that clever!
I held out for a long time before I finally got a professional mixer. I just kept using my hand-held mixer for everything. In fact, I still prefer to use the hand-held one for certain things, such as mashing potatoes. But a few years ago, my husband got me a new KitchenAid Mixer, and a couple of days later, my neighbor brought over the recipe for this cake. She told me that if I used my new mixer for nothing but this one recipe, it would be worth what we paid for it. She was right. If this isn’t the best dessert I’ve ever tasted, it’s a close competitor. Everybody I have served it to raves about it, and why not—it looks and tastes like it was made by a professional pastry chef. But even if you don’t have a professional mixer, you can still make this cake. You will just need to beat the egg mixture longer as the hand-held mixers aren’t as powerful. I do have one disclaimer though. After this beauty is said and done, there are still some uncooked eggs involved, which may be a problem for some people. If you’re still on board, this is what you’ll need: chocolate chips, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, whipping cream, and powdered sugar.
First you will melt the chocolate chips and butter together, and then you’ll need to separate the 7 eggs. I have this handy little doohickey for separating eggs, and it works pretty well. I believe I got it at one of those kitchen gadget parties, but I have to say that I separated many an egg before I had it and never really had a problem.
Then you’ll mix the yolks with some sugar. They’ll turn pale yellow when they’re ready.
Add the chocolate mixture and some vanilla.
Add the cream of tartar and some sugar to the egg whites and beat them until stiff peaks form.
I use the edge of the beaters to make a peak with the egg whites. If the peak doesn’t fall, as shown in the photo, you’re done beating them.
Carefully fold the whites into the chocolate mixture. This is chocolate mousse. Measure out two cups of the mouse and put into the refrigerator. The rest of the mouse goes into the springform pan and you’ll bake it at 325 for 35 minutes.
After you take the cake out of the oven, it will begin to fall, and that’s a good thing because it gives you a place to put the mousse that you stored in the refrigerator! After the cake has cooled, carefully fill in that hole in the center with the chocolate mousse, then cover it and put it back into the refrigerator.
The mousse will be easier to frost when chilled. And you’ll frost it with a whipped cream mixture.
Keep it refrigerated until serving time, preferably the next day. Loosen the sides of the springform pan, and if desired, decorate with chocolate curls.
Recipe Courtesy of Julie Markham/Adapted by Winner Dinners
This is best if made the day before serving.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Carefully grease the bottom only of a 10-inch springform pan or pie plate. Place the chocolate chips and the butter into a small glass bowl and and gently melt in the microwave oven for 3 minutes at one third power. Stir well until the chips are completely melted. Set aside.
Carefully separate the 7 eggs one at a time to insure that the yolks do not even minutely mix with the whites. Place the yolks into a mixing bowl with 3/4 cup sugar and mix for FIVE minutes on medium high. The yolks will turn a very pale yellow. Carefully mix the chocolate and 1 teaspoon vanilla into the beaten egg yolks. Set aside. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form. While beating, slowly add 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Carefully fold the whites into the chocolate mixture. This is chocolate mousse. Pour two cups of the mousse into a small bowl; cover and put in the refrigerator. Place the rest of the mousse into the springform pan and put it into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The mousse will rise while baking. When 35 minutes is up, remove the mousse from the oven and let cool. The mousse will fall.
When the baked mousse is cool, fill with the unbaked mousse and again cover with plastic and put in the refrigerator. The mousse will be easier to frost if chilled. When ready to frost, place a medium mixing bowl in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Then, mix whipping cream, powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in the chilled bowl. Beat until whipped. Frost the mousse cake with this and keep it refrigerated until serving time, preferably the next day. Carefully loosen the sides of the springform pan. If desired, decorate the top with chocolate curls.