This week's project for the Heavenly Cake Bakers was the Baby Chocolate Oblivions from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes." These are a flourless chocolate mousse, baked as mini-cakes in a water bath. Wow! Chocolate delight! So smooth, creamy and luscious!
Rose originally published this recipe in "The Cake Bible," pages 84-87, as a single large cake. I took a look at that recipe and found many tempting (and amusingly named) variations -- Chocolate Torture (with a layer of fudge sauce), Chocolate Dependence (with liquor or liqueur), Chocolate Indulgence (with praline paste), Chocolate Flame (with raspberry puree).
So mine are Baby Chocolate Dependences, actually. I made 1/6 of the recipe -- just two servings -- and added a bit of raspberry liqueur (1 teaspoon for my reduced recipe). Unfortunately, while this liqueur tastes great alone, it isn't strongly flavored enough to stand up to all that chocolate. I could barely tell it was there in the cakes. The liqueur flavored whipped cream worked out, though. And my black raspberry puree (from our own berries) added the perfect note.
As I don't have silicone muffin pans or cups and didn't get around to buying any, I went with ceramic ramekins, well buttered. I covered them with a tent of aluminum foil for the second part of the baking. They puffed up quite a bit, like little souffles, and then fell back down again as they cooled. My husband did a most capable job of unmolding them -- running a small spatula around the edge, then dipping each ramekin in hot water and inverting onto the serving plates. There was about a teaspoon's worth of chocolate mousse cake left in the pans, which we scraped out and spread evenly on the top of the cakelets. Hey, the whipped cream hid most of the top anyway!
These are wonderful! My only quarrel with this recipe is that Rose says (in The Cake Bible) that it doesn't freeze well -- the texture changes. I would love to make a bunch of these and freeze the extras. Perfect for a special dessert when we both are hit by a chocolate craving.
I'll have to take a look at some of the other chocolate mousse cake recipes out there. Maybe the addition of a small amount of starch (cornstarch, potato starch) would help stabilize the texture when frozen?
Talking of other recipes, I used Scharffenberger 62% chocolate for this (one of the brands Rose recommends) and was most amused by the recipe that came inside the box -- Chocolate Orbit Cake, adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz. Guess what, it's a flourless chocolate mousse cake baked in a water bath! The main differences are that it has a lot more sugar and is baked at a lower temperature for a longer time.
Next time, I'm going to try the Chocolate Flame option with a puree of our home-grown black raspberries. And if Santa Claus is good enough to bring some of those lovely fruit essences from La Cuisine, I'll add a drop of raspberry essence. Heavenly!