“Bake with love…”
Manuela Kjeilen

Dark Chocolate Mousse CakeChocolaty, chocolaty, chocolaty, this Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake is a chocolate lovers delight. Make ahead and not very difficult, it’s a lovely cake to make for a special occasion.The instructions might appear a little involved, but once you read them a couple of times, you can see it’s not to difficult. After all, a special occasion cake must have ‘some work’ to make it special!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake So the other day Simi asked on FB…I think valentine’s day dessert is more to feed the blog than the valentine. Seriously, who agrees with me ??? It was quite interesting {and quite predictable too} to see blogs well fed over V Day! It’s been a trend for a few years now. Come V Day and loads of RED pops up across the globe! Such fun to see the creativity.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake I am quite the same. The blog must be looked after, in turn the love shared with the readers. That the family gets to eat the goodies is just purely coincidental and good fortune IMHO!  I don’t think I could’ve attempted so many different techniques and desserts religiously over the years had it not been for this little blog!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake This cake happened also because of the KitchenAid contest. I spoke about it when I recently shared the Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies recipe. It’s a fun contest, even if only for participation sake, and Ruchira’s been telling us for long to send our entries in. I think I got lazy, until the bakeware arrived. Then the mind began to think.Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte I first thought a Charlotte like the Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte. With strawberries really painting the bazaar red, chocolate seemed a good pairing. So the saviordi went chocolate, and eventually I settled for a dark chocolate mousse filling. The mousse might make for a really nice stand alone mousse dessert too, after you play around with quantities a bit. That seems a likely possibility in the near future.

Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte The saviordi recipe is based on a basic one I used a while ago when I did a tiramisu from scratch, zabaglione, mascarpone from scratch and all. That was one marathon baking session, and I can’t imagine what possessed me! As compared to that, this cake is an absolute cake walk!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake So go on, try baking this cake someday. Be creative, take a leap of imagination. Do a genoise sponge base if you like, with a liqueur spiked mousse. Maybe a coffee chocolate combination, maybe vanilla orange, or a salted butter caramel swirled in there somehow. The possibilities are infinite, with baking fun galore!

[print_this]Recipe: Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake
your picture

Summary: Chocolaty, chocolaty, chocolaty, this Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake is a chocolate lovers delight. Make ahead and not very difficult, it’s a lovely cake to make for a special occasion. Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour {plus cooling & chilling

  • For the saviordi biscuit base
  •  4 large eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • About 2 tbsp icing sugar, for sifting
  • For the syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • For the dark chocolate mousse
  • 250g dark couverture chocolate {53%}
  • 1 tsbp instant coffee
  • 400ml single cream
  • 1tbsp gelatin sprinkled over 25ml water
  • 100g brown sugar
  • Topping
  • 100g dark couverture chocolate for shards
  • 5-7 strawberries, quartered


  1. For the saviordi biscuit cake base
  2. Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 200C. Draw out 3 X 7″ circles on parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder twice. Reserve.
  4. In a clean grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually, add the half the brown sugar {3tbsp}, and continue beating until the egg whites form firm peaks, glossy and smooth. Reserve.
  5. In another large bowl, combine the egg yolks, remaining brown sugar and scraped vanilla bean. Whip until pale in color and thick {3-4 minutes}.
  6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold about 1/3rd of the whipped whites into the yolks to lighten them up. Spoon about a half of the remaining whites over the yolk mixture, then sift a half of the flour over the whites. Gently fold until the ingredients are barely combined. Spoon the rest of the whites over the yolk mixture, sift the rest of the flour over the whites, and then fold delicately until combined. {It is important to fold very gently and not overdo the folding. Otherwise the batter would deflate and lose volume resulting in the ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy}.
  7. Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip about ½-inch wide and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into 3 X 7″ circles.
  8. Sprinkle half the icing sugar over the saviordi biscuit base and wait for 5 minutes. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. This helps to give the ladyfingers or saviordi biscuit base it’s characteristic crispness.
  9. Bake the biscuit base for 12-15 minutes, until they puff up and are firm to touch
  10. Cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rack, and then gently turn over and peel off the parchment. Trim if required into 7″ circles using the dessert ring as your guide. Cool completely. {Can be made a day before.
  11. Syrup
  12. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer gently until sugar dissolves. Take off heat and leave to cool.
  13. Dark chocolate mousse
  14. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and leave until spongy. Place bowl in warm water and leave until the gelatin is clear.
  15. Place the chocolate and 100ml single cream in a large bowl and melt over a double boiler or in microwave until almost melted. Take off heat and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the coffee and gelatin. Leave the chocolate to come to room temperature, stirring on and off
  16. Meanwhile whip the cream with the sugar until medium stiff peaks. Fold 2 tbsp through chocolate to loosen it a bit. Then fold in half very gently, then the rest.
  17. Topping
  18. To make the shards, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Stir until smooth. With an offset spatula {or butter knife} spread a 2-3 inch piece of parchment paper thinly with the melted chocolate. Place another strip of parchment on top and roll tightly into a scroll. Secure and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes {or until required}. unroll over a platter, and use on top of cake. {Can be made ahead and stored in an airtight box in the fridge}
  19. Assemble
  20. Place a &” dessert ring on cake platter, and place a biscuit disc within. Brush liberally with syrup and top with 1/3rd of the chocolate mousse filling. Repeat with remaining discs, finishing with a mousse layer on top.
  21. Cover and chill in fridge overnight.
  22. Gently remove dessert ring {use a warm towel wrapped around outside to help release if required}.
  23. Top with dark chocolate shards and strawberries. Leave out of fridge  for 30 minutes before slicing if it is cold weather. {For summers straight out of the fridge should work well}


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“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway”
Michael Pollan

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} MousseJamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse … possibly the best way to bid adieu to this humble fruit. I had a bag tucked away in the fridge for long. Forgot about them, and life went on. Then we were at threesixtyone°, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, and along came the silkiest Jamun sorbet ever. It was so pretty too.

Jamun sorbetRuchira captured the very essence in her post here …  “We were served the amuse bouche next – a Jamun or Java plum sorbet which was so creamy that it felt like silk in the mouth. The tang from the plum along with the roasted cumin and rock salt was extremely light and refreshing.”

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum}Jamuns danced in my head all day. There’s something about the fruit. It’s astringent, and somewhat edgy. You develop a flavour for it.  I knew there was to be something jamun made soon. I still remember a sublime jamun mousse we had enjoyed at Sangeeta’s place a year ago. That had white chocolate in it. I had none on hand so was a little unsure if my mousse would hold.

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse It sure did. Beautifully. This mousse was quite delicious. I wasn’t sure how it would be received by the kids. They took to it quite happily. The daughter was in from uni for the Independence Day weekend. She was happy to be served dessert. It’s funny how she’s suddenly begun appreciating the little things in life!  Life teaches you. A lot.

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse There was a time when we used to forage for jamuns, climb trees, graze knees to shake the branches. Greedily picking jamuns off the ground and stuffing them into our mouths feels nostalgic now. They tasted sweeter, left our fingers and clothes purple. The stains never came off. Those memories will never either. There are few jamun trees left to forage now. Thankfully sales in the bazaar have increased since the wild Indian java plum has become commercially viable.

[print_this]Recipe: Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse your picture

Summary: Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse is light, fun and a beautiful way to use produce in season. Use any seasonal berry if you can’t find these. It’s a sublime make ahead dessert option.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes {plus macerating, cooling and chilling time}

  • 400g jamun
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 400g low fat cream chilled
  • 50-75g sugar {as per taste}
  • 1tsp gelatin powder


  1. Toss the jamuns and 50g sugar in a bowl and leave to macerate for a few hours. Crush with fingers to remove pulp.
  2. Place pulp in a pan with sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook to jammy consistency. Cool completely, then blend to a fine puree. Reserve about 1/4 cup for topping if desired.
  3. Warm 25ml cream in a bowl, sprinkle over with gelatin and allow to soften. Cool.
  4. Whip the cream and sugar to medium stiff peaks. Strain the gelatin into the cream and mix. Then gently fold in the jamun puree into the cream. Spoon gently into serving glasses, top with reserved puree and chill for 4-6 hours.


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“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse … yes, it’s that time of the year yet again. SPRING! I love it. It’s euphoria all around with new leaves unfurling everyday, flowering tomato plants that hold promise of a ‘good crop’, herbs that finally begin to expand like there’s no tomorrow. Also days when quark gets made beautifully and with ease!Spring And if there is homemade quark on hand, can dessert be far behind? I make huge amounts of quark, a curd cheese I love to love. Ever since I first discovered it 5 years ago, thanks to Hoglet K from Down Under, it has brought about a change in the way I think ‘desserts‘.Quark dessertsQuark isn’t just the sweet way home. I use it often to add wonderful tangy flavour to chicken like in theis Chicken Quark Cross Over Puff Pastry, as part of creamy dressings, in cold potato salads, in stir fries etc. A little goes a long way and once you start exploring, you will find a billion novel ways to include it in your everyday food. 

Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryI made Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse just before we left for a short vacation {which might explain why it’s been so quiet around PAB}. The mousse was addictive and a huge hit with everyone. It got added texture from some chocolate coated homemade granola which I was experimenting with.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse I love the way the colours, textures and flavours came together in this dessert which is a celebration of spring. These days we have a virtual flood of seasonal fruit in the market with cape gooseberries {locally called ‘rhasbhari’ meaning filled with juice} and strawberries ruling the roost. It’s a riot of colour with the fruit piled up high at local bazaars and on handcarts lining the roadside.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse With daytime highs already hitting the early 30’s, it’s just a matter of days before summer arrives. Then of course we’ll welcome days of luscious stone fruit; sizzling hot 45C+ temperatures will be part of the deal though! Until then, this is a great way to enjoy spring fruit.

Summer Salad with orange vinaigrette You can go the salad route too with them! Rocket or mixed salad greens, strawberries, cape gooseberries, feta or cottage cheese, grapes, walnuts, orange, red onion all tossed in a nice tangy orange vinaigrette!


Recipe: Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse your picture

Summary: Light, healthy, addictive, refreshing, Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse is a wonderful spring dessert. Use fruit in season to give a burst of natural flavours and sweetness! Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • Quark Mousse
  • 300g quark, chilled
  • 300g low fat cream, chilled
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  • 200g strawberries, chopped
  • 100g cape gooseberries, chopped
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 15ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean shell {I save mine in a sugar jar after using the insides}


  1. Quark Mousse
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and thick.
  3. Reserve 100g quark mousse and 50g fruit reduction for topping. Mix the remaining mousse and fruit together gently and spoon into serving dishes/glasses.
  4. Add a sprinkling of chocolate coated granola if desired.
  5. Keep 4-6 tsps of fruit, and mix the rest through the reserved mousse. This will just give additional layers of colour. Top the  glasses with the second mix, and then top with the remaining reserved fruit reduction.
  6. Garnish with fresh fruit, mint leaves and chocolate granola.
  7. Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  8. Place all ingredients in a non reactive heavy bottom pan and simmer until it gets nice and thick and syrupy. Cool completely and then chill. Use as required. {This can be made a couple of days before and refrigerated. Other than reducing work, it also preserves the fruit for a little longer}.


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