dark chocolate mousse

“May your life be filled, as mine has been, with love and laughter; and remember, when things are rough all you need is … Chocolate.”
Geraldine Solon

Baked Dark Chocolate Mousse 1These are tiring days. Life seems cumbersome. Maybe it’s that time of the year, the heat and humidity; maybe the after effects of trying to pack too much into working days. I needed a break. That came today! I offered to guest post on Cookaroo to help ease her tiring days! This Baked Dark Chocolate Mousse seemed to be the thing! {Recipe here}

Baked Dark Chocolate Mousse
Baked Dark Chocolate Mousse Had to send Ruchira’s blog some deliciousness while she works hard {read struggles} to get life up and running in her new world. The thought of doing something for this large hearted and fab girl injected some enthusiasm into me. With a spring in my step, I grabbed the camera early this morning. I knew just what would make her smile.

Baked Dark Chocolate Mousse So grab your spoons and head straight for Cookaroo for these petite beauties. They’re a chocolate lovers dream come true. Deep, dark, sensuous, seductive … petite dark chocolate mousse with a drizzle of deep, dark, salted caramel. Need I say more?

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“I invented it — but it was so easy, I’m embarrassed!”
Hervé This 

Dark chocolate mousse Dark Chocolate Mousse. Sweet comfort. Chocolat! This turned out to be the simplest mousse ever. One with fewest ingredients too. Just two. OK three four since I added some sugar & a dash of Kirsch. This was something I had longed to make but just didn’t get there. The past few days have been a little busy, a little heartache, too much running around and no energy to bake. At 46C, baking feels a little HOT!

Dark chocolate mousseI craved chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate. The bookmarked folder threatens to burst with a collection that spans a few years. When I need to immerse myself in food, get away from the real world, I know I can dive into the folder. It’s a great place to get lost in.

Dark chocolate mousseSo much inspiration, so much food for thought. Chocolate recipes are aplenty. This particular Heston Blumenthal mousse recipe inspired by Hervé This has always seemed challenging and unreal. Somewhere deep down I didn’t believe that chocolate mousse can be created with just chocolate and water. Nah!! Impossible!! 

Dark chocolate mousse

Monsieur Hervé This, a French physical chemist with a PHD in molecular gastronomy, invented the recipe for Chocolate Chantilly, or this simple chocolate mousse. His main area of scientific research is molecular gastronomy, that is the science of culinary phenomena. Some of his discoveries include the perfect temperature for cooking an egg, and the use of an electrical field to improve the smoking of salmon. He also found that beating an egg white after adding a small amount of cold water considerably increases the amount of foam produced. 

Dark chocolate mousseThis is the simplest chocolate mousse. Since it uses just two ingredients, chocolate and water, use the best quality chocolate you can lay your hands on. The trick is to whip it just until it begins to thicken and hold soft peaks. Over whipping results in a grainy mousse. If it does get grainy, you can heat the mixture and begin whipping again! So forgiving!! {You can see Heston Blumenthal making this mousse here.}

Dark chocolate mousseThis is the chemistry they didn’t teach us in school! Who would have thought that chemistry would enter by way of molecular gastronomy into our lives to make it so delicious? The dark chocolate mousse is fab on its own. Sensuous, smooth, satisfying, intense … everything good quality dark chocolate promises to be.

Dark chocolate mousse It’s very unlike me to leave well enough alone. Cherries are in season. While the mousse was chilling, I simmered some cherries with balsamic and sugar. This is a great way to preserve cherries. Makes for a fabulous dessert topping. Chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven. Oh and BTW, a balsamic cherry sauce pairs beautifully with meat too. 

Dark chocolate & cherries I use the combination every summer. Some of my favourites are Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake, Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise with Crème Chantilly & Balsamic Cherry SauceNutella & Cherry Chocolate TartMini Quark Vanilla Cheesecakes with Balsamic Cherry Sauce and another Dark Chocolate Mousse with Balsamic Cherry Sauce.

I thought I’d drizzle some low-fat cream over the mousse and top it with the balsamic cherry sauce. Low fat cream NEVER whips up to stiff peaks, especially during the 46C days of the Indian summer. Murphy’s law kicked in. Within seconds of whipping the low-fat cream, it thickened up like no ones business.

Dark chocolate mousse When you least expect it, you can see the mountain move!! For the first time in my culinary life, I needed soft flowing cream… and I got stiff peaks! Strange!! So I rearranged the layers in my head. Topped the mousse with balsamic cherries, piped some cream over it, topped the cream with dark cocoa nibs…


Recipe: Simplest & Best Dark Chocolate Mousse your picture

Summary: The dark chocolate mousse is fab on its own. Sensuous, smooth, satisfying, intense … everything that good quality dark chocolate promises to be. Top it with balsamic fresh cherries and take it to even more delicious levels. Mousse recipe minimally adapted from Heston Blumenthal, inspired by Hervé This.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Dark chocolate mousse
  • 265 grams bittersweet (%70 cocoa solids) chocolate, chopped
  • 225g water
  • 15g Kirsch
  • 2 tbsp sugar, optional
  • Balsamic Cherry Sauce
  • 400g sweet fresh cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Kirsch
  • Whipped cream
  • 200ml cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • few drops almond extract
  • cocoa nibs


  1. Dark chocolate mousse
  2. Place a large mixing bowl on top of another slightly smaller one, filled with ice and cold water (the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice). Set aside.
  3. Put chocolate and water (also sugar and/or liquor if you’re using) in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand-held mixer) until thick. Watch the texture as you whip and make sure not to over-whip as it will make the mousse grainy. If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
  5. Divide into serving cups and chill until set.
  6. Top with balsamic cherry sauce. Pipe whipped cream over. Sprinkle over dark cocoa nibs if desired.
  7. Balsamic Cherry Sauce
  8. Place the cherries with a splash of water in a non reactive sauce pan. Simmer for 4-5 minutes until the cherries begin to get soft. Add the remaining ingredients other that the Kirsch.
  9. Stir for 2-3 minutes over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Strain the cherries out and reserve in  a bowl. Return the syrup back to the pan and reduce until thick.
  10. Take off heat, stir in the Kirsch and pour back over cherries. Cool and then chill.
  11. Whipped cream
  12. Place cream, sugar and almond extract in a large bowl. Whip until firm peaks. Place in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  13. Note: You can make this mousse without the liqueur. Just substitute the amount of liqueur with water, i.e. use 240ml water.


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“Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.”
Michael Levine

Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse CakeDays come and go, and amazingly years gallop by. The charming little poppet turned 13, entering into a much awaited phase of his life, scary for the parents in us us we lie in exhausted heaps having battled the other teen and her trying years. For his special birthday, celebrated at the height of the dreaded Indian summer, a Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake.RohanI used to listen on in disbelief when ‘been there‘ experienced Mums would tell me that angelic little boys begin to become ‘something else‘ once they cross the 10-11 years milestone. Not mine I’d think, no question. Never seen a more charming lad, so thoughtful, so loving … one that planted little kisses on my knee when he was little!Rohan All that changed a year ago. Good heavens … where did the ‘angelic’ son go? At times I found him hidden in a monster, behaving in the most unbelievable manner; at other times as good as gold. June baby? Gemini = twins? While I battle the Jekyll & Hyde situation, heeding now to shared experiences and  words of wisdom, it was time to bake … again!Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake We’re in the throws of an awful Indian summer, relentless heat, getting worse by the day, power-cuts galore, water shortages … and then we decide to get the house painted. The work carries on, woefully long, taking its toll on our energy levels. Just the kids seem fine … and the dog of course, brimming with boundless energy, racing in and out of rooms. In a house full of ladders, boxes piled high, buckets of paints and masking tape, some pretty summer flowers, I set off on the 10th to bake cake!WIP The lad had said it was OK. “No need for cake, I understand Mama“. But cake there had to be the dieting once again diva declared. ‘She’ who is over 16 doesn’t seem to hold the magical spell over the younger sibling any longer, yet still calls the food shots! Cherries and chocolate was the royal call, and I was happy I had a theme, a dream to play with. Always a good idea to dream up some yumminess!Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse CakeThe base was intended to be a sponge until I added melted chocolate to it. I panicked since it wasn’t light as air and soft … so it got a good sugar syrup soaking. Was the right medicine for the cake. It giddily drank up the juices on offer and was just right a base for the balsamic cherries and mousse filling!Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse CakeThe mousse filling was adapted from a simple chocolate mousse recipe in my Thermomix cookbook. By the time I had the machine on, I was in panic mode again. Something told me that it was too hot for it to set as a cake topping. Goblets are different; chocolate mousse will always be delicious in any form, barely set in goblets too.Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse CakeI had to do better and couldn’t take a cake chance and eventually added a spoon of gelatin.  It worked a charm and I was thrilled to see it had set beautifully when I demolded it the next morning. The birthday boy was packed off with Mr PAB for a film and lunch, so I got adventurous and decided to pretty up the cake a bit!Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse CakeDark Chocolate Cherry Mousse CakeNoel Cowards began playing in head “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun“. Boy was it HOT at 43C! A lace collar in the heat might well have been the silliest of ideas but there you are. That’s what I decided to do … and that worked too. Some more balsamic and fresh cherries on top, a sprinkling of pistachios, chocolate flakes and we were set for the lads 13th!!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse CakeDark Chocolate Mousse.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake We had a sinfully delicious cake by the evening, one that looked as good as it tasted. 5 star quality declared the hub! The kids absolutely LOVED it down to the last chocolaty crumb, the birthday boy quite happy. I was glad I set  2 goblets of mousse too to make sure that the mousse would hold; a runny mousse cake would have been a mid summer disaster! So glad I got it right!Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake


[print_this]Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake
your picture

Summary: A dark, rich chocolate cake layered with deep balsamic fresh cherries and  satiny smooth dark chocolate mousse. A chocolate celebration dressed up in a lace chocolate collar, more cherries,  dark chocolate flakes and slivered pistachios. Makes one 9″ cake. Serves 15.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Chocolate cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g clarified butter {or unsalted butter, melted}
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g vanilla sugar
  • 90g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Sugar Syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Balsamic cherries
  • 500g cherries, pitted
  • 2-3 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Dark chocolate mousse
  • {adapted from the Thermomix cookbook}
  • 5 eggs, separated {or 4 large}
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 80gm powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped
  • 1/2 t vanilla bean powder {or paste}
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 40g low fat cream, room temperature
  • 220g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 400g low fat cream, chilled, beaten to medium peaks
  • 5g {1t} gelatin powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tbsp of water
  • Chocolate border
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted
  • Fresh cherries, chocolate flakes, slivered pistachios for garnish


  1. Chocolate Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the sides and bottom of a 9″ baking tin.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt. Reserve.
  4. Melt the chocolate with clarified butter in the microwave. Reserve.
  5. Place the egg and vanilla sugar in a big bowl and beat over simmering water until light and moussey, and doubled in volume. About 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to beat until cool, 3-5 minutes more.
  6. Gently fold the flour mix into the beaten yolks in 3-4 batches.
  7. Quickly yet gently fold in the melted chocolate with butter and pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes until a tester comes out clean/ or the top is springy to touch.
  9. Cool on rack and then slice into 2 layers.
  10. Sugar Syrup
  11. Place sugar and water in a pan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add lime and cool.
  12. Balsamic Cherries
  13. Place ingredients in a non reactive pan and simmer until the cherries release their juices and begin to get soft and hold their shape, about 4-5 minutes. {Don’t overcook or the cherries will break down and lose shape}
  14. Remove the cherries to a bowl. Place pan with the liquid on medium high heat and reduce to about a third, nice and thick. Add back to the cherries. Cool.
  15. Dark chocolate mousse
  16. Recipe is for the Thermomix. I reckon it can be adapted with the  same proportions for regular top of the stove cooking, like a creme patisserie.
  17. Heat empty TM bowl for 2 minutes at 50C, speed 2.
  18. Insert Butterfly. Place egg whites in TM bowl with cream of tartar and beat for 4 minutes on speed 4 with MC off.
  19. Through hole in the lid, add half the sugar, 1 tsp at a time during the last minute. Set aside in a large bowl. remove butterfly.
  20. Without cleaning, place yolks, remaining sugar, vanilla bean powder and scraped seeds, butter, 40g cream and chocolate into TM bowl. Cook for 4 minutes at 70C on speed 3.
  21. Add a third of the beaten egg whites back into the bowl and stir for 10 seconds on reverse +speed 3. Add to the remaining whites.
  22. Fold everything gently together, including gelatin. Use immediately or chill for about 30 minutes until required.
  23. Assemble:
  24. Place a large piece of foil on a flat platter. {The cake can be transferred to a serving platter later}. Place one layer of the cake on the base and moisten it with sugar syrup. Place a dessert ring around it and bring the foil up around firmly as the mousse is yet to set and will be rather runny.
  25. Reserve 3-4tbsp of the balsamic cherries for the topping. Spoon half of the remainder over the cake base. Pour half the mousse over the cherries.
  26. Moisten the next layer of cake with the sugar syrup and place gently over mousse followed by remaining balsamic cherries, and then the remaining mousse.
  27. Cover and leave to set overnight. Gently demold and transfer cake to serving platter with a cake spatula or large flat spoon. Dress it up with a chocolate border {instructions follow}, remaining balsamic cherries, fresh cherries, chocolate flakes and slivered pistachios.
  28. Chill until ready to serve. Let it stand outside for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow for easy slicing of the border.
  29. Chocolate border
  30. Cut out parchment paper borders to fir around the cake. Place the melted chocolate in a ziploc bag and snip of a corner. Doodle designs all over the borders and when just about to set, place snugly around the cake, pressing into place ever so gently.
  31. Leave the cake in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes for the chocolate to harden, then gently peel off the parchment. {It was very hot here, so I placed the strips of melted chocolate in the fridge to firm up a bit first}


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