black pepper and chocolate mousse cake

This one slipped under the radar, I swear to God.

Black Pepper and Chocolate Mousse Cake

It somehow got lost in the crowd. Which is ironic because this is not a cake you want to forget. I made this mousse cake a month back – and somewhere between all the mushroom-roasting and crispy-frying and egg-ruining, I forgot all about it. Excuse me while I go hang myself by the neck.

The cake was put together in the blink of an eye and was devoured even quicker. I think I was in the middle of readying the fourth camera shot when the slices started disappearing off the table. Plus I blame my camera for running out of charge. And I got busy with work the very next day – structural plans and sections wreak havoc when you least expect them too.

Does it seem like I’m making too many excuses?

I don’t know why though, because this cake is worth a thousand compensations. It’s set in chocolate through and through and speckled beautifully with cracked black pepper. Its chocolate mousse sitting atop a dense fudgy base and I highly recommend eating light before you attempt to dig into this, although I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ll be able to handle it easily.

Now that the introductions have been made, I’ll leave you two alone.

Black Pepper and Chocolate Mousse Cake

Black Pepper and Chocolate Mousse Cake (Not for the faint-hearted, or the chocolate-purists)
recipe for mousse adapted from BBC Good Food. I forget the month of issue.

The cake base uses a recipe based loosely on a birthday cake that I make, with a few obvious tweaks. And the mousse recipe that came on Good Food was a plain classic version of the dessert. The black pepper I added was totally on a whim. A planned whim.

For the cake base:
3/4 cup ground almonds
4 tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder  (not Dutch processed)
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil (eg, canola, peanut, sunflower etc but not olive)
1/3 cup sour cream

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C and grease a 8″X8″ square tin or a 8-9″ dia round tin. Line the bottom with parchment. Grease the parchment too. Mix almonds, cocoa, flour and salt in a small bowl and whisk eggs, sugar, oil and sour cream in a bigger bowl till the sugar dissolves. Add the dry mixture into the wet and stir till just combined. Do not overwork the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes and cool in the cake tin for a half hour before turning out on the rack. Line the same cake tin (washed and dried) used to bake the cake in, with cling film, making sure the film hangs over the edges of the tin. This just makes it easier to lift the mousse cake out after its frozen. Place the cooled cake back into the cling-film lined tin and leave to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

For the mousse:
4 eggs, separated
2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
2/3 cup (150ml) double cream
10 oz (about 300gm) dark bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp powdered sugar (granulated sugar ground in a processor)

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts, or in a heat-proof bowl sitting over a pot of boiling water. Keep aside to cool for minute. Whisk the egg yolks and pour in the warm chocolate while whisking continuously. Whisk the double cream till soft peaks form. Fold the egg-chocolate mixture into the softly whipped cream. Use a large bowl for this, since the egg whites will also be folded into this later. Whisk the egg whites in a separate (clean) bowl with the electric beaters on high, till the whites start foaming (this will take about a minute). Start adding the sugar a teaspoon at a time while still whisking the whites, till the whites form stiff glossy peaks. Take 1/3 of the whisked meringue and stir it quickly into the chocolate-cream mixture. Add the rest of the meringue and the black pepper in and fold gently. Pour this mousse on top of the cake and smooth out the top with a palette knife. Sprinkle the top with freshly cracked black pepper.

Freeze the mixture for 4-5 hours in the freezer. Once its frozen, it can easily be lifted out of the tin by grabbing the overhanging edges of the cling-film. Carefully peel off the film before cutting the cake into slices and serve. Alternatively, allow the cake to defrost in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving, if you want the mousse to be softer.

 

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Author: Amrita

Thirty, recovering chocoholic, serial traveller, bookworm, pencil-addict, dance fiend, architect, born eater, allergic to rules, always at the wrong end of things, Doesn't really give a damn...

27 thoughts on “black pepper and chocolate mousse cake”

  1. This sounds incredible. We were talking about this in work the other day – white chocolate with rainbow peppercorns – so you’ll probably see a similar rendition from me sometime soon. This does sound truly delicious!

  2. Yvonne – Hello indeed!

    Assia & Deb – Thanks a ton! I actually couldn’t believe I could make it look like this – I have two in-opposable thumbs when it comes to making food look pretty. 😀

    Donna – I’m going to get a T-shirt saying exactly that! “Chocolate goes with everything”

    Frugal – I can already imagine it….super-pretty and delish! Will keep an eye out.

    Karen – Ha! Come over anytime!

  3. This is brilliant. I’ve been wanting to try a black pepper ice cream and now this is on my list too. It sounds awesome.

  4. What gorgeous, lush photos! This cake is beautiful and decadent.. one I’m going to have to try, I like the addition of pepper.. very unusual! xo Smidge
    ps.. following you now!! I love your style of writing and am looking forward to going through more of your posts here:)

    1. Stephanie: “Holy Mama” was exactly what my friend Aru said when she took a bite. I think you guys would make great friends.

      Mary: Thanks! I hope you’ll report back if you try it!

      Barbara: The pepper was a last minute thought really..but I’m glad I did add it! And thanks and see you back soon!

  5. Stumbled upon your blog today through some zig zag comment chain from different blogs! Really like your writing style Amrita! Its always a proud feeling to see an Indian do something nice and out of the box! I like the creativity in your recipes. Glad to have found- had to follow you!!

    1. Glad you’re here! And I was surfing through your site the other day….I came back drooling. No, seriously. Following you now. 😀

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