Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake

Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake

I got a little fancy with this chocolate cherry mousse cake. It is a decadent dessert made up of layers of chocolate sponge and chocolate mousse sandwiching sweet delicious cherries. It is like a combination of the traditional black forest gateaux and that all time favourite, chocolate mousse. I think it makes a great combination and given that it was completely destroyed amongst the friends I shared it with (this includes licking of the plate and arguments over ownership of leftovers), I am pretty sure any chocolate cake lover would not hesitate to devour it. With the recipe based on a genoise sponge as well as chocolate mousse it is a bit of an extra effort to make this deluxe cake, however, the extra effort is definitely worth it according to my sweet tooth eyes.

Genoise Sponge versus ‘Standard’ Sponge

What is the difference between genoise sponge cake and a ‘standard’ sponge cake? Technically they are made differently and have distictive differences in ingredients. A genoise is made with whole eggs and melted butter to add richness whereas a simple sponge is made with only flour, sugar and eggs usually with the egg yolk and whites beaten separately.
In this recipe, it is ok to use standard sponge cake if you have that on hand or prefer to make a standard sponge instead it will still taste great. The genoise sponge just gives this chocolate cherry mousse cake an extra dab of richness and airyness but the you will not be sacrificing deliciousness if you choose to substitute the genoise sponge for standard sponge cake.

Extra Tips

Make sure the genoise sponge (or standard sponge, if using) is soaked as much as possible to give a moist and delicious result.
Fresh cherries can be used too, just simmer them with the sugar, orange zest and cloves until they are soft.
This chocolate cherry mousse cake can be made the day before serving and the leftovers kept in the fridge for the following day (ie this cake can last for 2 days). However, I am not sure that is actually possible with my household gannets.

When serving a slice of this chocolate cherry mousse cake, make sure to plate it with a side of cream and fresh fruit like raspberries, frsh cherrys or fresh orange segments. Especially if quite sizeable pieces are being served as the combination of the decadent chocolate mousse and chocolate genoise can become overpoweringly rich and too much on the palete. Thus, the freshness of fruit and cream cuts through that richness to balance the dish to make each spoonful (or dessert forkful) have a wonderful mouthfeel and taste leaving your guest wanting more and more resulting in gratifying compliments from around the dining table.

Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake

Serves 16


For Chocolate Genoise Sponge:
75g flour, sifted
60g cocoa, sifted
4 size 6 eggs
125g caster sugar
30g melted butter

For Cherries:
400g of pitted cheeries, from a jar or tin.
150g caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 cloves

For Chocolate Mousse:

500mL milk
125g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped.
200g dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids)
6 eggs yolks (size 6 eggs)


For the chocolate genose:
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius
Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin

Whisk eggs and sugar together in a bowl for about 15 minutes or until the misture leaves trails when you lift the whisk.
Fold in flour and cocoa.
Add melted butter and fold into mixture until just combined.
Pour into prepared tin.
Bake for 30 minutes or until springy to the touch.
Remove from oven and invert onto a wire rack to cool.

For the cherries:
Put cherries into a saucepan, cover with juice from the can/tin, add water if necessary to ensure the cherries are covered.
Add sugar, orange zest and cloves.
Over medium heat stir until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and leave until required.

For the Chocolate Mousse:
Make a creme anglaise… slowly bringing to the boil, the milk, two-thirds of the sugar, vanilla seeds and the vanilla pod in a saucepan.
Whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in bowl until pale and leaves a light trail when the whisk is lifted.
Whilst whisking, pour hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, then pour back into saucepan.
Cook over a low heat but do not allow it to boil or it may curdle.
Once it thickens and lightly coats the back of a spoon, remove from the heat.
Break up the chocolate and place in a bowl.
When the creme anglaise is 75 – 85 degrees celcius, pour onto the chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon.
Whisk until smooth.
Whip the cream in another bowl until a trail is left when the whisk is lifted out.
Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture until just combined.

To Assemble:
Drain the cherries, discarding the cloves and orange zest.
Pour syrup into a saucepan and bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
Split the chocolate genose sponge horizontally and soak the cut sides with hot syrup.
Place outer ring of the springform pan on a flat plate.
Place top half of sponge, cut side up int he ring.
Spread a layer of chocolate mousse over the sponge about 1.5cm thick.
Evenly scatter the cherries over the mousse – reserving a dozen for serving.
Place second sponge, cut side down, on top and lightly press down.
Spread a thin layer of mousse on top.
Place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours, until ready to serve.

To Serve:
Soak a tea towel in hot water, wring out and wrap around the tin then slowly lift off the outer ring.
Scatter chocolate shavings over the top of the cake and around the sides.
Dip a sharp knife into hot water, quick wipe dry, and cut the mousse cake into 12. Cleaning and dipping the knife into hot water between each slice.
Serve with a cherry on top and a quinelle of cream or fresh fruit to cut through the rich chocolate goodness.


Mel Crafting

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