Friday, January 21, 2011

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake for French Fridays with Dorie

I'm just going to come right out and say it: This is one ugly cake. Just look at it - short of a faux antique paint job on a chest of drawers, how many visually appealing things can you think of that are covered in hard, crackly wrinkles?

That said, this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Michel Rostang's Double Chocolate Mousse Cake (page 446, Around My French Table), proves that you can't always judge a book - or in this case, a dish -  by its cover. (If you're wondering, Michel Rostang is another one of Greenspan's Michelin-starred chef friends.) The recipe offers a variety of options for execution: cooking just one layer of mousse and serving topped with a layer of chilled and uncooked mousse;  cooking two layers in two stages and serving warm; or cooking both layers, again in two stages, and serving chilled. I went with door number three.

The positives: I never eat dessert after a savory meal, so I judge sweets on how they would work as a breakfast item or as a rare afternoon snack. This one was a success on both counts: along with my morning coffee, the rich chocolate really woke me up in the morning, and it was a perfect afternoon pick-me-up, as it's not too heavy. It was also incredibly easy to make, and even though the mousse did dribble out a bit from the springform mold, it didn't matter in the end.

The negatives: It's just not that pretty. The recipe does say that the top will crackle but ... I mean, really.  I think the relatively smooth one pictured in the book must be topped with the chilled mousse. I also didn't notice much of a difference between the layers, and that's only a negative because the book stressed that this was a distinguishing characteristic of the cake. Otherwise, I wouldn't have noticed.

Bottom line: I would definitely make this again for guests - only I might put a blindfold on them first.

Check out the other mousse cakes here, and while you're at it, why not sign up to cook along with the group? Each Friday we make a dish from Around My French Table, and all you have to do is buy the book. It's worth it for the photos alone.

Happy French Friday!





36 comments:

  1. Ah at least yours puffed up though - go and check out my pancake like cake when you get a chance. But I would definitely make this again - and hey, if it cracks, you can just sprinkle some icing sugar on top. Tasted AMAZING!

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  2. Wow you did get alot of cracks. I kinda wish I would of gotten more. My bottom was crispy but not the top. I think you could make anything look great...and for that matter funny! B:)

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  3. I have had similar results with a similar recipe, a blindfold is worth it for the taste indeed!

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  4. Girlfriend, Well done! I'd take your ugly cake over my I-don't-even-know-what-to-call-it cake! I am laughing too hard to say much else right now!

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  5. I really love the "rustic" look of it. It looks like real food and not just a photo-op to get picked for the sites that only feature pictures of plastic looking high contrast food. I love this cake. Your title says Mouse cake and that made me laugh.

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  6. Hmm, I think maybe none of our cakes will win a beauty pageant!
    @Janis But I LIKE plastic looking high contrast food, lol. Mouse is fixed to Mousse - this is what I get for posting before I've finished my coffee!!

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  7. I actually think the crackled top is quite pretty...it looks like a gigantic molten chocolate cake, don't you think? Theresa

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  8. I do like the crackle... gives it character, reminds me of rock formations in exotic places... and, just from a purely psychological perspective, anything that craggy must be good. I am liking the idea of the cold mousse... on the side... youth and age on a plate... mmmm.

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  9. You make me die.... :D ...I am a choco-holic!!!! :D

    Have a nice weekend, Hugs, Flavia

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  10. I think your cake is gorgeous! But then I like all things chippy and cracky.

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  11. I think I love the cracked look. But if ever I don;t like it, I will just flip it over. I'm sure the bottom looks smooth :D But most important, it tastes great. I love it.

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  12. You know this reminds me of the crinkle cookies in one big cake that tastes sensational.. Chocolate is better than sex, and I am also betting on this cake!

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  13. I totally agree with you!! Not the prettiest cake, but darn near one of the best I've ever tasted :) So light and fluffy!!

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  14. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos...you captured this cake perfectly: the cracks, the decadent center! Mmmmmmm....

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  15. Let's not think of it as ugly, but rather rustic! Beautiful picture, and a delicious cake. I baked the bottom layer and left the uncooked mousse on top. It was divine!

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  16. I don't think it's ugly AT ALL! Be gentle with yourself! :)

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  17. So many people who made this cake seem to say the same thing... Ugly, flat and non-distinct layers. But then everyone also said how great this tasted, and in the long run, that's all that really matters, doesn't it? I'm all for a rich dessert like this, whether it's for breakfast, tea AND after a savory meal! LOL. And I wonder why I'm not a supermodel...

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  18. I hadn't thought about the crackles being ugly, but you're sort of right (not just your cake but all of them). I like how you sprinkled the plate with the cocoa and the cake with sugar.

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  19. I like the cracked top, reminds me of, well, me... not a big sweet eater myself esp after meals but I think I might could go for this one, warm with a dollop of something to 'cut the sweetness'

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  20. Perfect looking deserts scare me. Some crackpot on my blog even accused me of using a brownie mix for this one! I like the look and I am with you on the dessert test. If it goes with coffee in the morning I'm all over it.

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  21. Sounds delicious! Mmmm....double chocolate for breakfast...I like it. ;)

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  22. I think this cake looks really good, the crackle just adds a rustic charm. I like how dense and chocolatey the spice looks.

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  23. I dun mind the look... I find it rather attractive and will eat it in a heartbeat. :)

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  24. I just came from reading Mardi's post - this cake seems to be quite a challenge in the looks department. But it's chocolate cake - that's all I need to know to enjoy it! 8-)

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  25. I lovee the rich choco waking up part:-)
    Me loveddd it too:-)
    Ha ha , but i dont find it ugly really and think the cracks are pretty!
    And i have an earnest request to u too:-)

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  26. Ahh I loooove how the top is all craggy- it's so rustic, charming and homemade. I'm obsessed with something sweet after dinner. I reckon I need to take a leaf out of your book!

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  27. I like everyone's advice to look at it as rustic and to embrace the cracks ... agreed! And @foodiva ... I'm no supermodel either! My weaknesses? Not sugar, but carbs and salt!!

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  28. This is how it should be...cracks all over the surface. ;-)) I love the moist fudgy texture.

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  29. Geez.. I donno Trix. I kinda like that crazy crackled top! In fact, I really, really like it! Especially the way it constrasts with the dark and oh so fudgy inside! I tried a baked chocolate mousse recipe by Nigella Lawson once, and it was butt ugly too, but the taste! Oh man! So, I know this will taste out of this world!

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  30. I think the cracks on the top are a signal that the cake itself is dense and fudgy rather than floury. My partner can usually take or leave desserts, but with this cake, every time I opened the refrigerator, there was more missing. A winner in my books.

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  31. It's not ugly at all. Reminds me of a brownie. I wouldn't hesitate to eat it!

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  32. As long as it tastes awesome that's all that matters, it sounds like a spectacular dessert!

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  33. i do not know WHAT you are talking about! this looks great to me! it's not like, food art, but it's clearly appealing in all it's rustic chocolate glory

    yummm, with a glass of milk, this looks like a kind of heaven
    thanks for posting!
    -meg
    -meg
    @clutzycooking.blogspot.com
    @myscribblednotebook.blogspot.com

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  34. not ugly to me! looks sooooooo edible i think yours is the one that will tempt me to actually make it.

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