Saturday, August 6, 2011

Skinny Fallen Chocolate Mousse Cake


Yes, I said skinny! I might be a bit of a health freak but I didn't name the cake, Mrs. Field did! I've mentioned this in a previous post  but Mrs. Field's cookbook is one of my prized possession and was the greatest find at a thrift shop ever. I can guarantee a quality baked good every time I follow one of her recipes and this was no exceptions. My dad's birthday was coming up and I decided to make him a chocolate cake because he loves chocolate. However, this was not an easy task considering my dad likes to eat healthy as well - now you know where I get my health obsession from! He was the one who always tried to make me cut the fat and sugar in my baked goods. I typically rolled me eyes and shook my head like I was seriously considering his request but never took him seriously...until I started doing it on my own. It's funny how we end up more like our parents as we get older. Now he thoroughly enjoys everything I make which makes me happy. We are both the crazy health nuts in our family!

I have always been scared and frustrated with recipes that requires whipped egg whites but practice makes perfect, right? I have recently gotten this technique down and noticed that I only make cakes with whipped egg whites. Forgot those dense, butter-latent cakes! The body of this cake comes from the egg whites to give the cake volume, similar to a souffle. This recipe uses minimal flour and uses almonds to replace some of the flour that would typically be used in a cake recipe. Most of the chocolate flavor comes from the unsweetened cocoa so the amount of sugar is lower than other chocolate cake recipes. When it comes to the "sweet chocolate" this recipe called for, it really doesn't matter what type of chocolate you use. If you want a sweeter cake, milk chocolate and semisweet are good. If you like a richer, less sweet cake, dark chocolate (anything 60% and higher) are good choices.

So what is a fallen chocolate mousse cake exactly? I'm still trying to figure this out myself but I have my own theory. It's a cross between a souffle and a flourless chocolate cake. Other blogs call this hybrid a fallen souffle but I'm sticking with fallen mousse cake. Like I said earlier, the egg whites create volume in the cake like a souffle but this cake is intended to completely cool before serving, causing it to fall, like a flourless chocolate cake. When this happens, the cake condenses and the texture of the cake is comparable to a mousse, hence the name. So while this taste like a delicious chocolate cake, it is moist and reminiscent of a mousse. Although this chocolate cake requires more work than your typical one bowl chocolate cake, it is most definitely worth it!

Oops, only one bite left!

Skinny Chocolate Mousse Cake 
compliments of Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie Book

1/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
5 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Optional toppings
strawberry sauce
powdered sugar
whip cream frosting

1. Preheat oven 375 F.
2. Line bottom of an 8-1/2 in springform pan with a circle of eax paper. Lightly spray the wax paper and sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a food processor, grind the toasted almonds for 2-3 seconds or until just ground; do not overprocess or almonds will be oily.
4. In a double boiler, blend 1/2 c. sugar with cocoa and 2 tbsp of boiling water. add the 3 remaining tbsp boiling water and stir until smooth. Add the sweet chocolate and stir over hot, not simmering water, until chocolate is melted. stir in vanilla, remove from heat and set aside.
5. In small bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and pale. whisk about 1/4 c. of chocolate mixture into the eggs to warm them. transfer the warmed eggs to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. stir in flour and ground almonds and set aside.
6. In a large bowl, beat 4 egg whites until foamy. add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. add the remaining 1/4 c. sugar and beat until stiff peaks form
7. Stir 1/4 of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently but thoroughly fold the remaining egg whites. spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until cake test inserted in the center comes out clean. set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

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