Saturday, February 06, 2021

Weekend Cooking: Chocolate Mousse Cake....or is it.

Last week I tried a new recipe by Donna Hay called Chocolate Mousse Cake from her book Modern Baking. It was totally delicious, but I do find myself pondering if it is actually a cake. Clearly I don't have enough to think about, which isn't true at all. Or maybe it is that I have too many things to think about and therefore I find myself contemplating unimportant things to give my otherwise overloaded brain a break. Either way, I have been thinking it about it a lot.

So let me tell you about this 'cake' and then I will share why I am wondering if it is really a cake. 

The recipe starts with a biscuit base, similar to what you would use for a cheesecake. In this case, it is Oreo style biscuits crushed up and combined with melted butter and then pressed into a cake tin.

The second layer is a chocolate mousse which uses whipped egg whites to give it the lightness that you need for a mousse. There is no gelatin. Interestingly it also uses egg yolks and at first I was a bit confused thinking that those egg yolks wouldn't be cooked, but I guess they cook because you add them to a still warm chocolate mixture.

The final layer is a chocolate glaze which is poured over the top of the set mousse.

It was totally decadent, and totally delicious, but was it a cake? 

Years ago I remember reading a book that gave definitions of what the difference was between cake and cookies/biscuits, given that they share very similar ingredients.  I am fairly sure it was in a book called Cake: A Global History by Nicola Humble, but I could be wrong.

From what I can remember the difference is that cake goes hard as it gets stale whereas a cookie will get softer!  In this case, if you left it out of the fridge, the mousse started to melt which isn't really either of these things.

According to the Collins Dictionary, one of the definitions is

A cake is a sweet food made by baking a mixture of flour, eggs, sugar, and fat in an oven. Cakes may be large and cut into slices or small and intended for one person only.

So unless you count the flour in the premade cookies, it isn't really a cake. Maybe it was called a Chocolate Mousse Cake because if it was called a Chocolate Mousse Dessert, you might expect it to be served up in bowl like normal chocolate mousse.

Oh well, what it comes down to is that it was delicious, and the people I shared it with enjoyed it too, so really that's all that matters right.

Chocolate Mousse Cake (Donna Hay)

300g store-bought cream-filled chocolate biscuits

100g unsalted butter, melted

400g dark chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream

4 eggs, separated

1/4 cup (45g) light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups (375ml) double (tick) cream, whipped

For the glaze

1/2 cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream

2 tablesppons liquid glucose

100g 70% dark chocolate, finely choppped 

1 teaspoon vegetable oil.

Line a deep-sided 20cm round springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the biscusits in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Add the butter and process to combine. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of the tin and refrigerate until ready to use.

Place the chocolate and single cream in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bown shouldn't touch the water) and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine.

Place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until thick and glossy.

Add the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and gently fold to combine. In 2 batches, add the egg white and fold to combine. Spoon the mousse onto the biscuit base and smooth the top. Regrigerate for 4-5 hours or until set.

To make the chocolate glaze, place the cream and glucose in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and all to stand for 5 mintes or until the chocolate is melted. Add the oil and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Pour the glaze over the cake, gently tilting and tapping until even. Refrigerate for a further 1 hour or until set.

Carefully remove the cake from the tin and place on a cake stand or plate to serve.

As an aside, whenever I see the words fold it in in a recipe, I can't help but think of this scene from Schitt's Creek.

Weekly Meals 

 Saturday - Potato and Mozzarella Tortilla

Sunday - Potato and Mozzarella Tortilla

Monday - Pasta Pomodoro

Tuesday - Steak with mushrooms and roast potatoes

Wednesday - Enchiladas

Thursday - Chicken skewers with baked potato and salad

Friday - Chicken and chips(takeaway)

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


  1. Whatever it is, it certainly sounds delicious!

    1. I think i am going to try it again maybe using milk chocolate Shelleyrae

  2. I once wrote a blog post asking “What is a Cookie?” By my definition, a chocolate mousse cake can’t be a cookie because cookies are each one portion, and intended to be eaten up by one person. Here it is, FWIW —

  3. And "Boston Cream Pie" is not a pie! Well, I would eat that thing you made no matter what you called it! :--)

    1. I had to go and good Boston Cream Pie. That looks more like a cake!

  4. That looks stunning! My hubby would love it! Chocolate is his favorite dessert.

    1. My hubby was very pleased with it Melynda!

  5. OMG that fold in the cheese made me laugh so hard. I made John watch it too. When we were in our virtual cooking class this week the instructor told John to fold in the flour and he asked me how to do it. It is impossible to explain!!! LOVE Schitt's Creek!

    1. LOL! We loved it too Jackie.I am contemplating watching it through again but that's a big committment.


    1. Hmmm...didnt realise the linky didn't work. Let me fix that!

  7. I had a Donna Hay cookbook and liked it, must have gotten lost on a loan. That will teach me! Cake or tort or whatever you call it, it's a scrummy dessert!

    My link this week -

    1. I own quite a few of them but haven't cooked as much from them as I probably should have Tina!

  8. It looks good to me no matter what it is called. Yum!

  9. Yes, I agree, whatever it is, it looks very decadent, which is how a chocolate cake should be.

  10. I have added your link Vicki!

  11. I'd say mousse! I used to make something called a chocolate mousse cake that is similar. It looks so good.

  12. it looks wonderful! i guess to me a cake is where you make a batter and you bake it. but who cares? :-) it's fab anyway...