This is the cake I made when we celebrated my dad’s birthday. I decided to make individual cakes for everyone as this would be more convenient and much safer during the pandemic. This year my sister’s family could only video-call us during cake time because the City of Toronto was still under lockdown. I hope we could all celebrate together in the near future when the lockdown is over.
Because of the smaller cake sizes, I didn’t bother (actually I was too lazy) creating several layers as in the bigger domes. I just prepared the chocolate shells and then filled the interior with dark chocolate mousse and topped with a chocolate sponge cake layer. For bigger domes with multiple layers, check out my other blog posts such as Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Dome, Chocolate Dome (Caramelized Banana and Dark Chocolate Mousse Dome) and Dark Chocolate Mousse Dome with Lacquer Glaze for more details.
Chocolate Mousse Domes
Makes 6 (2.75” diameter domes)
For the Chocolate Sponge Cake Layer
37 g cake and pastry flour
7 g cornstarch
A pinch of salt
10 g unsweetened cocoa powder
24 g grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract (optional)
1/3 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (I use Korean apple vinegar)
40 g granulated sugar (I use organic sugar)
20 g milk
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse
5 g unsweetened cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
15 g hot water
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
3 g powdered gelatin
15 g water (add to gelatin)
50 g bittersweet chocolate (min 52% cacao, I used couverture chocolate)
5 g unsalted butter
25 g whipping cream (add to chocolate)
90 g whipping cream
For the Chocolate Shells
100 g bittersweet chocolate (min 52% cacao, I use couverture chocolate, plus extra for decorating)
15 g coconut oil
For the Chocolate Sponge Cake Layer 朱古力海綿蛋糕片
Sift together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Warm oil in the microwave. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
*Hot oil helps bring out the aroma in the cocoa powder and makes it dissolve easier. Skip the heating process if time is running short
In a clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites and vinegar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks form. Add in the yolks and vanilla and beat with medium speed until incorporated, about one minute. The mixture will be very creamy, fluffy and hold soft peaks while you lift the whisk up.
Sift half of the flour mixture over the batter and fold into the batter. Fold in the milk. Sift remaining flour mixture over and fold gently until smooth and just combined.
Take a big scoop out of the batter and fold into the cocoa powder-oil mixture to lighten it (this will prevent the mixture from sinking to the bottom of batter). Add this back into the batter then fold gently until homogeneous.
Pour batter into a lined 8” square baking pan. Smooth top with a spatula then tap the pan against the counter top several times to release large air bubbles. Bake in a 300ºF/150ºC preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the top springs back to the touch. Transfer the cake layer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Remove the lining around the sides, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out.
For the Chocolate Mousse 朱古力慕絲
Mix cocoa powder, salt and hot water in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla bean paste. In another bowl, bloom gelatin by mixing it with water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or over hot water until gelatin liquefies. Set aside.
Make ganache by melting chocolate, whipping cream and butter In another bowl over a pot of simmering water (or melt in the microwave with medium power). Stir until mixture is smooth and glossy. Add cocoa powder mixture and liquefied gelatin into the ganache and mix until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
Chill mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes before start. With a hand mixer, whisk whipping cream in the chilled mixing bowl with slow speed until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the chocolate-cocoa powder mixture in two batches until homogeneous.
For the Assembly 組合蛋糕
To make the chocolate shells, melt chocolate and coconut oil in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave over medium power. Stir until well combined. With a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, coat the silicon cavities evenly with a thick layer of chocolate mixture. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until set.
*Place the silicon mold on a baking tray for easier handling
Cut out rounds of cake layer with a circle cookie cutter that is half an inch smaller than the diameter of the cavity. Fill mold cavities with chocolate mousse until about two-thirds full. Place a cake round on top and press until the gap is filled with chocolate mousse. Cover with plastic wrap then place back in the refrigerator for several hours until the mousse is firm.
*Poke a hole in the middle of each cake layers (I used a chopstick) so air could escape better
*Reserve a tablespoon of mousse in a small bowl and use it as glue to adhere the cake to the cake board after unmolding
Carefully remove the domes from the silicon mold. Drizzle melted chocolate on top and add chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for 5 minutes or until chocolate sets. Dab a small amount of reserved mousse onto the center of the cake boards. Transfer the domes to the cake boards. Keep refrigerated until serving.
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