I'm not sure that this Espresso Chocolate Mousse Cake needs any introduction... but I'll do it anyway. IT IS DELICIOUS. What we have are 3 layers of soft chocolate sponge cake, 2 layer of easy creamy chocolate mousse draped in a dark chocolate ganache. It is absolute perfection for me. This is my kind of dessert!
As impressive as this cake is, it is so easy to make because there are 3 cake layers made from just one cake! We make one large sheet cake and then cut it into 3 even layers. The mousse is made from just 3 ingredients too!
ESPRESSO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE ANATOMY:
Let me break it down for you...
1) Chocolate espresso sponge cake - there are three layers cut from one single chocolate sponge cake infused with espresso powder.
2) Mocha mousse - the easiest dark chocolate mousse infused with a shot of espresso
3) Dark chocolate glaze - the whole cake is covered in a silky dark chocolate ganache
HOW TO MAKE ESPRESSO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE:
First make the sponge cake:
- STEP 1). Whip the eggs until very foamy and doubled in volume.
- STEP 2). Gradually add sugar and continue to beat for almost 5 minutes until the mixture is very thick and pale. It will triple in volume when it is ready.
- STEP 3). Mix in vanilla extract and salt.
- STEP 4). Add the oil. Do this gradually so that it doesn't deflate the eggs too quickly and mix just enough to incorporate it.
- STEP 5). Sift the dry ingredients. It really is important to sift the flour and the cocoa for two reasons: 1) to remove lumps, 2) to lighten and loosen the texture.
- STEP 6). Fold in dry ingredients. Do this in 2 batches. If you add all of the dry ingredients at once, the weight of it all will cause it to sink straight to the bottom of the bowl and will deflate the eggs. The whole point is to keep the air that we beat into the eggs.
- STEP 7). Bake! Spread the batter evenly into the lined pan. Since this cake is so thin and lean, it only takes about 10 minutes to bake! Do not over-bake it. It is ready when you press it with your finger and it bounces back.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FILLING:
The filling is easy - just 3 ingredients!
First we make a simple ganache with some of the cream and brewed espresso, then we fold in cold whipped cream.
- STEP 1). Make ganache - heat cream and espresso in a saucepan until it just comes to a simmer. Add the dark chocolate and whisk until smooth and glossy. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool for about 10 minutes until it reaches room temperature.
- STEP 2). Whip cream to firm peaks.
- STEP 3). Fold in cream - gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled ganache.
HOW TO MAKE GANACHE GLAZE:
- Place chocolate in a small bowl.
- Heat cream with honey in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer.
- Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth and glossy.
- Assemble the cake layers with the filling in between and immediately use the glaze to cover the cake
What is a substitute for espresso powder?
I love using espresso powder for baking because it is finely ground and dissolves instantly. You can use it to make cakes and cookies by just incorporating it into the dry ingredients, or adding it to the wet ingredients. It blends into the eggs very easily.
If you don't have espresso powder, you can use an equal amount of ground up instant coffee granules. You can grind them using a mortar and pestle or just with the back of a spoon.
How do I store Espresso Chocolate Mousse Cake?
This cake is best stored covered in the fridge. Although ganache is stable at room temperature, the cream filling is partial to spoilage so it needs to be kept refrigerated. The cake is still so soft when cold so there's no need to bring it to room temperature before serving it!
Can I make this chocolate cake without coffee?
This cake is as delicious as it is attractive and I hope you will make it so you can see how easy it is to make something so fancy! If you don't like coffee, you can still make this wonderful cake by replacing the espresso in the mousse filling with an equal amount of cream and omit the espresso powder from the cake all together.
Espresso Chocolate Mousse Cake
Chocolate Mousse Filling:
- ¼ cup 60ml 35% whipping cream
- 1 oz 30ml freshly brewed espresso
- 3 oz 85g dark chocolate finely chopped
- ¾ cup 180ml 35% whipping cream whipped to firm peaks
- ½ cup 120ml whipping cream
- 4 oz 113g dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon 10ml honey
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 12x16-inch or 10x15-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or melted butter and line it with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray also.
- For the sponge cake, beat eggs for 3 minutes on medium-high speed until frothy and pale in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl if using an electric hand mixer. Gradually add sugar and beat for 4-5 minutes longer, until it nearly triples in volume and is very thick, pale and fluffy and billowy like shaving cream or marshmallow fluff. When you lift the mixture up with the beater and it slides back down into the base mixture, it should fall back onto itself in folds or ribbons rather than sink down into it. Mix in vanilla and salt, then mix in oil just until it is evenly blended.
- Sift flour, cocoa, espresso powder and baking powder into a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly. Sift it again over the bowl with the egg mixture and use a large rubber spatula to carefully fold the dry ingredients into the whipped egg mixture just until combined without over-mixing.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pan in a thin layer. Bake for 9-11 minutes until it springs back when pressed gently. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Run a knife along the edges of the pan to release the cake, then invert it onto a clean surface or a large piece of parchment paper. Gently peel off the parchment from the cake and then slice it into 3 equal rectangles.
- For the filling, place ¼ cup (60ml) whipping cream and espresso in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add finely chopped dark chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute then whisk until smooth and glossy. Pour it into a clean bowl and let cool for 10 minutes, then gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Place on sponge layer onto a lined tray or baking sheet so it is easy to transfer. Spread half of the filling evenly over this bottom sponge rectangle, place another rectangle on top and then spread the remaining filling over it. Place the last sponge layer on top and then smooth out the sides to even out any filling that squeezes out. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- To make the chocolate glaze, place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream with honey in a small saucepan until it just comes to a simmer. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and whisk gently until smooth and glossy. Immediately pour it over the chilled cake and quickly spread it out to cover the top and sides evenly. Place it back in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours before serving. Top with sprinkles and ruby chocolate curls and enjoy!