One cake layer recipe, two mousse layer recipes and a fancy topping to make your guests swoon.
Prepare chocolate cake layer:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease a 9" round spring form pan. Set aside.
Separate egg yolks and whites. Set aside.
In a double boiler, melt chocolate, butter and espresso powder, whisking until smooth. Cool slightly for 5 minutes.
Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.
In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites with salt for 30 seconds, or until frothy.
Sprinkle half of the brown sugar into your mix.
When the sugar is well mixed in, add the remaining half. Whip until soft peaks form.
Gently whisk in 1/3 of whipped whites to chocolate mixture.
Whisk just until the mixture lightens in color. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the rest of whites, until no streaks remain.
Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Smooth the top out.
Bake the cake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the center springs back when pressed down.
Leave the cake in the spring form and cool completely, at least 1 hour.
Chocolate Mousse Layer:
In a small bowl, mix together cocoa powder and hot water. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Cool 3 to 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream, sugar and salt at medium speed. Whip for 30 seconds until it thickens a tiny bit.
Increase the speed to high and whip the cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Whisk cocoa powder mixture with melted chocolate until smooth.
With whisk, fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream, until no streaks remain.
Spoon the mousse over cooled cake. Tap the form on your countertop 3-4 times to get rid of any air bubbles. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Wipe the inside of the pan with a paper towel from any mousse smudges. Refrigerate the cake for at least 15 minutes so the mousse can set.
Prepare white chocolate mousse:
Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl. Quickly stir with a small spoon. Set aside.
Place white chocolate in a large mixing bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat up 1/2 cup of cream until boiling. Remove from heat. Add gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.
Pour the cream and gelatin mixture over white chocolate. Let sit for 20 to 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally, until it has thickened a bit.
Whip the remaining cream at medium speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, about 15 to 20 seconds.
With whisk, fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream to white chocolate mixture.
Gently, until all smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the rest of the whipped cream into your chocolate mixture, until it becomes a uniform color.
Spoon the white chocolate mousse over the semi-sweet chocolate mousse. Smooth the top out.
Chill the cake for at 2 hours.
When ready to serve, run the knife around the cake in the pan. Remove sides of the spring form.
To make your chocolate curls, start with a large chunk of chocolate.
Starting on a flat part of the chocolate, such as the side of a chocolate bar, press the edge of the vegetable peeler into the chocolate and slowly “peel,” as though peeling a carrot.
The chocolate will curl up into neat ringlets as you work, but you may need to apply more pressure if you are having troubles.
Keep peeling in the same spot so that you always have a nice, flat surface to grab curls from.
Garnish mousse with chocolate curls, and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Refrigerate the remaining cake, covered, for up to 3 days.