Cheer yourself up with a Double Chocolate Mousse Cake
Smother your sorrows in cake as your friends hit the road for the year's greatest festival.
This perfect cake is rich, flour-free chocolate mousse cake covered with a thick blanket of - yes, rich chocolate mousse. This is a no-holds-barred onslaught of chocolate deliciousness. I recommend using a dark chocolate with somewhere between 55pc and 70pc in cocoa solids.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas 4. Line the base of 18cm (7in) cake tins with baking parchment and grease the sides of the tins with the butter.
To make the chocolate mousse cake, put the butter and the dark chocolate in a bowl, and place the bowl sitting over a saucepan that contains a few centimetres of water. Bring the water up to the boil, then take the saucepan off the heat and allow the dark chocolate and the butter to melt slowly.
Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a bowl with the caster sugar and whisk for a few minutes until the mixture is pale and light. Beat the butter-and-chocolate mixture into the caster sugar-and-egg yolk mixture.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks, then fold them into the butter, chocolate, sugar and egg yolk mixture.
Divide the chocolate mousse between the two greased, lined tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre should just come out clean - but remember, the mixture should remain moist; it's not a sponge. Take the cakes out of the oven and allow them to sit for 30 minutes before taking them out of the tins.
Next, make the chocolate mousse coating. Place the dark chocolate in a bowl and place the bowl sitting over a saucepan that contains a few centimetres of water. Bring the water to the boil, then take the saucepan off the heat and allow the dark chocolate to melt slowly.
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the warm chocolate, then beat in the butter.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate, egg yolk and butter mixture. Next, add in the remainder of the egg whites, which should be folded in gently.
Place the chocolate mousse coating in the fridge for 1-2 hours until it is stiff enough to 'ice' the cake without it falling off. When you're ready to ice, put one cooled cake upside down on a plate or a cake stand. Spread a couple of heaped tablespoons of the chocolate mousse coating over the top as though you were generously buttering a slice of bread. Cover with the second cake, then ice the top and sides of the cakes.