On a website devoted to light and healthy Sicilian cooking, I probably have no business posting this recipe. For one thing, there is nothing light or healthy about this cake and, for another, it isn't even remotely Sicilian. But it is fabulous and one can certainly argue that healthy living includes a hefty dose of "fabulosity."
I happened to mention my sister-in law, Lisi's, Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake during my recent interview on Aimee DuFresne's radio show, Vital Lessons (if you missed it, you can listen to the interview here). The topic of our conversation was "Staying Sane and Healthy Through the Holidays" and when the discussion turned to indulgences...well, my mind went directly to this cake.
After that interview and my last blog post, the requests came pouring in. So many people (including Aimee DuFresne, herself!) asked for the recipe. Lisi was kind enough to share it, so here it is: the much coveted recipe for Lisi's Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake.
I hope that you enjoy this little indulgence and that you have a holiday season filled with pleasure and wellness.
Love to all,
Lisi's Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake
(This cake consists of a dense flourless chocolate cake bottom and an airy chocolate mousse top.)
1/2 cup butter
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (preferably Ghirardelli or another high-quality chocolate)
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
2. Prepare the baking pan: Take a 7-8 inch springform pan, trace the bottom onto a piece of parchment paper and cut out. Cover the sides by wrapping aluminum foil up and around the sides of the pan. Rub some of the butter around the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the parchment circle in the bottom of the pan and grease with butter.
3. Place the chocolate and remaining butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time (stirring often), until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the egg yolks and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute until thick.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Turn the speed down to low, add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and, once all the sugar is added, turn the speed up to high for 1 minute. Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour 2/3 of this batter into the prepared pan (reserve the other 1/3 for the mousse). Place the pan in a large roasting pan with sides higher than 2 inches. Place the roasting pan and cake on the middle rack of the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, around the cake pan, to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan (this is called a bain-marie).
5. Bake for 40 minutes. While the cake is baking, prepare the mousse. In a bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff and fold into the reserved batter. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator until the cake cools.
6. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and let the cake cool in the pan.
7. When the cake has cooled completely, spoon the mousse on top of the cake layer and use a silicone spatula to try to spread as evenly as possible. Place in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.
8. To remove the sides of the cake pan: Heat a sharp knife and run it all around the cake. Open the spring and remove the sides of the pan. Use a spatula to separate the parchment circle from the foil and slide the parchment and cake onto a serving plate. Store the cake in the refrigerator and then place in the freezer 1 hour before serving (this will make it easier to cut perfect slices). Just before serving, garnish with chocolate shavings, powdered sugar and/or fresh raspberries.
Note: If there are leftovers (and don't count on that!), store covered in plastic inside the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
Serves 6-8 (one 7-8 inch cake).
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