Birhtday cake with mousse and dusting

It has been far too long since I updated this blog, and it will be long before I can update it again. My half-term tests are coming up in the upcoming weeks, so my next recipe might be posted sometime during the summer holiday. I will use the break to create and try out new recipes – I guarantee delicious, egg-free dessert in the future. But first, let me share this celebration cake. Though it might not seem much from the pictures, this awesome egg-free (and vegan) creation consists of two layers of chocolate cake, two layers with my favorite egg-free chocolate and orange mousse and a generous topping of freeze-dried raspberries.

Its components have been published here before; banana muffins are here disguised as layer cake, and the orange and chocolate mousse was a key part of a chocolate mousse tart. They make a surprisingly wonderful and refreshing combination. As the title suggests, I made this cake for my own birthday party last week. It was a huge success!

I’ve decorated the cake with a dusted layer of cocoa and freeze-dried raspberries. If you seek a less rustic look, it is possible to use an icing bag when covering the cake with chocolate mousse, or to top it with fresh raspberries, blueberries or strawberries. I would not recommend icing fondant – it usually contains egg whites (and sometimes palm oil as well). In addition, it spoils the otherwise refreshing and light cake.

As mentioned in the original chocolate mousse recipe, it is important that you use chocolate with approximately 35% fat – if not, the chocolate mouse will not be able to emulate. The mousse has a quite strong taste of chocolate, so if you’re using dark chocolate for this, feel free to add sugar.

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Recipe adapted from Frie kaker by Anne Spurkland

For six people (or one small cake):

For the orange and chocolate mousse:

200 g chocolate (dark or milk chocolate, as long as it contains approximately 35 g fat)

2-3 (organic) oranges or sufficient for 2 dl orange juice

For the cake:

100 g chocolate

200 g very ripe banana

50 g neutral-tasting oil (I used soy oil) + extra for greasing the form

25 g cocoa powder

100 g flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

For decoration:

cocoa powder and freeze-dried raspberries

Start with the chocolate mousse: chop the chocolate. It is an advantage to chop it finely – then the chocolate melts quicker. Put the chocolate in a medium sized bowl that fits in a sauce pan. Then, squeeze the oranges until you have 2 dl juice. Strain the juice into the bowl with chocolate. Place the bowl on the small casserole with boiling water. Stir well with a spoon until it the chocolate and orange juice have melted together and the mixture looks smooth. Place the mixture in the fridge until it’s at room temperature.

Then, make the cake: Heat oven to 250℃, and grease a small spring form (approximately 15 cm diameter, see tips). Chop the chocolate coarsely. In a smoothie maker/food processor, weigh up the banana, oil and sugar. Let it mix until the mixture is creamy; it should have a smoothie-like texture. Sift cocoa powder, flour and baking soda into the mixture. Let it mix in the processor. Gently fold in the chopped chocolate – try to keep the batter airy. Pour the mixture the spring form, and place it in the oven.  Let the cake bake at 250℃ for 3 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180℃ and bake it an additional 10-15 minutes. Check with a wooden stick if they it is finished before letting them cool off on a cooling rack.

When both the cake and the orange and chocolate mixture are cold, whip the mixture with a mixer or kitchen machine. This takes several minutes, so don’t give up! The mix should have the same consistency as softly whipped cream.

Divide the cake horizontally into two layers (using a long, serrated knife makes this easier). Distribute one third of the mousse on the bottom layer of the cake. Carefully place the other cake layer on top. Again, use one third of the mousse you have left on the sides of the cake, making them smooth. Use the last of the mousse for decoration; I used a spatula to give the cake a rounded top, but you can put it in a icing bag and make small rosettes or other decorative stuff if you want to.

Dust the cocoa powder on the top and sides of the cake. Top the cocoa with sifted, freeze-dried raspberries. Gently move the cake to the presentation plate before consuming.

Tips:
– I used a small spring form for the cake – approximately 15 cm in diameter. It is of course possible to bake it in larger forms, but that will make the cake shorter and more difficult to separate horizontally. (But again, you can skip the whole separation of the cake and put all the mousse on top.) You can also bake the cake in two separate forms to avoid separation.

– The cake is originally a muffin recipe, so why not make muffins? You could still make the mousse and top the muffins with it (thus making them cupcakes) – just use the muffin recipe here.