Jul 10, 2009

Chocolate hazelnut mousse cake

I came across this recipe browsing through Epicurious. This cake got really good reviews so I decided to go ahead and make it for my coworker's birthday.

The base is a chocolate hazelnut shortbread cookie, topped with a chocolate hazelnut mousse, and finished with a chocolate glaze. When the cake was glazed...I saw an empty canvas staring in my face!! What to do..what to do...in the end I decided to attempt a henna pattern. The decoration is inspired by this henna pattern...not nearly as beautiful..but I tried.

The mousse cake was really good, it got great reviews from my coworkers!! yipee!! The combination of the chocolate glaze, the mousse and the shortbread crust worked really well together. I thought the mousse could use a little bit more hazelnut flavor. Some of the comments from Epicurious suggested putting a bit of Frangelico, a hazelnut liquor. I didn't have time to get the liquor, but I will definitely try that next time. The great part is this really wasn't too hard to make...a bit time consuming, but not hard. The only oven time involved is the cookie base which makes it a very summer friendly dessert. Here's the recipe.

Chocolate glazed hazelnut mousse cake
from Epicurious

For shortbread base

2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Invert bottom of springform pan (to make it easier to slide shortbread base off bottom), then lock on side of pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

2. Pulse hazelnuts with sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add flour, butter, cocoa, and salt and pulse just until a dough forms.

3. Press dough evenly onto bottom of springform pan with your fingers. Prick all over with a fork, then bake until just dry to the touch, about 10 to 15 minutes (see note). Transfer base in pan to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Remove side of pan and carefully slide out parchment from under shortbread, then reattach side of pan around shortbread base.

For mousse

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread such as Nutella (5 oz)
1/2 cup mascarpone (1/4 lb)
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Make mousse while shortbread cools. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat, stirring, just until gelatin is melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in chocolate hazelnut spread until combined and remove from heat.

2. Whisk together mascarpone and chocolate hazelnut mixture in a large bowl. Beat together cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed until just combined, then increase speed to high and beat until cream just holds soft peaks. Whisk one third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream until well combined. Spoon filling onto shortbread base in pan, gently smoothing top, then chill, covered, at least 3 hours.

For ganache

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

1. Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan and remove from heat. Add chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until completely melted and smooth. Transfer ganache to a small bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened but still pourable, about 20 minutes.

2. Run a warm thin knife around inside of springform pan, then remove side (see note). Slide cake off bottom of pan and transfer to a serving plate. Pour ganache onto top of cake and spread, allowing excess ganache to drip down sides.

  • *The original recipes says to bake the crust for 18 to 20 minutes. I took mine out at 12 minutes because I didn't want to overbake the crust.


Jen said...

wow! it looks so pretty! beautiful artwork! you're so talented!!! =)

toasty said...

Cute, the deco! Hazelnut + chocolate = yum!


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