One of my "students" came prepared with much chocolate.. many varieties, including what I'd used when I made my original cake - Ghirardelli's 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate. AND some bittersweet chocolate flavored with chipotle.
|ready to go, including our fancy new cooking hats!|
|melty chocolatey goodness... seems familiar!|
|incorporating egg whites|
|more egg whites - kind of the "trick" of making the cake|
|the beautiful finished cakes|
the one on the left, chipotle chocolate (more about the chocolate later)
|and the "students" with their cakes|
So we also learned a couple of things. While a lot of times, people tell you not to use chocolate chips to melt and use in a dessert, I think they helped here. The cakes using chips worked out a bit better because once they were melted, and the other ingredients incorporated, they held the shape a bit better. The mousse was more mousse-like, important to the whole process. The cake made with the already-flavored chipotle chocolate, had more of a "batter" than mousse texture before cooking, and so it maybe wasn't as puffed up. As many of the ffwd folks mentioned, they ended up with "batter" - I'm thinking it was the chocolate.
So, after my guests left, I was so inspired that I just had to make a cake of my own. I decided that I'd do a riff on one of the ideas from earlier in the day. I used Vietnamese cinnamon (it's spicier), and my mom's friend Karyl's 4-pepper blend (equal parts black, white, cayenne and chipotle peppers). I have to say, it was amazingly good. Here's a picture of what I think the mousse is supposed to look like before baking.
But I'll be honest, I'll likely make the cake again, but I probably won't ever make it the twice-baked version. There's not enough difference between layers to justify the extra steps and time (and I think it might just be lighter if it were baked once, rather than having the majority of the mousse sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two with the opportunity to deflate). That's just me. I'm sure that if you're at Dorie's, or at Michel Rostang's in Paris, it would turn out differently - but for me, at home, I think I'll just make it a single chocolate mousse cake.
When we were waiting for the cakes to bake, we talked about a number of flavor options - several mentioned above - but I think it would also be lovely with some grated orange zest, and a swap out of a little of the coffee with some Grand Marnier, or something. Of course you could do the same kind of swap with some Chambourd, and then serve with a little raspberry coulis (or raspberries themselves). There are lots of wonderful ways to change this dessert up.
My thanks to my friends for coming over and sharing part of their day. I hope they had as much fun as I did!! Now, to figure out the next recipe!