Oh. My. Goodness. This cake! No one would ever guess this cake was gluten/grain/nut/dairy free AND naturally sweetened. I hate cakes that make it really obvious that they’re missing something, or those that make it really obvious that the untweaked, reaction-causing version would have been so much yummier. And I think that it’s very easy, on a restricted diet, to feel as though you are missing out on things. This cake is one of my many efforts to banish any feelings of being left out, or any imaginings on what the allergen-loaded version would have tasted like. It is the kind of cake that is BETTER for being the kind of cake that it is.
It’s a dense, fudgey cake that lies somewhere between mousse and cake. You can make it ‘moussier’ by baking for less time, or ‘cakier’ by baking for more time. I have given instructions for the way I like it – the point on the spectrum that also corresponds with heaven.
I gave this cake a few trial runs (and happily sampled them all along the way!). The first used coconut flour, and I have to be honest – I was not sold. I’m still not totally sold on coconut flour as a grain and nut replacer. It’s good in some things, but other things… blergh. It was good in this cake, but not perfect. That being said, I fed the coconut flour version to my dad and some of my best friends, who all declared it to be delicious and thought I was ridiculous for being unhappy with the texture. So, if you can’t have seeds, rest assured that this cake is still yummy with coconut flour.
There are a couple of ‘pressure points’ with this cake…
1) Don’t overbeat the egg whites. It’s not that difficult to get them perfect, just don’t walk away from them for too long as eggs will take a different amount of time to stiffen up (depending on how fresh they are, if they’re straight out of the fridge, etc). You want them stiff, but you don’t want them ‘grainy’.
2) COOL IT COMPLETELY, and then cool it some more. If you don’t, you’ll pull the first slice out and chocolate mousse lava will pour out into the empty spot – you’ll be left with a very flat cake. Trust me, I made this mistake. If you want a ‘choc pot’ kind of thing with a molten centre, you can bake this for 15-20mins in individual ramekins and eat them hot. Also delicious.
This is a really good two bowl recipe – perfect if you are an existing owner taking up the current offer of a hugely-reduced 2nd bowl and blade set just for hosting a demo. If you don’t have a 2nd bowl and blade set, don’t dismay! Just do the egg whites first (because you need a perfectly clean and dry bowl for those), set them aside, clean your bowl, and continue with the rest of the recipe.
I apologise in advance for the dodgy photo – right as I got the cake out to take a photo, our power went out. Doh! I still wanted to eat it though, so I rushed and took a photo by candlelight and then devoured it.
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Ingredients:100g pumpkin seeds
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150g coconut oil
8 eggs, separated
50g mesquite powder*
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a 24cm springform tin. If you don’t have a springform tin, a 24cm pie dish will do just fine – but be prepared that the first slice might be tricky to get out in one piece.
2) Bowl #1: Weigh in the pumpkin seeds, mill on speed 8 for 20 seconds. Set aside.
3) Bowl #1: Weigh the chocolate in, chop for 3 seconds on speed 8.
4) Bowl #1: Add in the coconut oil and melt with the chocolate for 3-5mins, 60 degrees, speed 2. Set aside. Don’t bother rinsing it – not necessary, and we love to minimise washing! 🙂
5) Bowl #2: Insert butterfly and 8 egg whites. Whip on speed 4 until stiff (about 2 mins, maybe 2:30).
6) Bowl #1: Remove the butterfly from bowl 2 and insert into bowl 1 (or use your 2nd butterfly… but using the same one minimises washing!). Add egg yolks, honey and mesquite powder. Mix for 1 minute on speed 4.
7) Bowl #1: Add melted chocolate mix and pumpkin seeds. Mix (with the butterfly still in) on speed 3 for 30 seconds.
8) Bowl #1: Add beated egg whites and fold for 15 seconds on speed 2.
9) Pull the butterfly out, and pour mix into greased cake tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set about 1/3 of the way in.
10) Leave the cake in the oven to cool, with the door cracked open (you can leave it to cool overnight to avoid the I-want-to-use-my-oven dilemma). Once the cake reaches room temperature, put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Serve cold.
*I know someone will probably ask if you can make this without mesquite powder… I don’t know, but probably! Replace it with 50g more of honey, but you’ll probably want to reduce the coconut oil by about 30-50g. Give it a go, no harm in trying!
Update 20/09/2012: Here’s a prettier photo for you!!!