Chocolate, Raspberry, and Vanilla Neapolitan Mousse Cake

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“A party without cake is just a meeting” -Julia Childs

The wisdom of Julia Childs – so true though! Let’s talk about mousse and Neapolitan for a second. Mousse is a French dessert that is sooo light and airy, while Neapolitan is originally an Italian ice cream of three different flavors – usually chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. So basically, this cake combines the awesomeness of both of those things, and mixes it up a bit. You get a cake that is so light it almost doesn’t feel like you’re eating cake – according to my taste testers who loved this cake so much they are requesting another one! (…which is actually why I’m finally blogging this recipe – so I remember what I did to create this and can repeat it!) Side note- the raspberry flavor really comes through in the raspberry mousse layer, so I think raspberry instead of strawberry is a nice substitution, although I’m sure strawberry would be great as well. I really think you will enjoy the cake – so don’t get overwhelmed by the length of ingredients/instructions. Remember you only have to actually bake one layer, so the rest is all no bake!

The Base – Chocolate Brownie Cake

½ cup butter

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

¾ cup flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Mix dry ingredients (except sugar) together in a large bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts and mix until smooth. Pour mixture into pre-buttered spring-form cake pan – I used a 9 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350F and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Remove the sides to make sure it does not get stuck for later. Also, place a cardboard cake bottom under the cake before returning it to the pan and re-closing it so you can remove it later. Next, line the sides of the pan with an acetate cake collar (neater outcome) or parchment paper. Make sure you line a couple inches taller than the top edge of the pan since the mousse will probably be taller than the pan allows.

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Chocolate Mousse

3 tbsp water

3tbsp sugar

3 egg yolks

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate

1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Combine water and sugar in saucepan over medium heat until boils and becomes a bit thicker. Remove from stove and turn off heat. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks in a large bowl until frothy and then add in the sugar mixture while whisking. In a separate bowl, microwave the chocolate until it melts, in about 30 second intervals. Combine the chocolate with the egg-sugar-water mixture. In a stand mixer beat the cream to soft peaks. Fold this into the chocolate-egg mixture. Spread this out evenly over the brownie layer in your cake pan and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

Raspberry Mousse

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

1 cup white chocolate chips

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp unflavored gelatin

2 tbsp water

1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a blender, blend raspberries (make sure they are defrosted if using frozen raspberries before you do this). Strain the puree to collect the raspberry juice. This will add awesome raspberry flavor to your mousse as well as a pretty pink color. Meanwhile, pour water in a bowl and allow gelatin to bloom there for 5-10 minutes. Then microwave the gelatin mix for 10 seconds. Combine sugar and raspberry juice on the stove in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from and turn off heat, and mix in the gelatin. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in microwave in 10 second intervals (it melts quicker than darker chocolate!). Pour the raspberry mix over the melted chocolate in a large bowl and mix together. In a stand mixer beat the cream to soft peaks. Fold this into the chocolate-raspberry mixture. Spread this out evenly over the chocolate mousse layer in your cake pan and refrigerate for 45 minutes- 1 hour.

Vanilla Mousse

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp unflavored gelatin

2 tbsp water

1.5 cup heavy whipping cream

Pour water in a bowl and allow gelatin to bloom there for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in microwave in 10 second intervals (it melts quicker than darker chocolate!). Add vanilla and combine. Then microwave the gelatin mix for 10 seconds and mix into the chocolate. In a stand mixer beat the cream to soft peaks. Fold this into the white chocolate-vanilla mixture. Spread this out evenly over the raspberry mousse layer in your cake pan and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.

Assembly

Remove from refrigerator and take off the side of the pan as well as the parchment paper. Remove bottom of pan as well so that it’s left on the cake cardboard you had placed in there earlier. You should now have a beautiful 3 layer Neapolitan Cake! You can stop here OR you can add more. I made a quick chocolate ganache and poured it over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. After that I topped the cake with fresh raspberries. Now it’s REALLY ready to eat!

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Heat cream on stove until it starts to just bubble a bit. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove, pour over the chocolate in a separate bowl. Mix until combined and smooth. Allow to cool so that the ganache is thicker before pouring over the top and covering with raspberries.

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