This is Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Mousse Cake. It is unreal good and definitely needs to be part of your cake repetoire. In fact, you really should pick up, if you don’t already own it, Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. From cakes to cookies to puddings extraordinaire, this is a fantastic cookbook.
So, in her book, you will find this recipe as “Chocolate Mousse Cake” but for me, it will always be a cloud.
Chocolate Cloud Cake
300g best dark chocolate
50g best milk chocolate
175g unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated
100g light muscovado sugar
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
pinch of salt
23cm springform tin + tin foil
In Nigella’s words:
Heat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Put the kettle on to boil.
Line the inside of the springform with foil, making sure you press the foil well into the sides and bottom of the tin so that it forms a smooth surface. This will prevent water getting into the cake when it is cooked in its water bath.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or double boiler, and let it cool. In another boil, beat the egg yolks and sugars until very thick and pale, as creamy as mayonnaise: the mixture should form and fall in ribbons when you lift up the whisk. Stir in the vanilla and salt, and then the cooled chocolate mixture with a briskly beaten-in dollop of whites before gently folding the rest of them into it.
Cook for 50 minutes – 1 hour. The inside of the cake will be damp and moussy, but the top should look cooked and dry. Let it cool completely on a cooling rack before releasing it from the tin. This calls for a little bit of patience, because you will need to peel the foil gently away from the sides. Just go slowly and remember that this is a very damp cake, and you won’t be able to prise it away from its foil-lined base – though it’s easy enough to tear off excess foil once you’ve set the cake on its plate. Dust with icing sugar if you want, and serve with creme fraiche and maybe some raspberries.
I have made this cake with the addition of 1/4 cup of grande marnier and some orange zest infused with the chocolate.
I have made a spicier version with ginger and cloves and all things warm and welcoming.
I have also made this with a bit of rum and cinnamon, then adding a bit of rum extract and cinnamon to the whipped cream.
You really can personalize this fantastic base of a cloud.