My Martha Flop! (Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake)
Ever feel like Martha Stewart’s recipes oughta come with a warning label?
Something like, “CAUTION! This dessert was created for the sole purpose of making you feel inferior in the kitchen. Handle with care!” would be nice.
Elsa and I had the brilliant idea to make this dessert today to celebrate my chocolate-loving Mother-In-Law’s birthday! But Elsa was especially invested in the dessert since she and her Mama Casey are both celebrating special milestones… February 6th was Suzanne’s birthday and today is Elsa’s half-birthday! (And yes, you’re observing correctly… I’m attempting to shove the blame for this dessert-flop onto my 6-month-old.)
Here’s how Martha’s dessert is supposed to look.
Photo courtesy of marthastewart.com
Luscious chocolate mousse piled high on top of moist chocolate cake… this is some serious eye/tummy candy. And I had been eyeing this recipe for years, waiting for the perfect occasion to whip it out. But as it turns out, it whipped me instead.
For this dessert, here’s what you need. (Also, please note the curious little baby hand reaching for the cream in this picture. Gotta love cooking with babies!)
I won’t bother with showing you each and every step, since (as you can see) I’m no authority on the matter. But it starts off simply enough with a small layer of dark chocolate cake, baked in ramekins.
My cakes turned out fine. I think my error was somewhere in the mousse-making process…
There’s a lot of whisking involved.
At one point you have to boil corn syrup and sugar and then mix it into your eggs without curdling them… always a risky step.
Then there’s more whisking, some chocolate melting, and you guessed it… more whisking.
Then this entire process is repeated all over again using a different kind of chocolate (so you can achieve that two-toned effect.)
So yeah. Pretty intense recipe.
Finally you get to the fun part where you pipe the mousses into these parchment paper “collars” you have to wrap around the cakes.
And then it all chills it your fridge overnight, taking up an insane amount of room and fooling you into thinking that everything is “setting” and “firming up” like the recipe says it will.