I held my breath when revealing this delicious beauty – such an extravagantly festive dessert, yet deceptively straightforward to make.
140 grams dark chocolate, chopped (72% cocoa)
140 grams butter, chopped
2 large eggs
⅔ cup caster sugar
⅔ cup flour
⅓ cup dark cocoa
350 grams milk chocolate, chopped (33% cocoa)
350 grams dark chocolate, chopped (72% cocoa)
5 large eggs, separated
4 sheets gelatine
50ml coffee liqueur
⅓ cup caster sugar
100ml cream, softly whipped
50 grams dark chocolate (72% cocoa) melted with 50ml cream, cooled
1 tablespoon Valrhona chocolate balls
dark cocoa powder
Equipment: Grease a 23cm springform tin and fully line with baking paper, bringing it 6cm above the edge of the tin.
Preheat the oven to 175°C regular bake.
BROWNIE: Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth and melted. Beat the eggs with the caster sugar in a separate bowl until pale and creamy. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Sift over the flour and cocoa, stir to combine and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through, then cool in the tin.
MOUSSE: Place both types of chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Cool slightly, then beat in the egg yolks. Set aside. Set the egg whites aside in a separate bowl.
Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Place 150ml of the cream in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and stir into the warm cream until melted and combined. Whisk in the liqueur, then whisk into the chocolate mixture.
Whisk the remaining 600ml cream to stiff peaks in a bowl and set aside.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is glossy.
Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the egg whites. Pour over the brownie base and chill overnight until set. Wrap a hot cloth around the outside of the tin, run a small knife around the top edge of the mousse, then gently release the cake from the pan to serve.
TO SERVE: Serve the cake topped with the whipped cream, melted chocolate, chocolate balls and a dusting of cocoa.