Chocolate Dream Cake

Posted on August 13, 2014


Chocolate Dream Cake on things{we}make

I had a dream.

Well, maybe less of a dream, more of a ‘lying half awake in the night thinking about pudding’.

My sleepy brain came up with this ‘chocolate dream cake’.

The boy wanted me to make chocolate mousse, I wanted to make a pavlova and we all like raspberries so I guess that’s how we got here. Layers of meringue that crumble as soon as look at you, rich chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries – with a bit of extra cream and some chocolate shards on top just to make it extra ridiculous.

I just had a late night slice…the meringue is crispy on the outside, marshmallowy inside and punctuated with tangy raspberries. It really is dreamy. Oh, and it’s gluten free too.

things{we}make Chocolate Dream Cake

The first day it’s crisp and meringuey. The next it’s more marshmallow-like.

If you are awash with eggs (I must admit…we are not at the moment, sadly our favourite chicken ‘Ginger’ went to the big coop in the sky this week and the other chicken is too depressed to lay) but if you are, this recipe is great because it uses a whole dozen eggs.

“A dozen you say?”

Yes, a dozen. Although there are 8 egg yolks left over so you can knock yourself out with a whole heap of mayonnaise if you so wish. 8 egg whites go into the meringue and 4 whole eggs into the mousse. I find something quite satisfying about that. Likewise I love a recipe that uses a whole pack of butter. I’m easily pleased.

What is slightly displeasing is that I can’t work out a way to use less bowls for the chocolate mousse. I use no less than 4. I’m not proud of this. I want to use less. If you can work out a way I can make it with 3 or (imagine) only two bowls, then please send your answer on a postcard and I will bike you over a slice of dream cake forthwith.

You can make the components for this the day before you want it, then assemble them just in time for that ‘ta-daa!’ moment. I made the meringues then left them in the oven overnight, mainly because I haven’t got three big tins, but the oven does do a sterling job of keeping them from meringue stealing sneak thieves. I also made the chocolate mousse a day ahead, then spooned it straight into a piping bag and left it sealed up in the fridge without even snipping the bottom off first; it would have been too tempting to pipe it into my own mouth for safe keeping.

“But Claire, I don’t want a towering pavlova of a dessert. It’s just too much for me to deal with right now”

Fear not. I understand your concern. I shall give you options:

  1. Just make the chocolate mousse, spoon it into 5 or 6 wine glasses, sprinkle with chocolate. Refrigerate. Eat. Easy.
  2. Make half the quantity of meringue (a mere 4 eggs) smooth the mixture into one 10″ pavlova-ish circle, bake for 1 hour and fill with cream, fruit, mousse…whatever you fancy.
  3. Ask your Mum, Gran, friend, work colleague, a stranger to make it for you.
  4. Don’t make it at all. Just look at the pretty picture, maybe pin it to your Pinterest page, have a cup of tea then go about your day. Calorie free.

I’m all about the choices.

I choose a big pudding that takes up a whole shelf in my fridge and a weeks worth of calories in my belly.

Chocolate Dream Cake on things{we}make

Things{we}make Chocolate Mousse

150g dark chocolate (plus extra for topping)
4 large free-range eggs
a pinch of salt
50 g caster sugar
150ml double cream
A dash of Kahlua (optional)
2 teaspoons of cocoa powder

This quantity makes 5-6 wine glasses of mousse or enough to fill a large piping bag.

  1. Break up the chocolate and melt it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring only occasionally. When melted leave the bowl to one side to cool slightly.
  2. Separate the eggs putting the whites into the mixer bowl and the yolks into a medium bowl with the 50g of caster sugar and cocoa and the optional splash of Kahlua. Whisk lightly until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. In the mixer whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Tip the frothy whites into a third bowl.
  4. Use the mixer to lightly whip the cream until soft and thick. Don’t over-whip.
  5. Pour the egg yolk mix into the whipped cream and stir well until smooth.
  6. Fold the chocolate into the creamy egg mixture and stir until evenly coloured.
  7. Finally fold the egg whites in (don’t worry it will look awful at first!) until well mixed.
  8. Pour into glasses or bowls to chill OR spoon into a piping bag for the the dream cake.

Things{we}make Meringues

8 large egg whites
A pinch of salt
500g golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons of vinegar (I use white balsamic, or you can use white wine vinegar)

  1. Preheat the oven to around 160°C and make sure you have 3 shelves free.
  2. Put baking parchment onto 3 baking sheets
  3. Draw a guide circle on the paper with pencil using a medium sized plate – approx 9″.
  4. Whip the egg whites with the salt until quite peaky.
  5. One spoonful at a time sprinkle in the caster sugar whilst still whisking.
  6. The graininess needs to be completely gone or the meringue will weep.
  7. When the sugar is all incorporated fold in the cornflour and vinegar.
  8. Stick the parchment to the baking trays with a blob of meringue in each corner.
  9. Dollop the meringue into the 3 circles and smooth out evenly.
  10. Put the meringues in the oven and turn it down to 130°C (my new oven bakes HOT so i only need 110°C)
  11. Bake for 1 hour until light golden and crisp, check the bottom is ‘mostly’ crisp too.
  12. Switch off the oven and leave them in there for half an hour to cool a little.
  13. Open the door after half an hour and let them cool completely.
  14. I then shut them in the oven and leave them there until I need them.

Things{we}make Chocolate Dream Cake Assembly!

  1. Place one meringue disk onto your serving plate.
  2. Pipe (or spoon) on a layer of chocolate mousse.
  3. Add some raspberries.
  4. Put another meringue on top…more mousse, more raspberries.
  5. Are you getting the idea?
  6. Add a layer of whipped cream if you fancy the contrast. I did.
  7. Top with mousse/cream/raspberries, shards of chocolate – All that jazz.