Chocolate amaretto mousse cake

February 11, 2008 5:12:17 PM PST
Make a unique dessert for your loved ones, just in time for Valentine's Day!

Chocolate Amaretto Mousse Cake
Courtesy of XYZ Pastry Chef Ryan Wells
Serves 6

Chocolate cake with milk chocolate amaretto mousse, fleur de sel cocoa meringue and oven roasted strawberries.

Flourless Chocolate Cake:
1 cup of dark chocolate
½ cup of butter
6 eggs
½ cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of Cognac

Milk Chocolate Amaretto Mousse:
¾ cup dark milk chocolate
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup whole milk
3 tablespoons of Amaretto
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream

Fleur de Sel Cocoa Meringue:
½ cup egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon fleur de sel

Oven Roasted Strawberries:
1 pint of strawberries
2 tablespoons of water
¼ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

To make the flourless chocolate cake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease well a quarter sheet 9-inch pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over hot, not boiling water. When the mixture is melted, turn off the heat and leave it over the hot water to cool slowly. Meanwhile in a large bowl, beat 6 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar. When the chocolate mixture is cooled, add the two tablespoons of Cognac. Then add the melted chocolate to the egg yolk mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until light and foamy while gradually adding two tablespoons of sugar. Continue beating the whites until they are stiff and shiny.

Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the combined chocolate and egg mixture; then gradually fold in the remaining egg whites back into the rest of the chocolate mixture, fully incorporating the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place in a bain-maire and bake for 45 minutes, or until a tester or toothpick comes out almost clean. Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes in the pan.

To make the milk chocolate amaretto mousse:
slowly melt the chocolate and butter over a water bath or in a double broiler, checking that the chocolate doesn't get too hot. When the chocolate is completely melted, whisk in the milk, amaretto and salt, and set aside. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the cream into the melted chocolate mixture. Then wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until it's firm.

To make the fleur de sel cocoa meringue:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until medium peaks form. Slowly add the sugar and whisk until stiff glossy peaks form. Add the cocoa powder and fleur del sel and mix until just incorporated. Spread the meringue onto a parchment lined sheet pan and back for two hours until the meringue is completely dry. Allow to cool, then crack the meringue into large pieces and store in an air-tight container in a dry place.

To make the oven roasted strawberries:
Cut the tops off the strawberries. Place the hulled strawberries in a bow and add the water and sugar. In a roasting pan (aprox. 8x10), place the strawberries cut side down and add any remaining liquid from the bowl. Roast at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow the strawberries to cool completely. Once the strawberries are cooled, gently add the lemon juice.

When ready to assemble the cake:
Loosen the flourless chocolate cake from the edges with a knife and carefully turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Slice the cake into 2x3 inch pieces. Top each slice on a separate serving plate with a large spoonful of the milk chocolate amaretto mousse. Add a piece of the cracked meringue and garnish with strawberries on the side. Then drizzle the strawberry roasting syrup around the plate.