Friday, 12 September 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

You gorgeous blog readers really do love a sweet treat, don't you?! The interest in the Banana Raspberry Layer Cake was through the roof! Well - let me just say that if you loved that one you this one is going to rock your world! It's a little more decadent than the raspberry one as it does contain a small amount of sugar from the chocolate (how much really depends on which type of chocolate you choose to use), so this is definitely a good one for a special occasion, but it will really make an impact. It is deceptively simple to make too. I apologise for the dreadful photos of this one - they really don't do it justice! I was serving it for a dinner party we had for some wonderful friends who were visiting from out of town, and I was in a hurry to get it on the plates and out on the table! I served this very simply with an extra side of fresh strawberries, but you could do it with delicious coconut icecream, or a berry coulis would be amazing too.

 Getting off track for a moment though, tonight was a big night in our house - our eldest daughter had her first school disco - OMG such an emotional and exciting night! She was SO excited and got all glammed up for the occasion, and hubby and I were totally excited for her and got right into the spirit of things, but we also felt crazy emotional about seeing her start to do such grown up things! It was a 'no parents' event (their class teachers were all there to keep an eye on them) so we had to drop them at the door and pop back an hour later to pick them up. No chance to spy on them and see what they were up to - so gutted! Would have loved to see her having a boogie! I'm not one to post too many pics of the kids online as I don't think it's necessarily a good thing, but I can't resist sharing this moment of parental pride!

Anyway, that's enough of my little moment of emotion - let's get back to the cake!

This is a very basic recipe really, with only a few ingredients and even a very simple process to make it. You can make it well ahead of time as it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, and freezes really well. In fact it's best to keep it in the freezer until about 1 hour before you serve. As you can see from the pics I only took it out at the last minute so it was still fairly well frozen, but the best part about this one is that it really doesn't matter either way! It is divine in it's more solid frozen form (a bit more like an icecream cake), or in it's softened form where the topping is totally mousse -y (a new word perhaps?!). Next time I make it I think I will double the portion of the base that I used, so I have given you the recipe for the updated version as opposed to the small quantity I had.

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free. Can be free of refined sugar depending on which kind of chocolate you prefer to use for the mousse.

8 medjool dates (or standard dried dates soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or so)
2 cups raw pecans (you could use a mix of nuts, or the nuts of your choice)
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder

80g dark chocolate (preferably at least 70% or more), broken into small pieces
1 can coconut milk (270mls)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp raspberry powder (if you can't find this you can use raspberry essence or just some blended frozen raspberries would do as well - or you can just leave this out and serve with a nice berry sauce instead)
2 egg white
15 frozen raspberries

1. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the base ingredients (dates, nuts, oil, cacao) and blend until well combined. Press into a baking tin (you choose what shape you would like to use - I used a loaf tin to make a rectangular cake). Make sure you line the tin first with a piece of baking paper that comes up higher than the height of the cake so that it is easy to remove (or use a baking tin with a removable base). Pop into the freezer to allow the base to harden
2. Heat the coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract on a medium/low heat in a small pot. When warm, add the chocolate and stir well until the chocolate has just melted into the mix. Add the raspberry powder if using and mix to combine. Allow to cool until only lukewarm
3. While the chocolate mixture is cooling down, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff (my kids love to test it by holding the bowl upside down!), but not meringue like. I think soft peaks is the term?
4. When chocolate mixture is cool enough, gently fold into the egg whites. It works well to add a spoonful of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir it in, then fold this whole mixture through the egg whites gently - it just for some reason helps to blend it better.
5. When the egg and chocolate mixtures are just combined, remove the base from the freezer and pour the chocolate mousse mixture over it. Take the frozen raspberries and dot them evenly into the mixture, then smooth the top over with the spatula to cover the raspberries (or you could leave them exposed if you prefer).
6. Return the whole thing to the freezer and allow to chill.
7. If you are making it well ahead of time, it will freeze so about 30-60 minutes before serving remove it from the freezer to allow the mousse like texture to be achieved (or serve it frozen if you like a more ice-creamy texture). If it's a hot day you may want to take it from the freezer to the fridge rather than leaving it out, as it may become a little too soft if kept too warm.