If you’re thinking of making a statement cake as a treat for Mother’s Day – this is the cake for you.

This recipe has kindly been contributed by Dylan Stacey – my daughter’s boyfriend – a chef living and working in Barcelona.  Having spent the last 17 years working as head chef onboard luxury yachts, Dylan says: “This recipe is quite technical as it has four different elements, but if you take your time and enjoy the process, the end result is well worth the effort.”

Dylan’s layered chocolate mousse cake

Chocolate cake ingredients

  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 400 granulated white sugar
  • 95g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 250ml milk,buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk
  • 125ml vegetable oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 250ml boiling water

Preheat oven to 175º C. Prepare two 23cm round cake pans by lining the bottom with baking paper then spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

To make the chocolate cake

  1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
  3. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake tester inserted in the centre of the chocolate cake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the cake tins.
  5. While cooling you can prepare the chocolate fudge icing and the chocolate mousse.

Chocolate mousse ingredients

  • 125g 64% chocolate
  • ½ whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ leaf gelatine
  • 400ml whipping cream

To make the mousse

  1. Whisk the egg and yolk, cook to a sabayon (having thickened) over a bowl of simmering water.
  2. Whisk in the gelatine followed by the melted chocolate.
  3. Whip the cream to soft peaks and whisk one third into the chocolate mix.
  4. Whisk the rest of the cream to peak and fold in.

Chocolate fudge icing ingredients:

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 150g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • Milk, as needed

To make the chocolate fudge icing

  • Melt the dark chocolate with the butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Meanwhile, sieve together the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a separate bowl.
  • Once melted, add the icing sugar and cocoa powder gradually to the chocolate mix and beat with an electric mixer.
  • Add a touch of milk if a thinner consistency is desired.
  • Allow too cool before using as a frosting on a cake

Hazelnut Praline ingredients

  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

To make hazelnute praline:

  1. Roast the hazelnuts in the oven at 180°
  2. In a pan make a direct caramel, golden brown.
  3. Add the hot hazelnuts to the caramel and swirl the pan to coat the nuts in the
  4. Sprinkle the salt over the caramelised nuts and swirl to combine.
  5. Pour the caramelised nuts onto a tray lined with silicone paper.
  6. Allow to cool at room temperature.
  7. Cover with an other layer of silicone paper and crush to rough chunks with a rolling pin.
  8. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Assembling the cake

  • While still in the cake tin cover the top of one of the cake layers with half the chocolate fudge icing.
  • Add the chocolate mousse on top of the icing and smooth the top with the back of a warmed knife. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set in the fridge for around 2 hours.
  • Remove the mousse topped cake half from the tin by slicing between the mousse and the tin with a hot knife that is dipped in some boiling water. Carefully place it onto your desired cake plate. Remember to remove the baking paper from the bottom of the cake. This is a delicate process.
  • Remove the second layer of cake and place on top of the chocolate mousse. Remove the baking paper here too.
  • Ice the top of the cake with the left over chocolate fudge icing. (If you find that the icing is hard to work with, carefully heat and and mix to a spreadable consistency in a bowl over simmering water).
  • Sprinkle the crushed hazelnut praline over the top.

Dazzle your mum, your family and friends – enjoy!!!

Chef’s Cuisine – Dylan Stacey

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