If you're looking for the perfect chocolate dessert for this summer, look no further! This chocolate mousse cake is ultra easy to make with less than 10 ingredients, light and airy in texture, and tastes like chocolate cake and ice cream had a baby. Let's go!
There are very few things in this world that I love more than I love chocolate, and this chocolate mousse cake is one of my most favorite chocolate treats! This was the first "fancy" recipe I learned as a kid, and I kept making it over and over again because I was obsessed with it. It was so simple yet so delicious, especially in summers. So as we now roll into warmer months, it only made sense to bring this recipe back for you guys!
Here's what you will need to make this chocolate mousse cake (exact quantities are in the recipe card below):
Chocolate sponge cake
The chocolate cake used as the base of this recipe is a chocolate genoise sponge - it is light and airy and perfectly complements the mousse.
- Eggs - room temperature preferred
- Granulated sugar
- All purpose flour
- Cocoa powder
- Baking powder
We are making the simpler version of mousse - i.e., ganache based mousse (as opposed to custard based mousse). Now, I won't lie, I do think custard based mousse tastes more luxurious, but this definitely gets the job done with far fewer steps! All you need is:
- Chocolate: I suggest going for a semi-sweet or milk chocolate, and make sure it is one you really enjoy eating! I personally love using Cadbury Dairy Milk in this recipe as I find it has the perfect amount of sweetness and deep chocolate flavor. Seriously - I used to eat the Dairy Milk ganache with a spoon!
- Heavy cream: Use heavy cream that has at least 35% fat so it can also be whipped up
- Cocoa powder for decoration
HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
This cake takes time to make only because of cooling - otherwise, the active time involved is under 30 minutes! See this video:
Here are the steps you need to take to get this baby ready:
1. Make the chocolate genoise sponge
Pre-heat your oven to 350F and line a 9x9" pan with parchment paper. You can also make this as a 9" round cake!
The key to get a genoise right is to whip up a LOT of air into the eggs and sugar. Whisk them for 3-5 minutes until they are pale yellow, fluffy, and reach the ribbon stage (i.e., if you lift the beater, the mixture should fall off in a ribbon).
Then sift in the dry ingredients and fold them very gently until they are combined. Make sure you are gentle, as you don't want to knock out all the air whipped into the eggs earlier.
Transfer the batter to a lined pan, and bake for just ~13-15 minutes until the cake is done. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
2. Prepare a ganache
Next, make a simple ganache: bring the cream to a boil and pour over chopped chocolate in a bowl. Cover with a plate and wait 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Then stir until you get a shiny, smooth ganache.
Tip: If you see any lumps of solid chocolate in the ganache, microwave it for 10-15 seconds and stir again!
Let the ganache cool down completely by putting it in the fridge for ~20 minutes (or freezer if you wanna speed this up more). You still want it to be runny, not solid!
3. Make the chocolate mousse
This easy chocolate mousse is just a combination of ganache and whipped cream! So take chilled heavy cream and whisk it using the balloon whisk attachment of your stand mixer until it reaches the stiff peak stage (take care not to overwhip the cream).
Then gently fold the cream into the cooled ganache. Doing this in 2-3 batches will allow you to retain the air in the cream and achieve a light mousse.
Tip: Sometimes, if I want to be fancy, I reserve some of the ganache and use it as another layer in my cake!
4. Assemble the cake
Take a clean 9x9" pan and layer it with 2 sheets of parchment paper that you can pull out easily once the cake has set. Place down the cooled chocolate sponge, then pour over the chocolate mousse. Spread it out, and put into the fridge for 20 minutes so the mousse is somewhat set.
Then for final touches, spread on a layer of whipped cream and dust generously with cocoa powder.
Tip: A genoise sponge cake can feel somewhat dry especially if it is even slightly over baked. If you feel that is the case, brush on some simple syrup before pouring the mousse!
5. Chill and serve!
Let the cake set fully in the fridge! This can take 1-2 hours in the fridge and you can speed up the time by also using the freezer.
Carefully pull the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut it into cubes and serve!
Tip: I personally love the texture of this cake when it is somewhere in between fridge and freezer temperature! So I put my slice of cake into the freezer for 10-15 minutes before eating.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You should use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream that has at least 35% fat in it. This kind of cream will whip up easily when it is chilled.
A genoise sponge cake does not have any oil or butter in it and is naturally very light and slightly dry. If you even slightly over bake it, it will feel quite dry. Don't worry, just brush on some simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) before you cover the cake with the mousse!
Sure! You can use any kind of chocolate that you like the flavor of. Just know that with dark chocolate the cake will also taste dark as there is no added sugar in the mousse.
You should keep the chocolate mousse cake in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week and in the freezer for several weeks! If freezing, let it defrost in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before eating.
This chocolate mousse cake has no gelatin in it and relies on chocolate's own solidification in the fridge to set. Therefore, it is important to keep it very well chilled. Do not leave it out at room temperature or a hot place as it will start to melt.
Yes! You can make this cake as a 9x9" square and cut into individual squares, or a 9" round pan and cut into slices, or also assemble it in individual dessert cups or ramekins. Since there's just a layer of mousse, it is very versatile in how you want to assemble and decorate it.
Alright, now let's get into the recipe!
If you try out this recipe, be sure to leave a review below and tag me in your recreations on Instagram. Also, if you're looking for more easy summer dessert recipes, definitely check out my Easy No Bake Tres Leches Cake and Special Yogurt Parfait!Print