There is nothing more special and exciting than French pastries.
Admit it, there is just something so elegant and decadent about French pastries that instantly invite you in. Place a giant two layer vanilla birthday cake in front of a crowd and you’ll have some takers and some passing it up, but place an Éclair or say a Mille-feuille in front of a crowd and the sheer name will draw everyone in.
These are the money makers. The crowd pleasers. The things you can make for your friends and they’ll think you’re some awesome cook that can do anything in the kitchen. The truth is though, these really aren’t that hard to make. Making pastry cream and pâte à choux are two of the most basic and essential skills they teach you in the business. Learn how to make that and you can make éclairs, gougères, paris-brest, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Now for this particular dessert, it’s really rather simple as well, although no pastry cream or pâte à choux is required. Make a sponge cake, make whipped cream and combine that with melted chocolate, cut rounds out of the sponge cake, layer them, then cover the whole thing in chocolate. Done.
Now unfortunately my photography skills are majorly lacking but the layers in these little cakes are what make them shine. Cut into these little chocolate treats and you’ll find layers of cake and mousse, both light and fluffy but rich enough to satisfy.
Gâteau au chocolat éponge de mousse au chocolat
(Recipe adapted from Pattiserie)
1 cup + 2 tbls (150 g) ap flour
3 tbls (20 g) unsweetend cocoa powder
1 cup (240 g) egg whites (about 8)
3/4 + 2 tbls (180 g) sugar
4 oz (120 g) egg yolks (about 4)
4 oz (220 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped**
2 cups heavy whipping cream plus 1/2 cup
4 oz (220 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F.
For the cake; sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks, then add in the sugar and whip until firm and glossy. Add the egg yolks and whip until smooth, about 5-10 seconds. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and fold in until smooth. Don’t overmix!
Spread this on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
For the mousse; whip 2 cups heavy cream until heavy peaks. Meanwhile, warm the 1/2 cup heavy cream in a saucepan until scalded. Pour over the chocolate and stir until melted. Let cool slightly before folding into the whipped cream. Refridgerate until ready to use.
For the ganache; Scald the heavy cream and then pour over the chocolate, stir to melt.
Using a cookie cutter cut out rounds of cake. Brush one round of cake with the soaking syrup then spread a layer of mousse. Continue with cake, syrup, mousse and top it off with a 3rd layer of cake and syrup. Pour the ganache over and spread evenly.
Continue until all are finished. Refridgerate until ready to eat and enjoy!