3 layers of rich chocolate cake alternating with 3 layers of dark chocolate mousse, all topped with a thin dark chocolate coating, this Chocolate Mousse Torte is the perfect pairing with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.
What is a Chocolate Mousse Torte?
This torte is much lighter than than a traditional American chocolate cake layered with chocolate buttercream. The mousse is light and airy and so are the layers of chocolate cake. It is traditionally served in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or for dessert after dinner.
Dutch processed Cocoa vs. Natural Cocoa Powder?
The only chocolate that is found in this cake is from cocoa powder, this helps keep the cake more moist. Both dutch processed and natural cocoa powder will work here.
Is Gelatin necessary?
Yes, gelatin needs to be added to the chocolate mousse to give it enough structure to hold up the cake layers.
Can this cake be made in advance?
Yes, I actually recommend making it in advance. The mousse takes 12 hours to set fully and the cake needs to be fully chilled before slicing it into three layers. If you plan ahead I find it easiest to make this cake over the course of three days. Day 1: bake and chill the cake, Day 2: Make the mousse and assemble the cake, Day 3: Pour the chocolate glaze over and serve.
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Tips for making Chocolate Mousse Torte
- Don’t over bake the cake, even if the toothpick doesn’t come out perfectly clean, remove the cake after 45 minutes to prevent drying it out.
- Allow the cake to cool fully before trying to slice it. I like to wrap the cake up and place it in the fridge overnight – this will help the cake hold together rather than fall apart while slicing.
- To assemble this torte you need either a silicone cake mold or a piece of acetate because the mousse does not have enough structure until it is fully set to hold up the cake. The easiest method is to go to a local craft store and buy a roll of acetate (clear, thin but stable plastic that is pliable) and then cut a piece at least 8″ tall to fit inside the spring form pan.
- The chocolate glaze is optional but it is traditional and gives the cake a nice finish.
- All Purpose Flour: Any all purpose flour should work for this Schokomousse torte! I have not yet tried any other flours with this recipe.
- Corn Starch: Corn starch makes this cake lighter and more tender.
- Cocoa Powder: This recipe will work with either Dutch processed or natural cocoa powder.
- Sugar: There is granulated sugar in the batter.
- Salt: A tiny bit of salt balances out the sweetness of the batter.
- Baking Powder: Always make sure that your baking powder has not expired. It acts as one of the two main leavening agent for this recipe so it is important that it is working.
- Egg: 3 eggs are used in this cake recipe. I use standard large eggs from the grocery store.
- Oil: Any neutral oil will work in this cake. Oil is used rather than butter to help keep the cake moist and tender.
- Coffee: Coffee is optional in this recipe – it can be replaced with water; however, it brings out the chocolate flavor in the cake and you don’t actually taste the coffee.
- Milk: Use any milk you want in this cake, dairy or non-dairy, skim or whole milk, they will all work. However, in the mousse I recommend using whole milk – if you don’t have any just use add 2 T. of heavy cream and then finish the measurement with skim milk.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake and the glaze.
- Heavy Cream: Both heavy cream and heavy whipping cream work for the mousse of this torte.
- Gelatin: I know gelatin can seem scary to some people but is a very important addition to the chocolate mousse because it gives it strength. Otherwise the mousse will all squish out when the cake is layered. This recipe uses powdered gelatin.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is used in both the chocolate mousse and the coating. I like to use bars of 70% dark chocolate – bars of chocolate tend to melt better than chocolate chips.
- Corn Syrup: There is corn syrup in the glaze because it helps it stay soft so that it can be cut through.
- Butter: Butter thins out the chocolate glaze and also helps it remain soft.
How to make Chocolate Mousse Torte
Make the Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking convection (convection is preferred with this recipe). Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and corn starch into a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Use the whisk attachment and whisk on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- In a large measuring cup, stir together the oil, coffee and milk. Once the eggs are fully beaten, turn the mixer to medium low and slowly drizzle in the liquids.
- Stop the mixer and dump in the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer back on to medium low and whisk again until just combined.
- Liberally spray an a 9″ cake pan or springform pan with baking spray (one that includes flour) and pour the batter in. Tap the cake pan on the counter 3 times and then place in the preheated oven for 45 min. If not baking on convection, rotate the cake after 30 minutes to ensure that it bakes evenly.
- After the time has passed, remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the edges of the pan.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper over the cake, followed by a second cooling rack, and swiftly flip the cake over onto the parchment and cooling rack – it should fall out of the cake pan.
- Lift the cake pan off of the cake, then use the original cooling rack with a second piece of parchment paper, to flip the cake back over so that it is once again face up and leave it to cool fully before moving it.
- The parchment paper helps keep the cake from sinking into the holes of the cooling rack.
- Once cooled, wrap the cake with plastic or an airtight container and place it in the fridge.
Chocolate Mousse Filling *Based on Dominique Ansel’s Chocolate Mousse Recipe
- Pour powdered gelatin over the cold water, stir, and set aside to bloom.
- Chop up the chocolate into fine bits and place in a heat safe bowl. Then heat up the milk until it just reaches a boil – remove from heat and pour half of the milk over the chopped chocolate. Leave it to sit for 30 seconds before whisking together. Continue whisking until most of the chocolate is melted and then add the remaining milk and whisk again until fully combined.
- Add the bloomed gelatin into the mixed chocolate and whisk again until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Set aside and whisk occasionally until it cools to about 90 F or room temperature – don’t let it get too cold or it will begin to set.
- Once the chocolate has cooled, pour the cold heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium high speed until peaks just begin to form it should not be stiff.
- In 5 additions pour the chocolate into the whipped cream – folding the chocolate into the cream after each addition. Be careful not to knock all of the air out of the cream; but, it will become less stiff as the chocolate is added.
Assemble the Chocolate Mousse Torte
- Cut a strip of acetate that is at least 8″ tall and long enough to fit all the way around the outside of a springform pan with a couple inches of overlap. Tape the ends of the acetate together and place inside the springform pan so that it lines the inside edges. Place the springform pan on a tray that will then fit in your freezer.
- Slice the cake into 3 even layers. Place the bottom layer in the center of the springform pan – there should be a small gap between the cake and the acetate. Pour 1/3 of the chocolate mousse over the cake layer, making sure it gets into the gap between the cake and the acetate. Then lay on the second layer of cake and gently press down to make sure there are no air bubbles and the layer is even.
- Add another 1/3 of the mousse and then top it with the last layer of cake. Press down again to level out the cake and then top off with the remaining mousse.
- Place the cake into the freezer for at least six hours or up to overnight. *Alternatively it can go into the fridge for at least 12 hours. However, the mousse will mix somewhat with the chocolate glaze when it is poured on top.
- In a medium sauce pot, combine the chocolate, butter, cornsyrup and vanilla. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until everything is melted.
- Remove the torte from the freezer or fridge and set the springform pan over a bowl or stand. Be sure that the bowl is smaller than the base of the cake. This will allow the excess glaze to run off.
- Remove the outside of the springform pan. Then gently remove the tape from the acetate and peel it off the sides of the cake.
- If glazing, pour the glaze over the cake. First pour around the edges of the cake so that it can run down the sides. Then pour the remaining glaze onto the center of the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the glaze and leave it to set for 5-10 minutes. If the cake was in the fridge some of the mousse may run when the glaze is poured on – just use the offset spatula to smooth out the sides after the excess has run off.
- Optionally, use a peeler to shave the edge of a chocolate bar over the cake for extra decoration.
Chocolate Mousse Torte
- Stand Mixer
- Spring Form Pan
Chocolate Cake Dry Ingredients
- 100 grams ap flour
- 50 grams corn starch
- 65 grams cocoa powder natural or dutch processed
- 1 tsp baking powder
Chocolate Cake Wet Ingredients
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 150 ml coffee room temperature
- 100 ml oil neutral
- 100 ml milk
- 6 tsp water cool
- 6 grams powdered gelatin
- 335 ml whole milk
- 308 grams dark chocolate chopped
- 500 ml heavy cream cold
- 280 grams dark chocolate chopped
- 80 grams butter
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking on convection.
- Sieve the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Use the whisk attachment to whip on high speed for 3 minutes until light and frothy.
- In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the milk, coffee, and oil.
- With the mixer running on medium low speed, slowly stream the liquids into the beaten eggs.
- Turn the mixer off and dump in the sifted dry ingredients. Mix again on medium low speed until just combined.
- Spray a 9" metal cake pan or spring form pan with a baking spray that includes flour. Pour the batter into the pan and tap 3 times on the counter to get rid of the major air bubbles.
- Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes. Rotate the cake after 30 minutes if not baking on convection to make sure it bakes evenly.
- After it is finished baking, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
- After 10 minutes, run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the sides of the pan.
- Flip the cake out onto a parchment lined cooling rack and then flip the cake back, right side up onto another parchment lined cooling rack. Leave the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before wrapping it up and putting it in the fridge to chill.
- In a small bowl stir together the cool water and powdered gelatin – then set aside to bloom.
- Place chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl.
- Heat milk until just boiling then, pour half the milk over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds before whisking together.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add the remaining hot milk and whisk to combine. Then add in the bloomed gelatin and whisk again until it has dissolved.
- Set the chocolate aside to cool to between room temp and 90 F. Whisk occasionally to help it cool evenly.
- Once the chocolate is cooled, whisk the heavy cream to medium peaks with an electric mixer.
- In 5 additions add the chocolate mixture to the whipped cream, folding the chocolate into the cream after each addition.
Assemble the Cake
- Slice the chilled chocolate cake into three even layers.
- Line the inside of a springform pan with an 8" tall strip of acetate. Place the pan onto a small pan or baking sheet that will fit in your freezer.
- Place the bottom layer of cake into the center of the spring form pan. Add 1/3 of the chocolate mousse over the cake, making sure it fills in the gap between the cake and the acetate ring.
- Stack the middle layer of cake on top of the mousse and press down gently. Add another 1/3 of mousse on top the middle cake layer.
- Add on the top layer of cake and finish it off with the remaining mousse. Smooth out the mousse and place the cake into the freezer for 6 hours or refrigerate for 12 hours.
Glaze the Cake
- In a medium sauce pot combine all glaze ingredients and heat over medium heat until all ingredients are melted.
- Once the cake is set, remove the springform ring and gently peel the acetate ring away.
- Place the cake (still on the base) over a bowl or stand that is smaller than the base of the cake. This will allow the excess glaze to run off the edge.
- Pour the warm glaze over the cake starting at the edges to make sure the glaze runs down the side of the cake. Then pour the remaining glaze onto the center of the cake.
- If the cake was in the fridge and not in the freezer the mousse may mix with the cake and run – if this happens just use the offset spatula to smooth out the sides once the excess has run off.
- Use an offset spatula to smooth out the glaze on top of the cake. Leave to set for 5-10 minutes.
- Optionally decorate with chocolate shavings.