Decadent indulgences and a sneaky sous

Last Sunday’s baking adventure had me baking a Lazy Crazy Chocolate Cake which was pretty impossible to mess up. Throw a few ingredients into a bowl, mix, pour into a cake pan and bake. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. That particular recipe was chosen by the Big-Little aka my sous chef. It was a hit!

For yesterday’s challenge I asked the husband to select a recipe. With careful consideration he opened the book to a random page and said “this one”. This one just happened to be in the Showing Off section of the book – a Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake with FOUR separate components. Yes four. Okay no probs I’ll give it a crack I said full of faux confidence when on the inside I was thinking shhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

Well give it a crack I did! First of all I hit the shops a few days earlier to buy all of the ingredients – which included thickened cream, pouring cream (I don’t know what that is so used thickened cream), mascarpone, dark chocolate, icing sugar, hazelnuts, cocoa, butter, caster sugar, eggs and chocolate-hazelnut spread (I used a healthier version of Nutella because ain’t no way I’d be able to resist temptation with Nutella in the house!). Then yesterday my sous chef – who insisted we bake in our pyjamas – and I got our bake on.

Having a sous chef can be very handy. However they can also be more of a hindrance than a help at times. Especially when all they want to do is lick the spoon or the bowl or eat the ingredients. This was the case with my sous chef yesterday which made for some trying times in the kitchen.

First up was the cake layer. Just four ingredients beaten together, poured into a square cake pan – did I mention paid Kmart a visit earlier in the week to purchase some new bake-ware – and then into the oven for 10 minutes. Once that was cooked I had to turn it out on to a wire rack to cool before placing it back into the pan. Uh oh how was this going to pan out (see what I did there). Unfortunately one of the edges broke off as I performed this tricky manoeuvre but luckily it didn’t matter too much as I was going to place a layer of mousse over the top.

Next it was on to the highly-anticipated star-of-the-show the chocolate mousse. I began by melting dark chocolate and then the recipe asked me to beat cream and sifted icing sugar until it formed soft peaks. Huh? Say what now? All I can say is thank god for Google images! If you scroll down to the pics below you can see I nailed the soft peaks – woo hoo! Then I had to fold the melted chocolate and cream mixture together.

I defs need to practise my folding skills. I’m pretty sure the purpose of folding rather than stirring or mixing is to not work the mixture too much so that it remains light and airy. Once that was done the mixture was poured on top of the cooled down cake. I was a bit concerned at this point as it looked as though this layer wasn’t going to be sitting as high as the photo suggested. I was perplexed as I had the correct-sized tin and followed the recipe to the letter. Time would tell. This was then placed into the fridge to set for FOUR HOURS. Yeah no I didn’t have time for that so into the freezer it went for about half an hour and then into the fridge for another two.

On to the third component – the satin glaze which was chocolate, cocoa and water. Simple! Problem was when I wasn’t looking my sous chef grabbed the chocolate melts off the bench and started inhaling them which meant I didn’t have the correct amount for the glaze. See what I mean about being more of a hindrance than a help. It didn’t matter too much though as it was still very chocolatey. The glaze was then spread on to the now-set mousse layer and popped into the fridge to further set. Oh yeah baby this cake was looking the goods!

Last but certainly not least was the hazelnut mascarpone which was simply combining the hazelnut spread with the mascarpone. Hot damn that is one tasty combo.

Now it was time to see whether all this hard work had paid off. I removed the cake from the pan and voila it worked. My earlier concerns about the mousse layer not being thick enough were put to rest. Although it was slightly higher in the middle as I didn’t spread it completely even – oops – it still had the layered effect I was after.

I then put the finishing touches on the cake so I could prepare for delivery. The edges were trimmed off to make it as straight as possible and then sliced eight (almost) even pieces. Don’t worry those edges weren’t wasted they were swiftly ingested by yours truly! On top of each piece I dolloped on a spoonful of mascarpone mixture, topped with two hazelnuts and a dusting of cocoa. Then it was a race against time to get them delivered to each recipient before they started to melt.

Unfortunately on the way to the in-laws one of their three pieces toppled over on to the other two resulting in a bit of a mess. The mascarpone slid off and the glaze also shifted. *insert crying emoji here* I was pretty annoyed as I took a lot of care in making sure they looked good. However I’ve been assured they tasted great!

Another three pieces were dropped off to my parents and sister – who also highly appraised the dessert. *fist pump*

I saved two pieces for my husband and he was super impressed with my efforts too – yippee!

The verdict: bloody delicious but extremely rich and decadent. I would struggle to eat a whole piece and as it has so much cream ie dairy, so not ideal for someone like myself who can only tolerate very small amounts of dairy at a time. I’d definitely make this again – it’s the sort of thing you’d make to impress at a dinner party hence why it features in the Showing Off section of Love to Bake. Two bakes and two successes so far!

Next Sunday I’m thinking a savoury bake is on the cards! It’s Father’s Day too so I think I’ll ask my dad to choose and he can revel in the culinary spoils.


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