Are you looking for a new dessert to wow your guests this Easter? I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite Easter desserts, White Chocolate Mousse Cake with a Floating Raspberry Center. I know that is a really long name, which is why I just call it Easter Cake. The flavor is to die for but the other reason I like to make it for Easter is the timing. It isn’t a last minute, throw-together cake. It takes a few days to complete so I always begin it on Good Friday and finish it up on Easter Sunday.
I was given this recipe by a fellow cake friend over 15 years ago and it has made many appearances at my Easter table over the years. The original recipe is from Sebastian Brecht and was published in the April/May issue of Fine Cooking Magazine in 1995. Like I said before, this recipe takes some time and has several steps to it. Don’t get intimidated, though. It really isn’t difficult, just make sure you start it a couple days ahead of time. I promise that the effort will be worth it. This isn’t a traditional “dry” cake, the bulk of it is white chocolate mousse so it basically melts in your mouth. And the best part is when your guests start trying to figure out how you got that raspberry center to float in the middle of the cake like that.
For a printable version of this recipe, click here.
Below are the ingredients and the instructions according to the day they should be completed. The cake makes 10 servings. You will need a 6 inch cake pan and a 7 inch springform pan. If you want more servings or you only have a 9 inch springform pan, use an 8 inch cake pan for the puree and increase the amounts of all your ingredients by one and a half times.
Here are all the ingredients you will need to make the cake:
12-oz package frozen raspberries, defrosted*
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
*I usually set the berries in the refrigerator the day before I plan to use them and then they are ready when I need them.
Chocolate Cake Bottom
1 large egg, room temperature
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
4 oz almond paste*, crumbled
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. sugar
1 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
*Almond paste can usually be found in the baking isle. It is often in an out of the way location, such as at the top of the shelf or down towards the bottom.
White Chocolate Mousse
8 oz. good-quality white chocolate*, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
*It is important that you use a quality white chocolate since the flavor of the cake will greatly depend on how good your chocolate is. Look for chocolate bars in the candy section of the store rather than the baking section.
1 oz. good-quality dark chocolate*, finely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. honey
*It is important that you use a quality dark chocolate since the flavor of the glaze will greatly depend on how good your chocolate is. Look for chocolate bars in the candy section of the store rather than the baking section.
Day 1 – Good Friday
On the first day you will make the raspberry puree center and the bottom chocolate cake. The raspberry center will need to freeze overnight and the cake can be covered in its pan and refrigerated until the next day.
Instructions for Raspberry Puree
Line a 6-inch cake pan with plastic wrap, leaving at least 3 inches of excess wrap hanging over the pan’s sides.
Defrost the berries until soft. Puree them in a food processor or blender for about 30 seconds, until smooth. Place a fine sieve over a small saucepan, pour the puree into the sieve (a little at a time) and use a spatula to force it through the sieve.
When you are done, all you will have is a bunch of raspberry seeds left in your sieve and the rest of the puree will be in the pan.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the puree and allow it to sit and soften for about 5 minutes. Then stir it into the puree.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, continually stirring until the gelatin completely melts into the puree. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.
Pour the mixture into the plastic lined pan.
Place in the freezer for one hour, until set, then cover the mixture with the excess plastic wrap. Continue to freeze for at least 12 hours.
Instructions for Chocolate Cake Bottom
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan. Leave the sides clean.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the egg, yolks, almond paste, and powdered sugar. Mix at medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, until the batter is pale and smooth.
Sift the flour with the cocoa and sugar. Add this mixture to the batter and stir until just combined.
Add butter and mix for a few more seconds, just until combined.
Scoop the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. It will be stiff.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes, or just until the center is firm to the touch. (This is a very moist cake so you can’t use the toothpick test on it.)
Leave the cake in the pan and let it cool completely. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Day 2 – Saturday
On Saturday, you make the mousse and construct the bulk of the cake.
Instructions for White Chocolate Mousse
Using a double boiler, or a metal bowl fitted snug on top of a saucepan, fill the bottom pan with about an inch of water and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and place the white chocolate in the top bowl. Allow the chocolate to sit for a few seconds until you begin to see it melt on the side of the bowl. Gently stir the chocolate until it is almost completely melted; it is okay if a small amount has not melted.
Pour 1/4 cup of water in another saucepan and sprinkle gelatin on top. Allow it to soften for about 5 minutes, then set the pan over medium heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
Pour 1/2 cup of the cream in another saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat immediately.
Add the gelatin to the hot cream and stir to mix well. Add this mixture to the melted chocolate and stir with a spatula until smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and let the chocolate mixture cool until it is just warm.
In an electric mixture, whip 2 cups of cream until it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then add the rest, being sure not to overfold. There should still be some obvious streaks in the mixture.
Assemble the Cake
Bring the cake out of the refrigerator and spoon mousse into the pan until it fills it a little more than halfway. Smooth the mousse with a spatula.
Remove the puree from the freezer and unwrap. Place it in the center of the springform pan and gently push it into the middle of the mousse so that the mousse rises slightly up the pans sides.
Spoon the rest of the mousse into the springform pan. Use a large spatula or clean ruler to remove the excess of the mousse and smooth the top.
Place the cake, uncovered, in the refrigerator for about an hour. Once the mousse is set, cover with plastic wrap and continue to refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Day 3 – Easter Sunday
On Easter morning I finish up the final steps of glazing the cake early in the morning so that it can set up while I am at church and then be ready for our Easter meal in the afternoon.
Instructions for Chocolate Glaze
Put the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and honey together in a saucepan until simmering.
Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour a steady stream onto the chocolate, stirring with a spatula until the glaze reaches the desired consistency. Go slowly because you may not need all the cream to get the right consistency. You want it slightly thicker than heavy cream.
Glazing the Cake
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and unwrap. Pour the hot glaze on top. (If the glaze isn’t fluid enough to run easily over the cake then add a little more of the cream.)
Pick up the pan and rotate it so that the glaze covers the entire top of the cake. It is okay if some of it drips off the top onto the sides of the pan. If any bubbles appear in the glaze, pop them with a toothpick.
Return the cake to the refrigerator, uncovered, and allow to set up for at least a half an hour.
Before serving, use a hair dryer on a medium setting to heat the sides of the pan and loosen the pan from the cake.
Carefully, unlatch the springform pan and raise it off of the cake.
Now you have a beautiful dessert!
If desired, decorate with fresh raspberries and chocolate leaves. Check the blog next week and I will post an entry on how to make chocolate leaves.
To cut the cake, heat a large knife with a hair dryer or over a stove flame. Slice the cake using a single downward motion.
Be sure to check back next week for those chocolate leaf instructions. Oh, and before I forget, I have to give credit to my 13 year old daughter who took the final photos of the cake for me. She is a much better photographer than I am so I may have to convince her to take more of my photos in the future.
Until next time, God bless and Sweet Dreams.