Recipe by husband-and-wife chefs Franck Tessier and Rachel Portnoy
Enjoy this ultimate Chocolate Espresso Mousse Torte as the perfect make-ahead holiday dessert. It’s even better with a spoonful of Salty Caramel Sauce: All of the flavors explode in your mouth! The cake itself has lightness to it; it literally disappears on your tongue. It’s remarkable that something so richly flavored can have such a lovely, light texture.
For an extra touch, and a little crunch, you can make the garnish to go with it. When I originally looked around for something in my baking repertoire that was crunchy and gluten-free I came up empty-handed. The crunch in the photo, and what we serve at the restaurant, is a simple and delicious mix of our wonderful 65% bittersweet chocolate, melted, and Perky’s gluten-free crunchy flax cereal that we buy at the supermarket. Spread thin on a piece of parchment paper, let set in the fridge and voila! Crunch!
Preheat oven to 325°F.
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped finely
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large espresso or 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
4 ounces soft unsalted butter
Line a 9-inch cake pan with a parchment circle.
Place chocolate, salt, vanilla and espresso in a heatresistant bowl; place bowl on top of uncovered saucepan with simmering water.
In a small saucepan bring cream to a boil and pour over chocolate. Stir to melt chocolate. Remove from water bath and set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer with a whip attachment, whip eggs and sugar to thick ribbon, triple the volume. Stir softened butter into chocolate mixture until smooth, then very gently fold in the egg mixture, avoid cooking the eggs as you incorporate.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place pan in a roasting pan with warm water coming about half way up the side of the cake pan, making a bain-marie.
Bake about 20 minutes, until the edges look dry and the middle is still a bit shiny but set. Cool thoroughly, then chill overnight before running a knife around the edge to release the cake.
Serve with chocolate “crunch” or dust with confectioner’s sugar and or fresh fruit.
Edible Berkshires is a local, independently owned publication dedicated to covering the unique culinary culture of Western Massachusetts.