"I have to add a little update in here as I won't be doing a full post for another couple of days: I am the oh so proud winner of the Caesar Salad round of Hay Hay Donna Day! I'm very excited and more than a little terrified because now I have to pick the theme and host the next round which is HHDD#13, lets hope it's my lucky number! I'll make up my mind quickly I promise."
I'm hoping this is my express route to Brownie-babeness this month as this is my entry for Brownie Babe of the month: Round 2. Hosted once again by Myriam at Once Upon A Tart the deadline is today so I'm cutting it pretty fine, but I just couldn't find a brownie that demanded to be baked. I said it last time but I think it bears repeating, I like my brownies simple, what's not to love about a
slab sliver of impossibly fudgy chocolateyness ( me and that spell check are going to have words someday soon ) that can be inhaled nibbled on at anytime, day or night. Though, the proverbial "if it ain't broke don't fix it" holds true here, there's no harm in having a little fun every now and then.
My road to brownie heaven came close to descending somewhere further south yesterday however, as the recipe that was eventually chosen, was for a Brownie Latte Cheesecake from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book ( yes I know it sounds gorgeous but I didn't make it, okay? ) I got started on the brownie base of the cheesecake early and had taken it out of the oven. While reading through the rest of the recipe, I realised it called for a hour and a half long bake in a water bath. Now things had begun to heat up at this stage and I had visions of an idyllic summers day (cool breezes wafting through the open door etc..) turning it something more like a scene from Dante's Inferno. No more oven time then. Fast forward a few pages in the same book and a bittersweet chocolate mousse cake made itself known: a little processor time + some whipping + a touch of folding = decision made.
I did not fiddle with these recipes except to replace 2 tablespoons of milk in the mousse with an equal amount of the Kahlua that had been part of the original cheesecake recipe. I am a fan of Ms.Boyles, ( I also have Diner Desserts and Simply Sensational Desserts ,to which she contributed ) so I decided to follow her lead ( and I'm not the most confident of meddlers ). To sum up, what we have is a Kahlua laced bittersweet chocolate mousse on an espresso brownie base topped off with swirls of whipped cream and Vahlrona chocolate covered coffee beans. Nothing too fancy then. I confess I haven't tasted this properly yet, just the bits that "fell off" as I was cutting a slice for the picture. I'm going to my granny's in darkest County Galway today and I'm keeping the cake to share with the extended family that will be there, so I will have to get back to you on it's success. I only get to visit every couple of months but plenty of food, wine and walks in the hills are always guaranteed. For some reason though, everyone always looks expectantly at my hands when I arrive to see what I have brought. I seem to have become the keeper of the dessert, I don't know why...
...the cake has been demolished and as to it's heavenliness: well, I'm not sure heaven is supposed to be this decadent! However I will continue along the road spreading the word of the chocolate gospel...
The recipes come from Tish Boyles The Cake Book
ESPRESSO BROWNIE MOUSSE CAKE
For the espresso brownie base:
- 115g dark chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids
- 115g unsalted butter
- 1 tbls instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 60g plain flour
For the bittersweet chocolate mousse:
- 450g dark chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids (best quality please, the chocolate is the diva here so make sure she can perform)
- 140ml milk
- 20ml Kahlua
- 130g caster sugar
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 600ml double cream
- whipped cream
- chocolate covered coffee beans
- To make the brownie base: Preheat the oven to 170 C. Lightly butter the base and sides of a 9 inch x 3 inch deep spring-form tin. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bowl over a large pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the espresso powder, vanilla extract and salt. whisk in the sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs one at a time also until combined. Lastly fold in the flour just until incorporated. Don't over mix.
- Scrape into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake the brownie for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Place on a wire rack and let cool completely in the tin.
- When the brownie is nearly cool get started on the mousse layer. Place the chocolate in a food processor and process until finely ground. Leave it in the processor.
- Heat the milk, sugar, espresso powder and salt over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the milk comes to the boil. With the food processor running pour the hot milk carefully down the funnel and process until the chocolate has melted. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla and process until blended. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool. (If you don't have a food processor chop the chocolate finely and put in a large bowl, heat the milk mixture as before and pour over the chocolate. Leave for a minute then stir until chocolate has melted. Stir in the vanilla and set aside until cool.
- In another bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula gently fold in one-third of the cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining cream until completely blended.
- Scrape the mousse onto the brownie base and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours or overnight.