Tag Archives: dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse Cake

A lot of my favourite foods or flavours are associated with some fond childhood memories. The combination of chocolate and orange is one of them. Have you ever tried Jacob’s Club chocolate orange biscuits? Growing up in Hong Kong, it was such a precious and delicious treat for me as a kid and I would eat it as slowly as possible, trying to cherish every single bite ! This food nostalgia has also given me the idea to make this mousse cake ! I made them into three layers…. cake, mousse and a ganache on top. It does require more time and work, but it’s worth it. Not only do layered desserts look sophisticated, the different textures make every bite more enjoyable.

I made these in minis, but the recipe is good for a six inch cake too. If you don’t have ring molds, spring-form pans will work, but run a warm knife or spatula around the cake before releasing the spring, otherwise the cake may crack.

For the cake

Makes 4-5 three inch mini cakes

  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 150 g cake and pastry flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 6 g baking powder
  • 3 g baking soda
  • 3 g salt
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 mL buttermilk
  • 120 mL vegetable oil
  • 60 mL fresh orange juice
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ml pure orange extract
  • 120 mL hot water

  1. Preheat oven to 350o F
  2. Lightly grease a 9″ x 9 ” square pan or a similar size baking tray and line the bottom with parchment paper
  3. Sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside
  4. In another mixing bowl, hand whisk together granulated sugar and eggs until frothy
  5. Mix in buttermilk, oil, orange juice, orange zest, and extracts
  6. Slowly combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients
  7. Add in hot water, a little at a time, mix until just blended, do not overmix
  8. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes. (To help keep the cake moist, you can bake it on top of a cooking sheet filled with hot water, but handle very carefully)

For the Mousse

  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 375 ml cold whipping cream
  • 2 gelatin sheets (1 g each)
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 2.5 mL pure orange extract
  1. Chill the mixing bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  2. Place gelatin sheets in cold water for a few minutes to bloom
  3. Heat about half a cup of whipping cream in a pot over medium heat until just starting to boil, turn heat off
  4. Squeeze gelatin sheets to remove excess water, add into heated cream and stir until dissolved
  5. While it’s still hot, pour over dark chocolate, stir until smooth
  6. Mix in extracts and let cool
  7. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk remaining whipping cream in the chilled mixing bowl until stiff peak is formed
  8. Gently fold in chocolate mixture, do not over mix

To assemble

  1. Trim top of sheet cake with knife or wire cake cutter to about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick
  2. Cut out individual cake using 3″ ring molds and place each, with the ring, on a small piece of parchment paper
  3. Pour mousse on top of cake and smooth with a spoon, do not fill to the top, leave some space for the ganache
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours to set
  5. Prepare ganache when mousse is set

For the ganache

  • 90 g dark chocolate
  • 75 ml whipping cream
  • 2.5 ml pure vanilla extract
  1. Heat chocolate and whipping cream in the microwave for about 30 seconds (Since we only need a small amount of ganache, it’s easier to heat it up in the microwave)
  2. Stir until smooth, add vanilla and let cool
  3. Pour ganache on mousse cake and refrigerate for another 2 hours
  4. To serve, remove molds by using a kitchen torch and gently heat around rings or carefully run a warm knife or spatula around the cake

Chocolate Madeleines

Madeleines are buttery little cakes originated from France. These shell-like sweets are actually very easy to make. Of course, you will need a madeleine pan. The classic flavour is usually lemon. But as a chocolate lover and an avid baker, I am “obligated” to make some chocolate ones ! And (almost) everything is better with chocolate, right ? They may not be the most eye catching desserts, but they are absolutely delicious ! And I finally tempered my own chocolate! It’s much smoother and shinier !  Here is the recipe that I followed https://www.cordonbleu.edu/news/technique-tempering-chocolate/en . Again, it’s something that looks more difficult than it actually is.  All you need is a thermometer, good chocolate and some patience ! But trust me, it’s worth it ! 

Makes about 20-24 madeleines

  • 120 g unsalted butter + 30 g for greasing pan, melted
  • 60 g all-purpose flour
  • 90 g cake and pastry flour
  • 30 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 g baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 180 g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7.5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • melted dark chocolate for drizzles
  1. Melt 120 g of butter in a sauce pan or microwave, cool slightly 
  2. Sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside 
  3. Whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla until frothy 
  4. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture 
  5. Gently mix in melted and cooled butter, 2-3 tablespoons at a time until just blended 
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight 
  7. When ready to bake, prepare madeleine pan by melting about 30 g of butter in a sauce pan or microwave, cool slightly 
  8. Brush moulds with melted butter, coat with flour, tapping off excess
  9. Place coated pan in freezer for at least one hour
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F
  11. Drop about 1 tablespoon of batter into each mould without spreading it out
  12. Place madeleine pan on another large baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes 
  13. Cool in moulds for a few minutes then completely on rack 
  14. Drizzle with melted, tempered dark chocolate, best to consume within 2 days

Dark Chocolate Granola

Happy New Year ! My first post of 2019 ! Do you have any new year resolution ? I am sure eating healthier is on everyone’s list, especially after the holiday indulgence…..but wait…..I still like my chocolates ?! So……let’s start with a recipe that has chocolate but also healthy and good for you ! How about granola ? It is easy to make and you can pretty much put whatever you like in there, nuts, seeds, dried fruits…..and yes, CHOCOLATES ! Use darker chocolate if you don’t mind the bitterness as it’s healthier. I used 85%, but if that’s too dark, you can use 60-70 %. Normally, I weigh all the ingredients in my recipe, but granola is very flexible, you can easily adjust the amount to your taste. 

I hope everyone is off to a good start this year ! Stay healthy and be happy !    

Makes about 2 cups     

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 50 g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 85 %) 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients 
  3. Add maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract, mix well
  4. Place a thin and even layer on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring once
  6. Cool and store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks