Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 23rd August 2013

For the last month I’ve been testing various recipes and flavour combinations for an extra special dessert for an event I was hosting and I finally decided on these Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes with Grand Marnier Cherry Sauce. When it comes to stone fruit, my two favourites are peaches and cherries. Growing up our backyard was dotted with peach trees and I can’t tell you how much I miss freshly picked peaches, sliced and macerated in homemade red wine, mmm…yum!

Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes decorated with Crispearls, Chocolate Disc, Caramel Dipped Cherries and Edible Flowers displayed on black slate board.

We didn’t have cherry trees but luckily our neighbour, Mrs. Mascagni had a huge cherry tree that was always laden with dark red gems and thankfully, she shared generously. Recently I noticed the cherry tree was gone and I couldn’t help but feel sad. There are some things in life you grow to depend on and Mrs. Mascagni’s cherries were one of those things for me.

Three Triple Chocolate Mousse Desserts displayed in glasses and topped with Cherry Sauce and fresh cherries.

Cherries and almonds go really well together so I started the layering of the mousse cakes with a Torta Caprese. Torta Caprese is a traditional flourless chocolate and almond cake from Napoli. The cake is named after the Island of Capri where it originated. It’s often referred to as “uno dei pasticci piu fortunati della storia” or “one of history’s most fortunate mistakes”, the original baker forgot to add flour to the batter.

Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake plated on white dessert dish decorated with chocolate and cherry purée.

The cake is fudgy, moist and full of flavour. When processing the nuts to almond meal instead of processing to flour consistency I prefer to process to a texture similar to coarse breadcrumbs so that the cake provides a good textural contrast to the smooth mousse. To prevent the nuts from releasing oils when processing, process with some of the sugar called for in the recipe.

Three individual Triple Chocolate Mousse desserts in dessert glasses.

I chose to highlight cherries in this recipe because aside from going really well with almonds, cherries pair wonderfully with dark chocolate but also amazingly well with white chocolate too.

Mini Chocolate Mousse decorated with crispearls, chocolate disc and caramel dipped cherry on white dessert dish decorated with cherry purée and poached cherries.

To balance off the sweet creamy richness of the white chocolate I layered the cakes with two chocolate intensities, Callebaut bittersweet, 70% cocoa solids and semisweet, 60% cocoa solids. I also used the bittersweet with some added dark cocoa in the Torta Caprese. When I’m making desserts like this one where chocolate is the main highlight I splurge on excellent quality chocolate, it makes a big difference in the taste and mouthfeel.

Triple Chocolate Mousse dessert in glass topped with cherry sauce and fresh cherry plated on double stack of white dessert dishes with dessert spoon.

I’m always on the look out for different ways to decorate my mini cakes and when I was picking up my chocolate at the chocolatier I spotted the Callebaut’s Crispearls. I knew instantly that I was going to use them in some way to finish off the cakes because they would add crunch, a perfect contrast to the velvety mousse. Crispearls are pearl shaped beads that feature a toasted biscuit centre that has been enrobed in dark chocolate couverture. They have an exquisite aroma, they’re quite tasty and their pearl-like gloss make them ideal for adding a refined look to the dessert. They resemble tiny beads of caviar.

Mini Chocolate Mousse Cake decorated with caramel dipped cherry and chocolate disc.

The Crispearls served as a bed for the chocolate tempered discs that I prepared. If you choose, they can also be folded into the mousse, which would provide an unexpected crunchy surprise. I can’t recall if I’ve shared a new product I’ve been using, Mycryo. Mycryo, produced by Callebaut, is 100% cocoa butter in powder form and it makes the task of tempering chocolate so easy and simple to perform. I’ve tried many methods for tempering chocolate and to say I’ve struggled is an understatement, Mycryo is my saving grace, it works every time – thank you Callebaut!

Two plated Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes on white dessert dishes that have been decorated with cherry purée and poached cherries.

I wanted to bring some fresh cherries to the party, dipping them in caramel not only provided more texture but it also brought another flavour dimension to the dessert. Warning, they’re addictive, make extra, they’re so tasty. One thing to keep in mind when preparing the dessert, the caramel-dipped cherries should be made as close as possible to serving time. I tested with and without pits and although leaving the cherries in tact (and making sure I dried them well) prolonged the shelf life they still liquified rather quickly. The humidity could’ve played a factor but if you were preparing the cakes for a dinner party I wouldn’t take the chance on preparing them too early.

Photo of Triple Chocolate Mousse served in glasses.

To add a little whimsy to the plate I sprinkled the cherry sauce with very pale yellow popping sugar (hardly visible although red would be better if it’s readily available). You could hear the crackle pop as I was serving the desserts but the guests didn’t realize what was causing the sound so the fizzy feeling on the tongue was an unexpected surprise. A tip for you, when it came time to serve the dessert, I arranged all the plated cakes on a serving tray and immediately before delivering them to the table I sprinkled the popping sugar over top because the sugar melts rather quickly when it comes in contact with the liquid.

Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake with Cherry Sauce on white dessert dish.

My sisters and I were in Toronto shortly before my event and I was very lucky to have run across edible flowers (thank you Whole Foods – wish we had a store in London). I’ve been hunting for them in my area but unfortunately I’ve never been able to find any. I think they’re so pretty, an elegant finishing touch.

Mini Chocolate Mousse Cakes displayed in a row, one behind the other, on black slate with yellow edible flowers and Callebaut Crispearls.

I was really pleased with the finished mousse cakes, they were a hit, and my guests really enjoyed them. There are quite a few elements to this dessert but if you’re looking for something special to serve these are well worth the effort. Serving the dessert in glasses is a simpler option but just as tasty.

Happy Weekend!

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Dolci alla Frutta, Eggs, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Mini Desserts, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts, Torte

Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes with Grand Marnier Cherry Sauce”

  1. Easy Recipe 4 Free (on Pinterest) Says:

    [About adding me to Your Group Boards]

    Hi Grace (Grace Massa Langlois – Grace’s Sweet Life …on Pinterest),

    I love your Pinterest boards, and I love tasty food.

    Please add me to your SWEETS, SWEETS, SWEETS ❃ board.

    Thank you so much
    ahead of time,
    Easy Recipe 4 Free

  2. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Good Morning, I’ve sent you an invitation to join the board, welcome!

  3. Kumar's Kitchen Says:

    lovely dessert and beautiful clicks as always,you are such a genius when it comes to desserts and sweets:-)

  4. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Aagh, thank you!

  5. Easy Recipe 4 Free (on Pinterest) Says:

    Hi Grace, …(Grace’s Sweet Life …on Pinterest),

    Thank you for inviting me to your “SWEETS, SWEETS, SWEETS ❃” board.

    Thank you so much,
    I really do appreciate it,
    Easy Recipe 4 Free

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