Friday, June 10, 2011

Chestnut Mousse Cake

It's already been 6 month since we got married, and one year since we moved to Germany. Time really flies, and so a special cake was in order. I remembered our little honeymoon in Vienna, and the delicious chestnut mousse cake (Maroni-Obers Torte) we have been eating there.

It wasn't easy to find a recipe for it, but I managed to find a website which is a great source of inspiration for Austrian desserts. The recipes are not very straightforward and you have to do a lot of calculations yourself, but it lists a lot of great basic recipes for fillings and doughs. It is probably more catered to professionals.

The cake consists of several elements, so you have to plan ahead. The cake base and the chocolate mousse can be made a day in advance. For the chestnut mousse you have to consider several hours of cooling time, but otherwise it is not to difficult to make.

If you use canned chestnut puree, and end up having a little less than what the recipe asked for, you can skim a little on the vermicelli. The can that I had was 20 g short for example. There is no need to open another can just for a few extra grams.

Chestnut Mousse Cake

(makes one 22 cm/ 8-inch cake)

(adapted from Fred Zimmer)

Chocolate cake base

45 g butter
45 g dark chocolate
20 g powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
50 g sugar
45 g flour

Preheat your oven to 180° C (350°F). Line a 22 cm (8-inch) springform pan with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter together over a water bath. Let cool slightly and add the egg yolks and powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.

Whisk in half of the flour. Beat the egg whites together with the sugar until soft peaks form. Add to the chocolate mixture. Add the rest of the flour. Fill into the prepared springform.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Milk-Chocolate Mousse

250 ml whipping cream
65 g milk chocolate
15 g dark chocolate
20 ml kirsch (schnapps)

Melt the chocolates together over a water bath. Let cool. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in the melted chocolate. Put in the fridge and let it set for a few hours. You can also prepare this a day ahead and let it cool overnight.

After thoroughly cooled, whip the chocolate cream with a hand-mixer while adding the kirsch.

Put your cake base on a serving plate and put a cake ring around it. Now spread the chocolate mousse on top in the middle of the cake. Level with the help of a spatula, make sure to leave a little space, about 1-2 cm (1-inch), to the rim. Put in the fridge and let cool for about one hour.

Chestnut Mousse

6 sheets gelatine
250 g chestnut puree
25 g powdered sugar
20 ml dark rum
375 g whipping cream

Soak your gelatine sheets in cold water. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

Whisk together the chestnut puree, powdered sugar and rum until smooth. If the chestnut puree is very hard you can use a hand-blender instead of a whisk.

Put the gelatine in a small pot over medium heat until dissolved. Add a few spoon fulls of the whipped cream and whisk together. Add the gelatine mix to the chestnut mixture and whisk until smooth.

Slowly fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Carefully spread your chestnut mousse on top of the milk-chocolate mousse. Put back in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Chestnut Vermicelli

200 g chestnut puree
20 g butter, softened
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
10 ml dark rum

With a hand-blender puree together your chestnut puree, butter, vanilla and rum until smooth.

Finish Assembly:

150 ml whipping cream, whipped and slightly sweetened

Carefully remove the cake ring from your cake. With the help of a spatula spread a thin layer of whipped cream on top of your cake.

For the chestnut vermicelli, put your finished puree into a potato ricer with small round holes. You could also use a pastry bag with a small round tip, but that would be a lot more work. Now press the puree directly onto the cake. Put into the fridge until serving.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!
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