My husband’s birthday cake request this year was simple—make something I’d never made before.
Little did I know how difficult that would be—let’s face it, I’ve made a lot of cakes. I pored over my cookbooks and googled ‘unusual cakes’. So many of the cakes I came across were simply variations on a theme. An ordinary butter cake, but with unusual ingredients—rose water and pistachios, beetroot and sour cream, tomato soup.
I considered some of those cakes—they would certainly be different from my usual cakes. But to really comply with his request, I felt I had to do something outside my comfort zone.
So I went for a chocolate mousse cake—there is no flour in this cake, nor are there ground nuts to replace the flour.
This cake is a chocolate souffle with chocolate mousse on top, garnished with cocoa nibs and ganache. Eggs, chocolate, and sugar constitute the bulk of the cake (and honestly, there’s not much sugar—it’s mostly eggs and chocolate).
It’s not the prettiest cake I’ve made, by a long shot, and I would definitely do it differently next time to avoid some of the unnecessary faffing around in the recipe.
It is rich. If you like chocolate—I mean really like chocolate—it’s definitely a cake for you. I’m not certain it’s my kind of cake, though. It’s more fluffy candy bar than cake, and while I like chocolate cake, this is a bit much for me. I like a bit of flour, some nuts—something to cut the chocolate a bit, something to give a cake a little more substance.
That said, I am happily doing my part to get rid of this cake, and I’m glad I gave it a go. Next year, though, if he makes the same request, I’m going for the zillion-layer apple spice cake in which each layer is about 5 mm thick and the filling is essentially apple butter.