Friday, January 23, 2015

A Fantasy of Chocolate!

The Germans and Austrians just love their desserts, the more chocolate and cream, the better. And here's one to make, if you have the time, for Mozart's Birthday! It is called the Mozart Cake, and pays homage to the famous musician! The cake is not hard to make but has many steps, all put in a medium size spring-form pan. This is a fantasy of chocolate and cream and nuts! Take the time to make it, and you will sing praises, perhaps to a tune from Il Nozze di Figaro!

It starts with a meringue base:
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 +1 tablespoon powdered sugar
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3/4 cup ground almonds

The Mousse
3 cups sweet whipping cream
1 cup bitter chocolate, chopped
1 cup white chocolate, chopped

Chocolate Creme
1/2 cup bitter chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon whipping cream
1/2 cup butter

4 oz whipping cream
5 oz bitter chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups  hazelnuts or walnuts chopped or sugared hazelnuts, broken into small pieces

Make the meringue:
Whip egg whites in mixer until just foamy. Slowly add sugar and continue until soft, stable peaks are reached.
Fold in the powdered sugar, hazelnuts and almonds.
Outline the circle of the pan on two separate pieces of parchment paper. Turn the papers over ( so the pencil side is down) and place on a baking sheet.
Using a spatula or piping bag, fill in circles of the meringue using the pencils marks as the outer border.
Bake at 225F for 2 hours until the meringue hardens.

Make the mousse:
Heat the whipping cream until just before boiling.
Prepare one bowl with the dark chocolate and one bowl with the white chocolate. Pour half of the hot cream over the dark chocolate and the other half over the white chocolate. Mix until smooth cream is formed for each and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.

Make the chocolate cream:
In a pan, melt all the ingredients for the chocolate cream, mix and cool.
Putting it together:
Place one meringue base in the spring-form pan and spread the chocolate cream over the top.
In a stand mixer, whip the chilled white chocolate mousse. If it hardened too much in the fridge, let it soften for a few minutes at room temperature before whipping.
Spread the white mousses over the cream. Place the second meringue base on top of the white mousse. and press firmly down.
Whip the dark chocolate mousse and spread evenly over the top meringue layer.Freeze for ay least 24 hours.

After the freeze:
Heat the last bit of whipping cream to almost boiling.
Pour the cream over the dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts.
Pour the topping over the frozen cake evenly. Return to the freezer for about 10 minutes, until the topping hardens. At this point you can cover the cake with plastic wrap and leave in the freezer for a few days.
To serve, remove from freezer and defrost for 3-4 hours in the fridge. Release the cake from the pan using a hot, wet kitchen towel wrapped around the pan to help it slip out easily.
Press the chopped nuts onto the sides of the cake.
Cut the cake with a smooth edged knife dipped in boiling water to help cut it smoothly.

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