A chocolatey dessert and the cookbook that inspired it all

Eggless chocolate cake filled and frosted with a chocolate mousse

I’m always on the look out for eggless recipes and quite a few of them have met with reasonable success but the one thing that I’ve noticed when it comes to this is that – trial and error is the best way to get a recipe that works!

This is a real boon for those with egg and nut allergies

When I chanced upon this book, Bakin’ Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro on flipkart.com, I was intrigued. Yes I did want to buy it the second I saw it but then I wanted to be doubly sure that this wasn’t one of those cookbooks that kinda looked down upon those who don’t bake with eggs, you know the ones that go ‘substitute with an egg replacer’ or ‘1/4 cup of condensed milk for a medium sized egg’. No approximations or averages or suppositions, I wanted something that would understand and guide me in my eggless baking journey.

Finally, I saw a recipe for a baked eggless cheesecake online by the same author. This recipe was so simple and didn’t require one to go hunting down the aisles of various supermarkets in search of that one elusive, exotic ingredient and that was a huge plus. So I decided to order this book and there it was all beautifully packaged (courtesy flipkart.com) at home within two days. As I flipped through the book I saw a whole load of recipes that made me want to just shut the book and run into the kitchen and be swept away in the pleasures of baking yet another special something. But I decided to wait, with New Year’s Eve coming up we were having people over for dinner and I wanted to make something a little elaborate. Yes, maybe I was taking a chance by making something different and getting out of my ‘comfort zone’ but by now I am ready to take chances because I’ve got those reliable, go-to recipes at the back of my mind and I know they’ll come to my rescue.

As I was making my chocolate mousse cake, I realised how simple this complicated sounding recipe actually turned out to be! I was pleased as punch. But the one thing that I also realised is that the author doesn’t call for sifting the dry ingredients, all her recipes are one bowl mixes and while that might turn out to be a huge plus where cleaning up is concerned, I’ve noticed it doesn’t provide the same result. So I stuck to my tried-and-tested method of sifting the dry ingredients and then combining the two.

I’ve made quite a few recipes from this book – the savoury muffins, the apple cake, the banana muffins and the one that I’m dying to try out is the baked cheesecake. Considering how my previous attempt at this, with eggs, turned out to be a royal disaster I’m eager to make the cheesecake eat humble pie!

Eggless chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and frosting

The one recipe that caught my eye was the Divine chocolate mousse filling and frosting, I was amazed how it required just a little mixing, whipping and freezing to produce something as delicious as this. So I decided on an eggless chocolate cake that would be sandwiched with this chocolate mousse and frosted with the same along with a little sprinkles, which were also chocolate, I did tell you that this was decadent!

Chocolate mousse

1 1/2 tsp of gelatin
3 tbsp of cold water
2-3 tbsp of boiling water
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 tsp of instant coffee powder
2 tbsp of brandy – but I used dark rum instead
2 cups of heavy cream
Optional: 1/2 cup of cookies, crushed – I left this out

Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water and stir well. Allow this to stand for a couple of minutes. Add the boiling water to this and keep it aside to let it cool down.

That’s the mouuse just before going into the fridge

In a deep bowl beat the cream with a hand-held beater until it forms soft peaks. Add the sugar, vanilla essence, coffee powder, cocoa and brandy and beat for a couple more minutes. Stir the gelatin into this and fold well to combine.

Now pour this into an airtight container and chill in the fridge overnight to allow it to set.

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of baking powder
30 gms of cooking chocolate, melted
2 tbsp of cocoa powder
1 1/4 tbsp of white vinegar
2 cups of sugar (I used just 1 1/2)
2 cups of cold water
2/3 cup of vegetable oil

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa together. Keep this aside for a while.

That’s the cake, just out of the oven

In a mixing bow, mix the rest of the ingredients. Just reserve the water for later on. Now when the sugar has dissolved, add the flour to this  and gradually add the cold water to this while stirring to avoid any lumps. Add water and stir until you get a smooth batter, you might find that you won’t need two cups of water but that’s okay, it works with 1 1/3 cups for me.

Pour the batter into a greased cake mould and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180 degrees until done.

Assembling the cake:

  1. Once the cake has completely cooled down, cut into halves horizontally and place them on two different plates. 
  2. Spread a layer of the chocolate mousse on one half and place the other one on top of this. 
  3. Now spread the rest of the mousse on top of the cake and on the sides. Use a pallete knife to smoothen out the surface. 
  4. Sprinkle some chocolate flakes on the surface. 
  5. Put the cake back into the fridge for about 3 hours to allow it to set.

Cut into slices and enjoy!

* You can add any flavour you like to the mousse, don’t restrict yourself to coffee. 
* Use milk cooking chocolate if you want a more sweet flavour to the dessert. 
* Instead of decorating with chocolate sprinkles, you can use nuts or even caramel nuts for that extra crunch.

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