Black For­est Mousse Cake with Cherry Chile-Pome­gran­ate Glaze

Food & Wine - - DECEMBER RECIPES -

PHOTO P. 135 AC­TIVE 1 HR 45 MIN; TO­TAL 8 HR 45 MIN; SERVES 18

For the smoothest, silki­est mousse, be care­ful not to over-whip the cream. Just un­der soft peaks will re­sult in the best fi­nal tex­ture.

CAKE

Cook­ing spray 6 oz. 70% ca­cao dark chocolate, chopped 3 Tbsp. un­salted but­ter 1 large egg white, at room tem­per­a­ture 1/4 cup gran­u­lated sugar, di­vided 2 large eggs, at room tem­per­a­ture

CHOCOLATE CRUNCH

2 oz. 70% ca­cao dark chocolate, chopped 1 oz. 39% ca­cao milk chocolate, chopped 2 Tbsp. un­salted but­ter 3 oz. corn­flakes ce­real (about 3 cups), finely crushed 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

MOUSSE

14 oz. 39% ca­cao milk chocolate, chopped 6 oz. 70% ca­cao dark chocolate, chopped 21/2 cups heavy cream 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

GLAZE

1 cup frozen pit­ted dark sweet cher­ries, thawed, juice re­served 1/3 cup pome­gran­ate juice 1 medium-size red Thai chile, stemmed 1 (1/4-oz.) en­ve­lope un­fla­vored gelatin 3 Tbsp. cold wa­ter 1/2 cup gran­u­lated sugar

1 Tbsp. pectin (such as SureJell Orig­i­nal) 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup

1. Make the cake:

Pre­heat oven to 300°F. Line a 13- x 9-inch bak­ing pan with heavy-duty alu­minum foil, al­low­ing 2 inches of over­hang on all sides. Lightly grease foil with cook­ing spray. Com­bine chocolate and but­ter in top of a dou­ble boiler over sim­mer­ing wa­ter, and cook over medium, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til melted and smooth, about 6 min­utes. Cool chocolate mix­ture 5 min­utes. Place egg white in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fit­ted with the whisk at­tach­ment, and beat on medium speed un­til frothy, about 1 minute. In­crease speed to medi­umhigh, and grad­u­ally add 2 ta­ble­spoons sugar, beat­ing un­til stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 min­utes.

2.

In a sep­a­rate medium bowl, whisk to­gether eggs and re­main­ing 2 ta­ble­spoons sugar. Whisk vig­or­ously un­til light, fluffy, tripled in vol­ume, and mix­ture makes rib­bons, 4 to 5 min­utes. Fold in chocolate mix­ture un­til in­cor­po­rated. Gen­tly fold in egg white mix­ture just un­til com­bined. Pour bat­ter into pre­pared pan; us­ing an off­set spat­ula, smooth into an even layer to com­pletely cover bot­tom of pan. Bake in pre­heated oven un­til a wooden pick in­serted in cen­ter comes out clean, about 15 min­utes. Trans­fer pan to a wire rack, and let cool com­pletely, about 45 min­utes. 3. Make the chocolate crunch: Line a 13- x 9-inch bak­ing pan with parch­ment pa­per, al­low­ing 2 inches of over­hang on 2 long sides; set aside. Com­bine dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and but­ter in top of a dou­ble boiler over sim­mer­ing wa­ter, and cook over medium, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til melted and smooth, about 3 min­utes. Re­move from heat, and stir in corn­flakes and salt un­til well com­bined. Spread mix­ture in a very thin layer (about 1/8 inch thick) to com­pletely cover bot­tom of pre­pared pan. Freeze un­til set, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Us­ing parch­ment pa­per as han­dles, lift chocolate crunch from pan in one piece. Care­fully re­move parch­ment, and place chocolate crunch sheet on top of cooled cake layer in bak­ing pan. Freeze, un­cov­ered, while pre­par­ing mousse.

4. Make the mousse:

Com­bine milk chocolate and dark chocolate in top of a dou­ble boiler over sim­mer­ing wa­ter, and cook over medium, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til melted and smooth, about 10 min­utes. Let chocolate stand un­til slightly cool, about 15 min­utes. Mean­while, beat heavy cream and salt in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fit­ted with the whisk at­tach­ment on medium speed un­til fluffy but still pourable (not quite soft peaks), about 3 min­utes. Fold half of the whipped cream into slightly cooled chocolate un­til com­bined. Gen­tly fold in re­main­ing whipped cream. Spread mousse on top of frozen chocolate crunch layer in bak­ing pan. Us­ing an off­set spat­ula, smooth mousse to sides of pan in an even layer to com­pletely cover sur­face. If needed, dip off­set spat­ula in hot wa­ter, and dry with a towel to make top layer of mousse as level as pos­si­ble. Chill, un­cov­ered, un­til set, about 2 hours.

5. Make the glaze:

Com­bine cher­ries and juice, pome­gran­ate juice, and chile in a blender. Process un­til smooth, about 45 sec­onds. Pour mix­ture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; dis­card solids. Sprin­kle gelatin over 3 ta­ble­spoons cold wa­ter in a small bowl; let stand 5 min­utes. Mean­while, whisk to­gether sugar and pectin in a small saucepan. Add cherry mix­ture and corn syrup to sugar mix­ture. Bring to a boil over medium-high, whisk­ing of­ten. Boil, whisk­ing con­stantly, 2 min­utes. Re­move from heat, and whisk in bloomed gelatin un­til dis­solved. Trans­fer mix­ture to a medium bowl, and let cool com­pletely, about 2 hours. Pour glaze over chilled mousse layer. Tilt pan to evenly cover sur­face. Chill, un­cov­ered, un­til glaze is set, about 1 hour. Pre­pared cake can be chilled up to 2 days.

6.

When ready to serve, use foil han­dles to care­fully lift cake from pan. Run a hot off­set spat­ula along edges to break seal be­tween cake and foil. Care­fully re­move cake from foil, and trans­fer to a cut­ting board. Us­ing a hot, thin knife (not ser­rated) and dip­ping in hot wa­ter and dry­ing knife be­tween each cut, trim edges of cake to form an 111/2- x 8-inch rec­tan­gle. Cut rec­tan­gle in half length­wise, and cut each half into 9 (about 4- x 11/4-inch) rec­tan­gles.

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