FFWD – Michel Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

Almost five months after buying Around My French Table, there’s still a little bit of the scent of new book about it, but that’s fading fast. It’s now starting to look like some of the most-used cookbooks in my collection. One page has a drop of braising liquid and on another there’s a tiny stain from Valrhona chocolate. I’m sure that there’s also some gluten-free flour mix dusted throughout. At least I don’t dog-ear the pages (shudder).

Ultimately, I think those stains are the markers of a successful cookbook. Though I try to keep my cookbooks safe from my culinary adventures, I inevitably put a chocolately finger on the page or spatter some too enthusiastically stirred broth over the book. I’ve a few that are still pristine; those are likely to end up in a box at a yard sale someday. Those that I enjoy most are no longer so pretty.

It’s safe to say that I’m enjoying cooking from Around My French Table. Learning from Dorie Greenspan and from each other, the group has made some delicious dishes so far. This week’s recipe has inspired me to do a little learning beyond the AMFT classroom. Since the double chocolate mousse cake almost cries out for ice cream, I pulled out my (brand new) copy of David Lebovitz’ Ready for Dessert and looked for a suitable match. I don’t have an ice cream freezer, but that wasn’t too much of a barrier. I used his frozen caramel mousse recipe, along with salted almonds (both of which are meant to be served with sherry-glazed pears and chocolate, but those will have to wait for another time).

The cake itself is mostly a matter of stirring. Once the chocolate is melted, the rest of the ingredients are incorporated bit by bit, save for the egg whites, which are folded in at the end. The most time-consuming part of the process for me was walking down the block to the corner coffee shop, Bump N Grind, to pick up the espresso. I don’t usually drink coffee at home (I’m a mildly obsessive tea drinker) and my neighbourhood is known for very good espresso, so there’s little reason for me to keep coffee on hand. I used to have a fantastic chocolate cake recipe (which I’ve sadly lost) that used a long Americano. I lived closer to Continental Coffee then and entertained enough that they knew exactly what I was up to when I came in. It brought back memories when I walked into the shop yesterday and asked for a third of a cup of espresso.

I chose to bake the cake twice and serve it cold, which is Dorie’s favourite version. You can also bake it once and serve it with chilled chocolate mousse on top or bake it twice and serve it warm. I think there’s some experimentation called for, to make sure I identify my favourite version of this cake. I don’t think I’ll manage it all at once, though.

What I can tell you is that the cake is dense and delicious, reminiscent of a brownie, but much more sophisticated. The hint of espresso works really well with the bittersweet chocolate. Adding caramel mousse and salted almonds? Amazing.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Michel Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

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25 thoughts on “FFWD – Michel Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

  1. Your cake looks absolutely perfect! The caramel and almonds sound like perfect mates for the cake. I had mine warm the first night and chilled the next two.

  2. @Beth – It’s so good! I just took a peek at your blog – I loved how you served yours, too.
    @Tammy – I recommend the Lebovitz recipe. His instructions are clear and easy, like Dorie’s.
    @Betsy – Thanks! I wish I’d tried mine warm, too. Next time.
    @Ker-Yng – Thanks! I feel so lucky to live where I do. I grew up in the suburbs, so know exactly what you mean about houses as far as the eye can see.

  3. Mmm.. love the idea of the almonds and caramel mousse with this cake. Inspired! I agree with you about cookbooks–I try to take good care of mine (I can’t stand it when I take a cookbook from the library and find dog eared pages (shudder)), but I sometimes get a little flour and chocolate smudges on the pages . . .

  4. @pragmaticattic – I agree. I’m often shocked at the condition of some library cookbooks. I try to take even better care of library materials than I do my own books!

  5. Your cake looks absolutely fabulous! Love the addition of the caramel ice cream. How wonderful to have a coffee shop down the street. I live so rural that the only thing down the street from me are a few very well fed deer! Can’t wait to try this cake.

  6. Your cake is PERFECT! Love the crack in your first photo…just the way it should be. AND serving with caramel mousse? Oh, my….wish I had thought of that!

  7. Oh, the caramel mousse is right up my alley. I am salivating at the very thought of it – even if we are in the middle of an Arctic chill – it just looks that good.
    Hey – my philosophy is the more stuck together the pages, the better the cookbook!

  8. @Lynne – thanks so much! It all went together really well.
    @Kathy – I feel lucky to live so close to so much, but sometimes I’d like to trade it in for a beautiful, rural home.
    Thanks very much, Liz – you know, that’s a good reason for you to make it again!
    @Ronda – the plate was an inexpensive score. It’s deep enough to be a soup plate, so I think I’ll be getting a lot of use from it.
    @Cher – I recommend the mousse and, really, anything from David Lebovitz’ book. I’m looking forward to cooking out of it more. (A lot of my cookbooks have that stuck-together seal of approval.)

  9. Caramel mousse and salted almonds + chocolate = my version of heaven. Oh, wow! I also wholeheartedly agree with the need to experiment with this cake–I tried it warm and Dorie’s preferred way and agreed with Dorie. Thanks for the accoutrement ideas because I’m completely salivating!

  10. @Katiebe – it was a pretty lovely combination. I’ll definitely be using some of the inspiration I found in all of your posts the next time I make this, too.

  11. I think the caramel mousse and salted almonds as sides are genius. There were no sides with mine because I donated my cake to a work fundraiser. Love the glorious cracking on top of your cake.

  12. It looks stunning, Teresa! And to make your own ice cream without an ice cream maker? Bravo! I really love that first photo. And I love that your cookbook is getting spattered and love worn. Those are the cookbooks I’m most drawn to a thrift stores and garage sales. They are the ones that have the most stories to tell.

  13. Thanks very much, Elaine. The credit for the ice cream goes to David Lebovitz, though, it’s his fantastic recipe.

    The most stories to tell – that’s exactly how to describe them.

  14. Hi, Teresa. I popped back by for a quick visit to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog – I enjoy reading your non-food posts as much as your FFwD posts and that is why I awarded you a “Stylish Blogger Award” via my blog. 🙂

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