Chocolate Mousse Cake

Total Time:
4 hr
3 hr 30 min
30 min

8 servings

  • For the cake:
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 tablespoons melted)
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • For the filling:
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • For the Dark Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 18 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • Grated chocolate, cookie crumbs or chopped nuts for coating the sides of cake, if desired

  • Cake:

  • Lightly coat the insides of 3 9 by 1 1/2-inch cake pans with melted butter. Line each pan with parchment paper, then lightly coat the parchment paper with more melted butter. Set aside.

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place remaining butter and 8 ounces semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap. Allow to heat for 10 to 12 minutes. remove from the heat, stir until smooth, and hold at room temperature.

  • Place the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on high until slightly thickened and lemon-colored, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 2 minutes.

  • While the egg yolks are beating, whisk 4 egg whites in a large stainless steel bowl until stiff, but not dry, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate mixture into the beaten egg yolk mixture. Add a quarter of the beaten egg whites and stir to incorporate, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

  • Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading evenly, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. (During baking, the surface of the cakes will form a crust; this crust will normally collapse when the cakes are removed from the oven.) Invert the cakes onto cake circles, remove the parchment paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • Filling:

  • To prepare the dark chocolate cream, heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap and allow to heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed. Place heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a well-chilled balloon whip. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a hand whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together.

  • Ganache:

  • Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Chill 1 cup of ganache for at least 1 hour. Remaining ganache should be at room temperature

  • To assemble cake:

  • Arrange one of the cake layers in a 9-inch springform pan, evenly spread half the filling over the cake and top with the second layer. Add remaining filling and top with the remaining cake layer. Chill 2 hours. Transfer chilled cup of ganache to pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Remove cake from springform pan and coat sides and top with room temperature ganache. Using chilled ganache, decoratively pipe stars on top of cake. If desired, coat sides of cake with grated chocolate, cookie crumbs of chopped nuts.

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4.6 25
I made this for our anniversary this past week and we loved it.  Only things I did different were i used my regular mixing bowl for the cake and a chilled glass one for the mousse. When I added the melted chocolate to the cream to make the mousse, i used my whisk attachment on my hand mixer, I cannot whisk that with a hand held one. I followed the directions, very easy cake to make, but very time consuming.  Do not be in a hurry when you start it. Some of the reviews I read said it made too much mousse.  I didnt think so, not if you layer it evenly, it says to do it in a 3-in springform pan, it's going to take all the mousse to get those 3 inches. I will definitely make this again some time.  item not reviewed by moderator and published
Pretty difficult to make, not to mention that it takes a really long time and the recipe isn't very easy to follow. I am attempting to make individual cupcake-sized cakes, and they're pretty soft and are falling apart very easily, and they're not even done yet. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I came across this recipe several years ago but have made it for only for special occasions. It always gets rave reviews but it is pretty expensive and time consuming as a few posters have written. I too have had trouble with the chocolate seizing when making the filling. I solved the problem by bring the cream to a boil and pouring it over the chocolate as with a ganache then stirring until smooth, then chilling it overnight. When it came to assembling the cake I whipped the mixture using my stand mixer with the balloon wisk to desired consistency. It Turned out very smooth and creamy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
DECADENT! My sister and I worked together to make this for my birthday. I mixed dark chocolate bars with the semi-sweet, as we all like dark. My warning is not to refrigerate the ganache too long. The recipe says "at least an hour", which may be the case. We watched a movie, so it was more like 2 1/2 hours, and that was too long. It was really hard and difficult to do any decorating. Cake didn't end up with the professional look I'd hoped for. Otherwise, I followed recommendations of others -- made sure chocolate was very cool before combining with cream, in particular. No problems. I WILL say that this makes a lot more than 8 servings -- almost twice as many, if you're talking about a reasonable amount considering the richness. My nephews asked for seconds but were unable to finish them, despite being really small. Not something you can make often -- even with two pairs of hands, it was very time intensive and frankly expensive. But it's a fun splurge and very yummy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Decadent! Made this for my boyfriend's birthday with his family. It was a huge hit. I'm not much into baking and thought this recipe would be difficult, but it wasn't, just took my time and read the recipe before getting started. I will be making this again in a couple of weeks. The people at the party informed me that I was the new baker - it was that big of a hit! I was very proud. I followed the recipe exactly but I did not have espresso powder so I actually used fresh coffee grinds and a little bit of coffee I had made and it worked perfectly! Thank you for a wonderful chocolate mousse cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Omg, this cake is awesome! Not hard to make, just really time consuming and requires patience. I'm not sure if my cake comes the way it's supposed to as it's kind of thin and crunchy but it seems to soak in the fat from the mousse and blend in real nice so I don't make a big deal out it. Some people here said the filling curdled but it never happened to me. I think the trick is not to whisk the heavy cream for too long as it does turn into this buttery form, which you don't want to. In my opinion is also important to combine just a little of the whipped cream with chocolate first before adding it to the rest of the whipped cream. The chocolate should be really just somewhat warm - but not too cold so it starts hardening again. I don't use all the mousse and end up with a cup or 1 1/2 cups of leftover but that is just a matter of preference. Same with the ganache - I make only half of what the recipe says.I decorate with strawberries. item not reviewed by moderator and published
his cake is a chocolate lover's dream! -if you want thicker cake layers, use cake mix or double the cake batter recipe -melt the chocolate for the cake layers first and let cool while you butter the pans -I inverted the cakes onto cutting boards -the filling makes a lot...I had a lot left over. Go gentle on the filling.I put too much and it's pretty much all mousse, not much cake at all -for the ganache- let the melted chocolate cool before mixing it with the whipped cream. It will sieze if it's still hot. Stir and stir to let it cool. -You don't need steel bowls, regular bowls are fine. -The ganache was too thin to spread at first, so I let it sit out for quite a while before it was spreadable. You could cool in fridge for a couple mins. -I did not cool it for the 2 hours like it said to before putting the ganache on. Probably about 30 minutes. -Do NOT add any other sugars to this- not even powdered sugar to thicken the ganache. It makes it nearly too sweet. Trust me! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was Amazing! I made it for my husbands birthday and it was definitely a big hit. It took 3 hrs. I used broken up Lindt chocolate bars instead of chips. For the ganache I realized I did'nt have enough chocolate only after I began making the cream and butter so made a mental note to use only half the cream. However, I forgot and poured all the cream on the chocolate which made it way too watery to use. So I whipped in a bunch of confectioners sugar to thicken it a little and dribbled it down the sides all around. I refrigerated some, which thickened it some more and covered the top layer with that. It ended up looking better than a store bought cake. thanks for a wonderful recipe. I will be making this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is awesome. I have made it twice and my family loves it. It is a lot of work and time but it is worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderful cake. I had no problems with seizing. Make sure you cover the chocolate tightly before putting it on the heat, and be sure there's no moisture in the pan. It's true that the beating takes less time than the recipe suggests. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Cake is lovely, however cream filling seized and after being whisked to smoothness, once again curdled and reached the point of no return. The timing in this recipe is way off... my KitchenAid got everything done in less than half the time, so beware if you're using a powerful mixer. Don't trust the minutes recommended for electric mixers. Yes, you will be doing a lot of work with this cake... folding batters and fillings and washing lots of dishes. But it seems as if it's worth the work! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake is not hard to make, but it's not easy either. It takes some time and some patience but it's worth it. I've made this many times and have had people request it. The recipe for the ganache is wonderful - I've used it for frosting other cakes and also for making truffles. The layers may break as you put them in the springform but that should not be a problem - just arrange them as best you can and keep going. It will not affect how the cake cuts. Use a really good chocolate, follow the directions, have a bit of patience and you will love this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I liked the way this tastes, and it wasn't that difficult to make. BUT, when I made the chocolate cream filling, the chocolate seized. I thought this would happen -- melting the chocolate and then trying to fold in the cream. Did this happen to anyone else? I ended up having to run the cream through an electric mixer again and the cream just wasn't as smooth as I thought it would be. I think I might try this next time by mixing in some cream with the chocolate first as it melts, and also by cooking regular chocolate cake to go with the cream and ganache. My husband loved it, though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the most wonderfully, decadent, chocolate dessert I've ever made. The Recipe doesn't mention the time needed for total prep---it's several hours but well worth it. Even with little cooking skills you can put this delight together---just follow the details of the recipe, have all ingredients ready to go (eggs and butter at room temp), have plenty of counter space available, clean bowls between steps and have patience. Put your favorite music on and enjoy the process. With this advice you will have success. One change I would recommend on the directions is to melt your chocolate for the "cake" 1st. While it is cooling prepare your pans as this takes a few minutes. Remember, this is a flour-less cake and the "cake" won't have the quantity or appearance of traditional cake batter. The "cake" is more like a brownie when done so do as the recipe says and divide the batter in 3 pans, don't worry about the fill line as you will only have about 1/2 layer per pan. Don't worry---it will be delish. The "cake" is simply the "stucture" to hold the mousse and ganache. Too time consuming to make every weekend but for a special occassion it is perfect. Whoever you serve this too will question that you actually created this in your own kitchen but they will know they are loved for sure!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a wonderfully chocolate flavor packed recipe! BTW---the reviewer below, must not have realized that this is a FLOUR-LESS cake, hence, the small height. We thought it was delicious. My son doesn't like too much dark chocolate because of the bitterness, so I added some extra sugar to the cooked cream for the ganache, which worked out perfectly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't consider myself an expert cook, but I CAN measue ingredients! However, I did not have enough batter to fill three cake pans, so I decided to make it a two tier cake instead of three. Even the two tiers came out quite thin... Has this happened to anybody else? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sooo good. I was running low on time, so I used a box mix and cut 4 layers to fill the mousse in and covered with the ganache. I can't wait to actually make the flourless cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this cake for a recent birthday, and amongst many picky eaters, the rants and raves were flowing! Some comments about the process: 1-a Kitchen aid mixer is an absolute dream for making this recipe go faster. I was able to do most of the work on this cake in 2.5 hours (working quickly of course), and came back later to frost the cake in about 30 minutes. A total of 3 hours. 2-This cake requires a LOT of dishwashing during prep (unless you have endless mixing bowls). 3-not sure what "cake rounds" are, but I discovered that corrugated cardboard covered in tin foil then a flat of parchment worked really good. 4-When mixing the egg yolks and sugar for 4, it seemed to me that it turned thick and lemon-colored far before the 4-minute mark. I went ahead anyway even though my gut said stop. It ended up being very glossy. But the end result was fabulous anyway. Next time I might stop sooner; my mixer may be too powerful. 5-I cooked my 3 cakes in pie plates instead of cake pans. Then I trimmed the edges to fit in my springform pan. It worked quite well. 6-I refridgerated the ganache for too long (several hours), and was unable to get it soft enough to pipe stars all over the cake. In fact, it ended up getting wasted. 7-I used Hershey's Special Dark chocolate based on the recommendation of Cook's Illustrated. 8-I served the cake the same day I made it, and it was terrific. However, leftovers the next day were quite different. Everything melded together, and it turned kindof "fudgy." I almost think I liked it even better! 9-Next time I might use a bitter-sweet chocolate for the ganache or filling, just to add some more depth. This cake is NOT too sweet by any means, but we just love dark chocolate. This is a fantastic cake. Worth every minute!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
easy cake to make. everyone loved this cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this cake for Mother's day and my husbands birthday. Everyone said it looked like I bought it. It was definately the most challenging baking I ever did. I enjoyed it and the results were very nice!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been searching for a fantastic chocolate mousse recipe to duplicate a desert that my honey had years ago and never forgotton. 5 years later, I came across this recipe and made it for him. It was a huge hit, and has now become part of our families traditions. I highly recommend it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was all in all fun! And it turned out perfect and delicious too.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow, this was the best cake ive ever eaten. Im 15, if i can make this.... so can you. even my mother who doesnt like chocolate cake liked it. My bro said this was the best cake he has ever eaten. Pretty easy, recipe easy to follow. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The chocolate is so good!!!! The mouse give's the cake so much flavor. I love it1!!!I would recemend this cake yo any chocolate lover!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very rich. I made it for my husband's surprise party, and it was a total hit. It was gone before we knew it. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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