Intense Chocolate Mousse Cake

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1 hr. 5 mins.
| Servings: One 9-inch cake

There is very little that needs to be said about a chocolate mousse cake. This one lives up to its name. It is gloriously intense. But the whisked egg whites ensure that it has a balancing lightness. A slice of it, with a smattering of fresh raspberries and a dollop of cream, or better still, sour cream, is the perfect finale. It may also invite a certain inelegant gluttony at the end. I have noticed that even those who claim not to go in for desserts come back for more.


  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature and separated
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Position the oven rack in lower center of the oven. Cover the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with a double layer of foil. Using a microwave oven or double boiler, melt together chocolate and butter; set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale, frothy and increased in volume. Whisk in brandy, then fold in chocolate mixture. Place a kettle of water over heat, and bring it to a boil. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and salt until thick. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and continue to whisk until stiff and shiny but not dry.
  3. Fold about 1/2 cup whisked egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in remaining whites, being careful not to let the mixture deflate. Pour mixture into lightly-buttered springform pan, and place pan in a roasting pan. Add boiling water to roasting pan to come halfway up side of springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes; top of cake will be hard and inside will be gooey.
  4. Remove cake pan from water, and place on a rack to cool completely. Unwrap foil and remove side of springform pan. Place cake on a serving platter. Just before serving, dust top with confectioners’ sugar passed through a sieve.

Source: Nigella Lawson via the NY Times Cooking

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