Raspberry mousse-topped chocolate cake

by Victoria Glass
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Raspberry mousse-topped chocolate cake

Strawberries make up 60% of all fresh berry sales in the UK, with raspberries trailing behind with a mere 19%. Raspberries thrive in cold climates – Russia is responsible for producing over a quarter of the world’s commercial output – but for my money, Scotland produces the best raspberries on the market.

As relatives to the rose, I’m not sure raspberries can be beaten in the beauty stakes. Their delicate form and alluring brightness prove too tempting for greedy admirers to resist. For protection, they bury themselves in the knotted grasp of sharp thorns, which only intensifies the reward after you’ve scraped the backs of your eager hands when picking.

I love the tang of tartness a raspberry brings and how their soft, fuzzy skin bursts with sweet crimson juice. Without wishing to show disloyalty to our beloved strawberries, as far as the pudding menu goes, I’d always reach for the raspberries first. Indeed they are my favourite berry, shining most fervently in confections and cakes. I love the marriage of raspberries and bitter chocolate and find this combination of fresh, trembling raspberry mousse with a wickedly dark chocolate cake base, particularly irresistible.

Ingredients

1
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3 and grease and line a small roulade tin with baking parchment
2
First, make the chocolate sponge. Whisk the egg white with the salt to the stiff peak stage and set aside
3
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolk and sugar until pale and mousse-like. Whisk in the melted butter and chocolate before sifting over the flour, cocoa and baking powder
4
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet before carefully folding the beaten egg white into the mixture with a large metal spoon
5
Pour the batter into your prepared roulade tray – it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t reach the edges of the tin – and gently smooth it out evenly with a palette knife
6
Pop the tray in the oven for about 8–10 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack
7
For the raspberry mousse, Blitz the raspberries (minus the prettiest specimens to top your puddings) in a blender until completely broken down. Pass it through a fine sieve to remove the pips and stir a small squeeze of lemon juice into the raspberry purée
8
Whisk the cream to fairly stiff peaks before gradually whisking in the dessert wine. You can burn off the alcohol by heating the wine and leaving it to cool before adding it to your cream for a non-alcoholic version. Set aside for later
9
Separate one of the eggs and reserve the white for later. Add the yolk, 2 whole eggs and sugar in a large bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until the mixture has doubled in size and is pale and mousse-like. Take the bowl off the heat and continue to whisk until cool. Stir in the raspberry purée before folding in the wine-flavoured cream
10
Squeeze any excess water out of the gelatine and dissolve it in about a tablespoon of recently boiled water from the kettle before stirring it through the raspberry mixture. Whisk the reserved egg white until soft peaks form and fold it into the raspberry mousse – this will create an extra lightness to the mixture
11
Oil your ring moulds (if using) with a small smear of flavourless oil. Use the moulds to cut out a perfectly fitting disc of sponge to line the bottom of each ring before placing the rings on a small tray. Pour the raspberry mousse over the sponges right up to the top and leave the mousses to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours
12
When you are ready to de-mould them, simply pop them, one at a time, onto an upturned egg cup before quickly blasting a blowtorch round their sides to release them. Slide the mould down to reveal a (hopefully) perfectly shaped mousse-topped cake
13
Use a palette knife to transfer the desserts onto serving plates. If you don’t have a blowtorch, you can use a hair dryer instead. Once all of the mousses are plated, top them with the leftover fresh raspberries and serve