Chocoolate and Pear Mousse Cake

Another cake this week.

Very poor pictures this time, I made the cake on a week night and couldn’t take pictures in daylight. And I used… FLASH! So sorry! I can show you a cloud, to make it up to you! :)  Again, not a perfect picture, but I haven’t seen a clear morning sky in a while, and this cloud made me smile.

Chocolate and Pears Mousse Cake-1

Aside from the unflattering pictures, the cake was GOOD. What else to say, pear and chocolate were meant to live together… in a mousse form, between moist chocolate layers.

  Chocolate and Pears Mousse Cake-3

Devil’s Food Cake Layers

/Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef/

  • 1 cup+ 4 tablespoons (260 gr.) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (55 gr.) cocoa
  • 1 ¾ cups (225 gr.) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 gr.) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4 gr.) baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (240 ml.) yogurt
  • 1 cup (240 ml.) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup+ 2 tablespoons (150 gr.) melted butter
  1. Cover the bottom of a 24 cm. (9 inch) cake pan with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180 °C (350°F).
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer beat the eggs for about a minute. Add the yogurt and sour cream and mix until incorporated.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing after each addition.
  5. Fold the butter into the mixture. The butter should not be hot.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched in the center.
  7. Leave the pan on a wire rack to cool, after that remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

Hazelnut Praline

  • 1 cup (150 gr.) hazelnuts
  • ¾ cup (150 gr.) sugar
  1. Bake the hazelnuts in a preheated to 180°C (350°F) oven for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven, cool and skin using a towel or baking paper.
  2. Use some vegetable oil to grease the sides and the bottom of a shallow baking pan and set aside.
  3. Place the sugar in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Let the sugar melt and caramelize until it becomes golden.
  4. Grab a wooden spoon, add the hazelnuts to the caramel, which will set around the nuts and give the mixture a quick stir. Remove from the heat and place in the prepared pan. Flatten and leave to cool.
  5. After the praline is cooled, remove it from the pan, place it in a plastic bag and crash it using a rolling pin.

Chocolate Mousse

  • 200 gr. (7 oz.) dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon (20 gr.) butter
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate liquor
  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 gr.) sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml.) cold heavy cream
  1. Place the chocolate, butter and liquor in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water, placed on very low heat on the stove. Stir constantly until the chocolate is almost melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted and slightly cooled. It is very important that the chocolate is not hot, or it may seize during the next step.
  3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, while stirring. Mix until the mixture is homogeneous.
  4. Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt with a mixer until foamy, and then gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  5. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks stage.
  6. Gently fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Add the egg whites in 3 additions, folding after each addition, caring not to deflate the mixture.

Pear Mousse

  • 800 gr. (28 oz) whole ripe pears;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (100 gr.) sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml.) water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons (8 gr.) gelatin
  • 2 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup (50 gr.) sugar
  • ¾ cup (180 ml.) cold heavy cream
  1. Peel and core the pears and cut on small cubes (you should have around 600 gr. pears at this point).
  2. Mix the chopped pears with the vanilla extract, sugar and water in a heavy bottom saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.
  3. Boil the mixture for around 5 minutes, until the pears are slightly soften and using a slotted spoon remove around 1/5 (120 gr.) of the pears and set aside.
  4. Boil the remaining pears for 5 more minutes, then strain and puree the mixture.At this point you should have around one generous cup (240 gr.) of puree.
  5. Sprinkle the gelatin over two tablespoons of cold water and let it stay for 10 minutes.
  6. Add one tablespoon of honey and the bloomed gelatin to the hot pear puree, mix well until the gelatin is completely dissolved and leave to cool.
  7. Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt with a mixer until foamy, then gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  8. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks stage.
  9. Gently fold the cream into the cooled pear puree. Add the egg whites in 3 additions, folding after each addition, caring not to deflate the mixture.

Ganache

  • ¼ cup (60 ml.) heavy cream
  • 100 gr. (3.5 oz) chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate liquor
  1. Bring the cream to a boil in the microwave or on the stove.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it stand for one minute.
  3. Add the liquor and mix until the chocolate is fully meted and shiny.

 

 Assembly:

  1. With a serrated knife cut the cake horizontally in three equal layers.
  2.  Place the top layer at the bottom of a 24 cm. (9 inch) springform pan or a cake ring.
  3. Sprinkle generously with hazelnut praline, you will have a lot leftover, which you will use for the decoration.
  4. Pour the chocolate mousse over the praline, reserving ¼ of a cup for decoration.
  5. Place the middle layer of the cake over the chocolate mousse.
  6. Distribute the reserved pear cubes over it and pour the pear mousse.
  7. Place the bottom layer of the cake over the mousse with the top facing down (thus resulting in the bottom of the devil’s food cake becoming the top of your cake).
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  9. To finish the cake, remove it from the ring and transfer it to a cake board. Spread evenly the reserved chocolate mousse around the sides, using a spatula.
  10. Holding the cake with one hand, gently press the leftover praline over the chocolate mouse until the sides are completely covered.
  11. Pour the chocolate ganache over the top slowly so it doesn’t leak to the sides. I did some additional decoration piping melted white chocolate in a spiral and making patterns with a skewer.
  12. Place in the refrigerator until the ganache is set.

  Chocolate and Pears Mousse Cake-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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