Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Double Chocolate Tangerine Mousse Cake

I had to share this recipe before the tangerine season is over. I found it in a December Bon Appetit many years ago, but I can't remember what year. It is a light and creamy white chocolate and tangerine mousse layered over a flourless dark chocolate cake. I usually shy away from mousses that use gelatin, because if you use just a tad too much they loose their soft creamy texture and feel rubbery, like jello. But this has just the right amount to help the mousse to hold its shape when unmolded from the pan, and it still has a smooth, light texture. I love the orange and chocolate combination, and the super sweet, home grown tangerines from our yard make this a winning recipe. 

Double Chocolate Tangerine Mousse Cake

via Bon Appetit
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
• 9 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 5 large eggs
• 1/2 cup ground toasted nuts: hazelnuts or almonds

• 3 cups strained fresh tangerine or orange juice
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 14 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Callebaut or Lindt), chopped
• 6 tablespoons sour cream
• 2 cups chilled whipping cream

Garnish: grated white chocolate and candied tangerines

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom with parchment. Butter parchment. Dust pan with flour. Melt butter and chocolate in heavy large saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs and ground nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until toothpick inserted into center comes out with very moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes. Cool completely on rack (cake will fall and crack).

Release cake pan sides. Turn out cake onto work surface. Peel off parchment. Cut off outer 1/2-inch edge of cake. Clean cake pan. Reattach cake pan sides; brush sides of pan with vegetable oil. Set cake in center of pan (there will be space around cake that will be filled in with mousse). Refrigerate cake.

For Mousse:
Boil tangerine juice and sugar in heavy large saucepan until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice in small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to soften.
Add gelatin mixture to tangerine juice mixture and stir to dissolve. Add 14 ounces white chocolate and whisk over low heat just until melted. Whisk in sour cream. Pour into large bowl. Chill mixture until cool and thickened but not set, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
Beat chilled whipping cream to stiff peaks. Fold into white chocolate mixture. Pour mousse over cake in pan, covering top and sides completely. Refrigerate cake overnight.
 Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Place cake on platter. Garnish as desired.

To candy tangerines:
2-3 tangerines
powdered egg white or meringue powder
granulated sugar

Peel and remove as much of the white membranes as possible from the tangerines, separate into segments. Whisk together 1 tablespoon meringue powder or powdered egg white with 2 tablespoons water.
Dip tangerine segments in meringue mixture wipe excess and roll in granulated sugar put on a wire rack to dry.

printable recipe