After snowing on Friday, the weather here in New England is finally turning around. Birds are chirping, leaves are budding and most of the snow has melted. It's beginning to warm up in the afternoon but evenings are still cold. It's definitely chocolate weather and this decadent chocolate mousse cake is the perfect complement to the seasonal transition.
Last night we snuggled up with hot tea and the chocolate cake and began watching Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice. The film is several DVDs in length but so far it's excellent. I love the sets, the costumes, the dialogue and the scenery. It makes me wish I could visit the English countryside.
It's sort of funny but this morning I picked up the book, "The Making of Pride and Prejudice" which was included in boxed DVD set and began reading.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about being from the United States and I love living in New England, but every once in a while I read something about American behavior that makes me cringe. When the population of ones country exceeds 300 million, someone is bound to do something to make one cringe (and of course, it's publicized).
Instead of talking about it, I'll simply share what I read with you. Hopefully you will cringe too.
When the producers of Pride & Prejudice were working on the film, many Americans offered to invest. One potential backer called from New York. This is the conversation as described by producer Susan Birtwistle (in the Making of Pride & Prejudice (1995) p. 12.)
"We're very interested in putting 1 million pounds into Pride & Prejudice. Can you tell me who's written it?"Assuming that, if they were prepared to invest so much money, they would have already read the book and just wanted to know who had adapted it, I said: "Andrew Davies," and then added as an afterthought: "from the novel.""Novel? What novel?""Er...the novel. By Jane Austen.""How are you spelling that?""A.U.S.T.E.N.""Is she selling well?""Er...yes. Very well.""How many copies has she sold?""You mean altogether?""Yeah. Since publication.""Since...er...1813?"There was a long pause. "You mean she's dead?" (Another pause.) "So she wouldn't be available for book signings?"
It's like the time I found out they had to change the name of the film "King George III" to "The Madness of King George" because the Americans they surveyed thought it was a sequel.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse Cake
I. Dark Chocolate Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. corn syrup
1 tb. butter
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup of crushed chocolate cookies, your choice
Combine cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to boil.
Pour over chocolate and stir.
Let sit for 2 minutes. Add butter and stir.
Pour half of the ganache into a bowl and mix with the crushed cookies.
Pour the ganache/ cookie mixture into a bottomless rectangular mold on a silpat lined tray, spread out evenly and refrigerate until firm. Save the other half for the mousse recipe below.
II. Once recipe for pate a bombe found here.
III. Dark Chocolate Mousse (adapted from Cannelle et Vanille)
Remaining chocolate ganache, warm and melted.
3 oz. pate a bombe
2 sheets gelatin soaked in cold water
1 3/4 c cream whipped into stiff peaks
Rigorously stir 3 oz. of the bombe into the remaining melted ganache until thoroughly incorporated and set aside.
Use hands to gently squeeze the water out of the softened gelatin. Place in tiny dish and microwave for about 7 seconds until just melted.
Slowly add melted gelatin to the warm mousse/bombe mixture stirring very rigorously with each addition. Use a metal spoon. You need to do this so that the gelatin does not get stringy in the mousse mixture. When done give the mixture the once over with a whisk until perfectly smooth.
Add 1/2 cup of whipped cream to mousse/bombe/gelatin mixture and stir well. Return to whipped cream bowl and push the whipped cream off to the side leaving a space at the edge of the bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into the space and gently fold the chocolate into the whipped cream until no streaks remain.
III. Milk Chocolate Mousse
The recipe is the same for the Dark Chocolate Ganache and Mousse. Simply substitute good quality milk chocolate.
IV. Chocolate glaze from Martha
V. Assemble the cake. On top of the now firm bittersweet ganache add a layer of milk chocolate mousse. Chill until set. Add a layer of dark chocolate mousse. Chill until set. Add a layer of milk chocolate mousse. Chill until set. Carefully remove the mold. Glaze with chocolate. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings and cut into rectangles.