Friday, February 5, 2010

Mango Mousse

When the French came up with the chocolate mousse did you all think the tropical countries would remain quite? Well no, they were quick enough to answer the french back with their seasonal delicacy the Mango Mousse. Mango is a summer fruit in a range of tropical countries. However this particular desert is not season dependent. You can in fact make it any time you wish to with canned mango puree or mango pulp. I love making this particular desert because it's easy, less effort is always a hit in parties. This one serves 10 - 12 people. Contrary to the chocolate mousse you might fall short of this one as people might take second helping so make it generously.

I had made this one for my husband's (Prateek's) undergrads reunion at our place. Apart from the reunion being a blast it was a weekend filled with great food, lots of laughter and some great companions.


A friend (Ayesha) made the same with a different serving style. This is an easy and awesome way to serve this great desert without worrying about having a spring-form pan.

•5 cups mango puree (about 7 mangoes the size of two fists)
•1 cup sugar (use less sugar if you do not have a sweet tooth. Mango pulp has enough sweetness so use sugar as per taste bud preference)
•1 1/2 cups whipping cream
•5 egg whites
•1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (use a little more gelatin to create the firmness if you wish to)
•1/2 cup boiling water

1.Sprinkle gelatin over hot water in a small bowl.
2.Stir to dissolve.
3.Cool for 10 minutes.
4.Mix the mango puree and sugar.
5.Pour in the cooled gelatin.
6.Whisk cream until it is thick.
7.Pour in the mango mixture and fold through until evenly blended.
8.Whisk egg whites until stiff.
9.Fold gently through the mango mixture until completely combined.
10.Transfer to serving glasses or serving tray.
11.Leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
12.Decorate with the sliced mango and fresh flowers, or anything you want that goes well with mango if desired.

Serving Tips:

I have so far always made it in a cake style so I chilled it in a spring-form pan again. However as I mentioned earlier in the chocolate mousse recipe you can serve this one too the way you want. In a round glass bowl or separate bowls/cups. A great way to serve it for parties is to chill it in individual plastic cups and just lay them on the table well in time for deserts.

Get creative with toppings. Use any fruit you want that goes well with mango. In various occasions I have used strawberries, kiwi, blue berries et cetra. You can also use a little mango pulp to spread on top with an eating knife to get the glazed look on top. You can also use whipped cream as decoration.

To make it more like a cake well the procedure is same just bake a cake first in the spring form pan, cool it and then pour the mango mousse on top. For the cake use packaged moist white/yellow cake mix but only half of the packet.

Serve Chilled and enjoy!!

Chocolate Mousse Cake

This was yet another request by my husband for his 2009 birthday. This French born depicts its rich classy inheritance through the smooth texture and creaminess. This simple yet elegant desert requires very few ingredients and can be made anytime your heart desires. I personally prefer making it with 60% semi sweet dark chocolate. This gives the mousse a nice color and a foamy texture. But offcourse this could be made with any good chocolate that suits your taste bud.

This recipe is for serving size of 12 people. You can decrease or increase ingredients as you need. 


For The Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot, brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
For The Mousse 

  • 16 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 8 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream


  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan, or use parchment paper liner.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the coffee, oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla and egg. Beat until combined, batter will be thin.
  3. Pour into springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. When cake is completely cool, remove from pan, cut top of cake level with a knife, and place back into springform pan.
  4. To make the mousse: Melt 16 ounces chocolate and 1/2 cup butter over double boiler, stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons vanilla, whisk in yolks. In a separate bowl, beat whites until foamy, gradually add sugar, and continue beating until stiff. Fold into chocolate mixture. Whip the 1 1/2 cup cream in a separate bowl and fold into chocolate mixture. Pour over leveled cake in springform pan and set for 1 to 2 days.
  5. To make the Chocolate Ganache: Chop the 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate and 1/4 cup cream, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. When the cake is completely set, remove from pan and drizzle ganache over the top. Using your hand, gently press chopped nuts into the side of the mousse.

Serving Alternatives
  • If you desire to make it into a quick desert then skip the part of making cake. Just make the mousse and serve it in individual bowls or glasses and refrigerate. This looks good and also is easy for single serving.
  • Or you can also pour it in one big bowl and refrigerate and then your guests can help themselves  


  • I also use raspberry for decoration as I personally love the combination of dark chocolate and raspberry. But get creative and use whatever you want.
  • If you do not have a springform pan do not worry. Springform pan is not a necessity if you wish to serve it in either separate glasses/bowls or just make the mousse in a baking dish. Only difference it would make is that you cannot display it.
  • If using springform pan then you can also choose to make the bottom most layer of the cake with choclate cracker crushed, melted butter and granulated sugar added and then pasted in the bottom of the pan. Bake this for 10 minutes before putting the cake batter. However adding this to the cake makes it very very rich and not everyone might enjoy it.
  • For double broiler effect I take 1 big saucepan and fill it with water in the bottom. Put that on gas and let the water heat up. Them in a smaller saucepan put the chocolates and melt them. But make sure the water is not bubbling and getting into the chocolate. Keep whisking the chocolate while melting so that it doesn't form lumps.

My Learning:

It's a chocolate lovers desert which is extremely rich. So avoid making it if your guests are not that into chocolate. Serve it with coffee or a good wine to subdue the chocolate taste. This particular recipe though is for 12 people but can easily serve 16 people as the serving size gets smaller because of the richness of the desert. Last but not the least true title that suits this is "IT'S DEATH BY CHOCOLATE"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black Forest Cake

The word "Baking" sounds so complicated and difficult. But it's one of the most easily acquired skills if you have an appetite for it. As a kid I always assisted my mom in making our most awaited home made cakes during every vacation and I loved the process. But growing up I left it somewhere behind. Years later my senses got intrigued again when my cousin baked me a chocolate-orange cheesecake for my birthday and it just looked and tasted absolutely delicious. That's when I decided to start baking again. Living in the western part of the world makes easy availability of ingredients , hence the process more fun, enjoyable and cherish-able.

Baking is fun. It can be an amazing way to spend quality time with friends and family. I personally love the aroma of baking in house and it is a big stress buster for me. Hence, baking for me has become a way to make my family and friends feel special.

My husband and my best friend has been telling me for a while to put my recipes together but I never gave it a serious thought. But now with inflow of requests from friends for the recipe from my most recent baking expedition I finally decided to put the recipes together and spread the baking fever. Hereon I start this blog with the recipe in demand "Black Forest Cake"

I had made this cake for my husband's birthday this year. Every year I bake him a cake that he requests and this year it was the most famous German recipe the Black Forest but not the true German version. The one I made it is the way we get it back in India - moist chocolate cake with cherry and cream filling. I made it for 12 people but here I am downsizing the recipe for 4 people.

Ingredient For Cake:
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (or self raising flour or Indian Maida)
  • 3 tablespoons and 1-3/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons shortening (shortening is a form of fat most commonly known as vegetable shortening. Famous brand in US is Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (you can make it by taking 1TBSP of yogurt and add water to it in a cup and whisk it)
For inside icing layer:
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons kirschwasser (you can find kirshwasser in cocktail mix section in grocery stores. It is a cherry liquor)
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup and 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon strong brewed coffee
  • 2/3 (14 ounce) can Marschino cherries / pitted bing cherries, drained and chopped(or any red color sweet/tangy canned or fresh cherry that is easily available)
For top layer icing:
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kirschwasser
  • 1/3 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the bottom of the baking pan and sprinkle some flour and dust away. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour into round 8 inch pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove paper from the cakes. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 3 layers total. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk or heavy cream. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the chopped cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirshwasser. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on semisweet baking chocolate. 
  6. Save some cherries for garnishing later. Once you are done with icing the cake make circles on top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Place the cherries on top of the circles for a grand look


  1. For cake you can also buy pre mixed ready to make moist chocolate cake mix (like Betty Crockers / Pillsbury). This will make the process further easier.
  2. I always bake the cake a night before. It makes it easier to cut and layer it later also helps the cake to cool down completely. But after baking do remember to take it out of the oven, cover with a foil so that the cake does not pick up odors or become hard.
  3. I also soak the cherries in kirshwasser a night before to get the strong flavor. In case you don't want to use any alcoholic content or if your are making it for kids then simply skip using kirshwasser wherever it is mentioned.
  4. Make the cake in one baking dish then cool it completely. After cooling turn it out of the baking dish on a plate. To cut layers if you don't have a cake cutter then simply take a thread and wrap it around the cake exactly on the portion from where you wish to cut the layer and then slowly pull the thread towards yourself.
  5. Cut the cake in 3 layers


Every baking expedition is a new experience. Do not get demotivated or thrown off by the mishaps. They are infact the fun part. How you do damage control shows of your skills of managing a bad situation I guess or rather I would say trains me that way. So this time after I baked the cake (which was a night before) I went out partying LOL. Partied all night, next morning went out again forgetting all about the cake (thankfully I had taken it out of the oven and covered it). Finally next day evening I remembered that I had to finish making the cake before guests came in. Now when I turned the cake out of the baking dish OMG it was too late and the cake had started to stick to the baking dish. Oops that's a bad sign specially when you know you have to cut the cake. Thankfully I had baked it in a spring form pan so I could open it up and started cutting the layers. The first two layers were fine and eeks here comes the last layer which is at the bottom. It was a nightmare. Taking it out of the sticky bottom and then putting it carefully on the serving dish for icing was a torture.

Statuary Warnings:

  1. Take the cake out of the baking dish as soon as it cools down. Don't leave it for too long especially the ones you know you have to layer.
  2. Get more cherries than required. Good amount of cherries feels good in the cake.
  3. Use as less sugar as possible for the inside icing or it may become too sweet. 
  4. Uuse either confectioners sugar or grind sugar to get the fine powder.
  5. Last but not the least alway keep your cakes covered as they tend to pick up odor and air very fast which ruins it completely.