I guess if I’m being honest, this is a double chocolate mousse torte with a single layer of fake chocolate. Everyone knows white “chocolate” is no more chocolate than The Real Housewives of New York are classy,* but that’s really neither here nor there. The important thing to note is that this dessert is rich. It’s decadent. It’s velvety. And unless you love chocolate as much as you love your mother, a small slice is more than enough to satisfy a craving. That said, I know a lot of people who love chocolate as much as they love their mothers. And they seem to like this dessert. So here it is: triple chocolate mousse torte.
Ok. First, combine water and gelatin in small bowl and let stand until gelatin softens. Once that has happened place the bowl in some simmering water and stir it around to make sure all of the gelatin has dissolved. Trust me, you want all of the gelatin to dissolve. Trust me. All of it.
Stringy gelatin reminds me of when I went to Mexico in high school and accidentally drank water that wasn’t for drinking. I had strings of slimy green algae stuck in my braces for hours. Not a good look.
Beat egg yolks and sugar in large bowl until the mixture is pale yellow and very thick. This should take about 5 minutes in an electric mixer. Meanwhile, bring the half and half to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Once it starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and gradually whisk it into the beaten egg mixture.
Return the mixture to the same saucepan and stir it over medium heat until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you lick it. I mean run your finger across it. I mean lick it. Remove from heat.
Be sure not to let the mixture boil. Do not boil the mixture. Please, for the love of custard, do not boil the mixture. I only say it three times because that’s how many times my mom had to tell me before I finally heard her. That’s also how many times I brushed my teeth after drinking the green water.
Pour one third of the hot mixture over each bowl of chocolate and stir each batch until melted and smooth. Should it cool before the chocolate is completely melted, set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir just until chocolate melts. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, beat heavy cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold one third of the whipped cream into each bowl of chocolate.
You’re almost done! It’s all downhill from here. Pour the bittersweet chocolate into the bottom of the greased pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and bang it on a countertop to make sure it has completely settled. Place the pan in a freezer for fifteen minutes to allow the first layer to firm.
Here’s the fun part: decorating it. My mom and I made this torte for my friend Darla’s birthday. Because I love Darla, and because I love chocolate leaves, I put in some extra effort and got a little artsy. (For the record, I love Darla more than I love chocolate leaves.) To make chocolate leaves, pick and wash a few pretty leaves, preferably the non-poisonous kind. Melt some bittersweet chocolate in a bowl and drag the leaves through the chocolate to completely coat the bottom sides. Put the chocolate-covered leaves in the freezer until they’re hard and then peel the leaves away from the chocolate. Careful not to leave any fingerprints!
Finally, run sharp knife around sides of pan, remove the sides of the pan and pipe whipped cream around the outside of the torte. Amen.
Oh. And I mentioned that I made this for my friend Darla. Here’s a music video from a band she’s in. I love it. A lot. Do you love it too?
- 1/4 c. cold water
- 1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
- Vegetable oil
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
- 4 oz. white chocolate, chopped
- 5 large egg yolks (save the whites for a pavlova – recipe coming soon!)
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 c. half and half
- 1 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
- Extra bittersweet chocolate and leaves … for the chocolate leaves
- Combine water and gelatin in small bowl and let stand until gelatin softens.
- Place bowl in simmering water and stir until all gelatin has dissolved.
- Brush bottom and sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with oil.
- Chop up chocolate and place in three separate bowls.
- Beat egg yolks and sugar in large bowl until mixture is pale yellow and very thick, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring half and half just to a simmer in large saucepan, remove from heat and gradually whisk into the beaten egg mixture.
- Return egg mixture to same saucepan and stir it over medium heat until custard thickens and coats a spoon. Do not boil.
- Add softened gelatin to mixture and whisk until gelatin dissolves.
- Strain mixture into large bowl.
- Pour one third of the hot mixture over each bowl of chocolate and stir each batch until melted and smooth.
- Allow chocolate to cool.
- Meanwhile, beat heavy cream in large bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Fold one third of whipped cream into each bowl of chocolate.
- Pour bittersweet chocolate mixture into bottom of the greased pan. Smooth top with spatula and bang on countertop to level.
- Place pan in freezer for fifteen minutes, or until firm.
- Repeat this process with the milk chocolate and white chocolate layers and place the torte in refrigerator to cool completely.
- Run a sharp knife around sides of pan and carefully remove the sides of pan from torte.
- Pipe heavy whipped cream around outside of torte and decorate with chocolate leaves.
- Pick and wash several leaves.
- Melt bittersweet chocolate in a bowl and drag leaves through chocolate to cover bottom sides.
- Put chocolate-covered leaves in freezer until hardened.
- Peel leaves away from chocolate and return to freezer until ready to use.
*Dear Real Housewives of New York, I have never met you. It was probably unfair of me to call you unclassy. If you read this and you happen to be classy, I’m sincerely sorry and I’d love to send you some baked goods.