triple chocolate mousse cake
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.


spoon of mousse


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).


mousse overview


Instead of talking about it, I’ll simply share what I read with you. Hopefully you will cringe too.


slice of mousse


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?”




“Is she selling well?”


“Er…yes. Very well.”


“How many copies has she sold?”


“You mean altogether?”


“Yeah. Since publication.”




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.


Cake anyone?


mousse and milk


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.


Bon appetit!



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  1. I think a lovely slice of your mousse cake is completely needed after reading about the ineptitude of some of our fellow Americans.

  2. I’m smirking at the ridiculousness of the phone call. I’ve decided that there is no escape, idiots exist everywhere and in every stratosphere of economic class. And the popularity of reality TV has not only revealed how common this ineptitude is, but has encouraged it.

    I love the layers of decadence combined in this chocolate mousse cake. I am hoping that the weather continues to warm up. I’m itching to get out, who knows I might do cart wheels over the next few weeks. πŸ˜‰

  3. LOL LOL.. I know it’s really sad.. especially as a book lover, I find there exist people who do not even know the real classics, even with all the plastering that B&N does.. nevertheless, thanks for the laugh!!:-))) I got cramps laughing LOL LOL

    on a completely different note, that cake… simply beyond words! stunning and crazy gorgeous!

  4. I laughed so hard when I read this. I did cringe. It’s shameful and embarrassing but there are idiots everywhere!!! Stunning cake and pics!

  5. Your pictures are so cool. I love the styling and approach you took. The cake looks fabulous too.
    Here’s my secret. I absolutely love Colin Firth. I ordered the dvd after reading this because would you believe I’ve never seen it??!!!! Your reaction was spot on. I cringed too!!!

  6. you are a temptress! I have been drooling over this all morning! I love the BBC series and own the DVDs – have seen it about 100 times! Colin Firth maker the perfect Mr. Darcy! Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and I have ready all of her books many times over! perfect way to spend the evening!

  7. I’m so very glad I found your blog. Beautiful recipes, stunning photos and interesting stories that accompany them.

    And about Jane Austen and Pride and prejudice, Americans do not have a monopoly on ignorance and stupidity, every nation has its own πŸ™‚ but money allows many good and bad things, among others, that the voice of someone’s stupidity comes before, faster and farther. : D

    Chocolate mousse are one of my favorite sweet and yours , inspite of a touch of decadency, leaves without a word.

  8. I had to laugh when I read this post. Yes, I did cringe but I have tears streaming down my face from laughter especially over the sequel part. Your cake is gorgeous and dreamy just like Colin Firth!!!

  9. OMG. LOL. I totally get where ur coming from. Hilarious, embarrassing and clueless at the same time. Incredible cake photos too El!

  10. that cake looks definitely decadent! Oh my goodness, I cringed too. I’m from the Philippines and I know who Jane Austen was and about Pride and Prejudice.

  11. Omg…. yes, so cringeworthy!!!

    That’s why I prefer never to read interviews with actors or “making ofs” because it just destroys the nice illusion! I read an interview with Matthew McFayden and he said that he never even read P&P. πŸ™ I was never really motivated then to watch the 2005 version, knowing that he had no idea who his character was.

  12. It is a sad comment indeed but one that will become more frequent as students are forced more and more into specialized laserfocused study programs and away from liberal studies that open the world up.

    This guy lives in the blindered world of numbers (as a film biz alum I know his type well). This is why we get remakes of cartoons. Half of the educated in US doesn’t read and doesn’t know anything that’s not new. I had an art department intern from Columbia U. who was a lit major who had never read Shakespeare!

    However, your cake and divine photos are taking me away from all those bad thoughts to chocolate and the brilliant Colin Firth… I am feeling better already!

  13. Love you photos and can’t wait to try that cake, maybe I’ll curl up too as I’m from Cape Cod. I have watched Pride and Prejudice a million times, Colin Firth never gets old to look at.. that story is hilarious, never knew.. I just told my american husband.. I like to rub it in a little.. πŸ™‚

  14. You had me chuckle about George II, “The Sequel”! Hilarious. πŸ˜‰

    The cake sounds delicious. And it looks so good, I wished I could just reach through the screen and …..

  15. Oh no! I’m laughing so hard. πŸ™‚ What a hilarious and cringe-worthy letter. I remember my Canadian friends moving to Arizona for the winter, and the Americans really truly thought we all lived in igloos in Canada! πŸ™‚ This cake is divine and how I love Pride and Prejudice. πŸ™‚

  16. How I love your cake creation! P&P is really a fabulous movie. I bought the DVD and love it! I completely get your mortification about the comments and cringed myself. Oh well, stupid people are everywhere…… I only wish they weren’t so loud!!

  17. Each time I think I can no longer be shocked, something shocks me. Wow. Well, we know that the distribution of wealth is in no way tied to intelligence. : )

  18. Oh. My. Both at the cake and your story, of course I much prefer the former. It looks like a daunting cake to make – I’ve yet to try making layered cakes – so I’ll just dream about yours for now πŸ™‚

    Also love the rough-edged paper/cardboard you used in these shots. Very cool!

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