Chocolate cake is an extremely delicious and, at the same time, elegant dessert, ideal for celebrating important occasions. This is a demanding recipe, but in the end it is truly worthwhile. The result is a rich dessert consisting of a double layer of cocoa sponge filled with a dark chocolate mousse. The final touch consists of a mirror glaze, which makes the whole cake shine. A simple decoration consisting of a ring of red fruits that follows the outline of the dessert goes perfectly together with the chocolate. The sophisticated, spectacular result will leave your guests speechless.
To make a chocolate cake, start with a dark chocolate mousse. Step one: crème anglaise. Heat milk, cream, vanilla and lemon peel, and add egg yolk, sugar and salt previously mixed together. Cook until it reaches a temperature of 85 °C / 185 °F. Chop dark chocolate, melt in a double boiler, and add freshly made hot crème anglaise to it. Add gelatin, leave to cool, and mix with cream to a smooth, even mixture.
Prepare cocoa sponge: whip butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Add flours, 30 g / 1 oz of egg and Maraschino, and stir. Whisk eggs (55 g / 2 oz of egg and 35 g / 1¼ oz of egg yolk) with sugar, lemon zest and salt in a planetary mixer. Add first mixture to second. Then add cocoa, starch and baking powder gradually. Mix until smooth. Roll out on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, and bake for six minutes at 240 °C / 464 °F. Once sponge is baked, leave to cool and cut out two 1 to 2 cm / ½ to ¾ inch thick discs using a 16 cm / 6¼ inch diameter pastry cutter.
At this point, line an 18 cm / 7 inch diameter ring mould with film, and seal the edges with an acetate sheet so mousse does not come out from inside. Proceed with cake assembly: place a disc of sponge on the bottom of the mould and pour some dark chocolate mousse on top. Lay second disc of sponge on top and cover with remaining mousse. Leave to stand in the fridge for ten hours.
Meanwhile, prepare mirror glaze: heat water, sugar, cream, milk powder, cocoa and glucose in a saucepan. Take off the heat and add gelatine. Leave to cool, add piping gel, and blend everything with a hand blender. Leave glaze to stand in the fridge. After two hours, take cake out of fridge and glaze. Leave to stand in the fridge, and decorate with soft fruit before serving.