Fool-Proof Chocolate Mousse Cake

In the early years of my development of cooking skills in the ’70’s and ’80s (yes, ancient history , I know) I relied heavily on recipes from Bon Appetit.  Somewhere around 1980-81 there appeared a chocolate mousse cake entitled “Chocolatissimo.”  I made it often – it was a no-fail winner, based on a simple set of ingredients in a mutliple of 10 –  10 eggs (separated), 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, 10 ounces butter, and 10 ounces (20 tbsp or 1-1/4 cups) sugar.

This is a winner by any definition, baked simply in a 9″ springform pan and chilled overnight.  It came back to me, after at least twenty years, as the perfect dessert for a dinner with a very dear friend this past weekend.  It needs nothing but a cup of strong black coffee and maybe a few raspberries or strawberries on the side – and you will have produced a dessert for the ages:


(phto os last remaining slice)



10 ounces + ½ ounce bittersweet chocolate (I use Trader Joe’s 72%)

10 large room-temperature eggs separated

1-1/4 cups butter (2-1/2 sticks)

1-1/4 cups sugar

1 tsp instant coffee granules or espresso granules


-Preheat oven to 350 and butter the bottom of a 9” springform pan.

-Melt the 10 ounces chocolate and the butter together in your microwave, stirring intermittently. Stir in the coffee granules. Allow to cool slightly.

-Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemon-colored and fold into the chocolate/butter mixture.

-Beat the egg whites in your stand mixer until stiff peaks form.

-Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until there are no white streaks; do same with the rest of the egg whites.

-Pour 2/3 of the mousse into your springform pan and chill the remaining 1/3.

-Bake at 350 about 40 minutes.

-Allow cake to cool completely on a rack – about an hour. The center wlll sink and form a crater.

-Once cooled, spread the remaining chilled mousse into the sunken part of the cake, cover with foil or plastic wrap and keep chilled.

-Just before serving, grate the last 1/2 ounce of chocolate over the cake and remove sides of the pan.




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