Triple Chocolate Mousses

22 August 2005

After watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a couple of weeks ago (I’m a Johnny Depp aficionado), I felt the urge to follow in the footsteps of Mr Wonka and… made this.

The recipe is from my recent purchase Bittersweet by Alice Medrich – a wonderful book if you are a chocolate lover, it’s just a shame that it hasn’t got very many pictures. This consists of three layers of chocolate mousse – from the top down, white chocolate-orange mousse, Gianduja (milk chocolate with toasted hazelnut paste) mousse and chocolate marquise. I wasn’t sure how chocolatey it was going to be, but the balance of the three mousses was just right and I was really happy with the result. As she mentions in the book, one of the keys to getting it right is to fill almost half of the moulds with the bittersweet (marquise) mousse, and top it with lesser amounts of the two lighter, sweeter mousses. The bittersweet layer has a different texture from the others as it has eggs in it – and I thought it contrasted quite nicely with the others.

Making the caramel-glazed hazelnuts was good fun too (aren’t they cute?) – stab the nuts with toothpicks, dip into the caramel and hold them, letting the caramel form stems as it cools. How successful you are depends on the exact viscosity of the caramel so you may need to experiment a bit (and be careful not to stab your mouth when you eat it…)

Anyway, this dessert certainly sated my craving for chocolate for a while, but I already need some more :)

Food - Sweet        53 comments    Permalink

  • As always, your desserts and photos are amazing! Truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Posted by Cin | 22 August 2005 #
  • This looks heavenly! And I love those little hazelnut sputniks :-) Reminds me of a favorite dessert I have in one of my favorite restaurants...

    Posted by joey | 22 August 2005 #
  • Gorgeous Keiko! As always!

    Posted by Zarah Maria | 22 August 2005 #
  • That’s my favorite photo in the book, actually - leave it to you to recreate it just as beautifully! The caramel spears are breathtaking - were they difficult to make?

    Posted by melissa | 22 August 2005 #
  • Whoah! Looks impressive indeed (and I like joey’s description of them as ’hazelnut sputniks’:)

    Posted by Pille | 22 August 2005 #
  • Bravo! You are so talented.

    Posted by Melissa | 22 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    What a great blog of yours! Lovely pictures and yummy dishes. I’m surprised how well you copied some of the food images that I’ve seen in cookbooks, great eye for detail. For instance the ’Vanilla Mascarpone’ post you almost cann’t tell the difference to the original picture!

    Posted by Cathy | 22 August 2005 #
  • Wow. Those toffee spears look sensational! So dramatic. And looks thoroughly delicious too.

    Posted by AugustusGloop | 23 August 2005 #
  • I love Alice Medrich too. Can you post the recipe online please?

    Posted by Jessica "Su Good Eats" | 23 August 2005 #
  • That looks and sounds fantastic. Since we have a copy of the book too, I’ll have to convince S to make some for me ;-) Great job Keiko!

    Posted by Chubby Hubby | 23 August 2005 #
  • Looks amazing, Keiko!

    Posted by megwoo | 23 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko- that sounds so nice to me. I think its gonna be really really good, although Iam not really a big fan of chocolate but I do love Gianduja chocolate. I like any desserts that has hazelnuts and chocolate combined. I actually had the book Bittersweet and this cake is actually my favorite picture too coz its just look so fancy too me. I haven’t really browse the book yet coz its one of my latest purchase and I have no time to really go over the book. I agree with you that how I wish that there were more pictures in that book! By the way, your cake really look so wonderful or should I say even better than the book coz your layering of mousses are really neat. Thanks

    Posted by Cathy | 23 August 2005 #
  • my goodness, after looking this, i don’t want to move to the choc factory anymore.. i want to move to your place!!

    Posted by Lil | 23 August 2005 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much all for your kind notes!

    Joey - is your favourite a chocolate mousse too?

    Melissa - I had actually been looking at the book for a while but couldn’t go ahead as I have a phobia of non-photo cookbooks (I’m sure I wouldn’t have made this if it hadn’t had the picture in it). It was easy to make, but you may need to be patient to get the caramel spears straight ;)

    Cathy - thanks for stopping by. Well, I know I’m not a creative person, that’s why the pictures look similar...

    Chubby Hubby - I’m sure you and S can make (and shoot) much more beautiful ones ;)

    Cathy - thank for your notes, as always. I haven’t gone through the book either - I must say I’m still struggling with the US measurements, but getting used to it... I didn’t have Gianduja chocolate, so I added praline paste into milk chocolate. I don’t think I’ve had it before, is it really nutty? or more subtle? I thought uneven layers look prettier though...? (I poured the marquise too much and didn’t have enough room for the others!)

    Lil - thank you for dropping by, I’m sure I’d live happily in the choc factory... ;)

    Posted by keiko | 23 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko

    this looks fabulous. Aren’t you sick of that yet :P LOL! just kidding :)

    This sounds great sweet but not too sweet and deeply chocolatey mmmmm :)

    Posted by clare eats | 23 August 2005 #
  • wow this looks AMAZING!!! The oompah loompah should have a special song and dance for this one. I love love love Johnny Depp too, Keiko! and love the book the movie was based on. And we did see the movie a few weeks ago - our daughter’s first movie at the cinema!!!

    once again, I am reading you in utter awe!

    Posted by Lisa | 23 August 2005 #
  • Wow your desserts look spectacular! I love Alice Medrich :) The combination of textures and (albeit all chocolate) flavors in this trio of mousses as you describe them seems amazing.

    Those ’spiked’ hazelnuts *are* fun to make, I remember... Also have to say I found it amusing that you made this to partly satiate your chocolate cravings thanks to Willy Wonka... you couldn’t just buy a chocolate bar could you? ;)

    Posted by Mel | 23 August 2005 #
  • This looks so good!

    Posted by PseudoChef | 23 August 2005 #
  • oooohmmm Keiko that looks dashingly delicious! You never fail to impress me with everything you made here - so professional. You’re my role model! :D

    Posted by Kristi | 23 August 2005 #
  • You’re not a creative person ?! Oh come on, your creations are more than enough evidence of your creativity. Like this one, those caramel hazelnuts are awesome ... looks like made by a glassblower. It’s too pretty to eat! Hehehe!

    Posted by celiaK | 23 August 2005 #
  • You must be a pastry chef!

    These mousses are not amateur level....

    May I go to your home and try to eat!? :)

    Posted by sawack | 23 August 2005 #
  • hi keiko, the picture of the triple mousses was the first to catch my eye in bittersweet, in part due to the super cute caramel needles. your picture, however, i must say, looks even more breathtaking than the one in the book! cheers,joycelyn

    Posted by Joycelyn | 23 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, yes it’s a tri-layered chocolate mousse too :) One layer dark chocolate, one layer milk chocolate, and one layer white chocolate...yum!

    Posted by joey | 23 August 2005 #
  • Im a Johnny Depp aficionado too :-D

    Your dessert is beautiful- Ive always eyed that recipe in Bittersweet. It is too bad about the photos in the cookbook, but yours makes up for that!

    Posted by tanvi | 23 August 2005 #
  • Absolutely, incredibly beautiful. You have a wonderful eye. As soon as I’m off my diet .... :). What kind of molds did you use for these?

    Thanks for the visual dessert!

    Posted by Mia | 23 August 2005 #
  • Hi there, thank you for all the kind notes again.

    Lisa - I’m glad you are another JD fan ;) I was watching a ’making of’ on TV a while ago, and Tim (Burton) was saying that the oompah loompah (sorry don’t know the actor’s name) was the hardest working person in the film... he must have been! I watched them training the squirrels too, very funny. DId your daughter enjoy the film? (I’m sure she did!) I’d love to read the book some time and see the original film too.

    Mel - I thought you’ve made this ;) and you are right, I couldn’t just buy a chocolate bar...

    Celia - I just can’t get motivated when I don’t have a picture with the recipe, is that a really bad habit?

    Sawa-san - please come to try by all means :) (Sorry I’ve left the Japanese one too long, will try to update soon)

    Joycelyn - it seems like everyone who has the book is attracted by the cute needles... I feel like I’ve made the right choice when you ’approve’ me ;)

    Joey - ooohh, yum!

    Tanvi - glad to have found another JD fan ;)

    Mia - I used about 5cm diameter x 6cm height stainless steel moulds.

    Posted by keiko | 24 August 2005 #
  • What do you expect from a talented keiko? spectacular photos and yummy dishes. forcunatly i own the book.

    Keiko i hope you tried the tiger’s my familly favorite.

    Well done again.

    Posted by Latifa | 24 August 2005 #
  • Omigod, Keiko. These are beautiful! I have to confess that while I was watching the movie, I too was fantasizing about making baby toffied apples with these ’cherry apples’ from South Africa that my fruit guy currently stocks, and mini blueberry pies, and candy floss (we have a little machine we still haven’t tried out). You’ve re-inspired me. Isn’t Bittersweet such a fab book for chocoholics?

    Posted by S | 24 August 2005 #
  • Hi Latifa - thanks for your kind note, I’ve just checked the tiger cake recipe - it looks like a normal marble cake, but you use olive oil instead, interesting! 1 cup sounds an awful lot to me, but does that work right? or do you adjust it?

    Hi S - wow, cherry apples! Are they as small as cherries?? All of the sweets sound so yummy, I love candy floss! (I remember I had one of those machines when I was a kid...) Let me know when you make those fantastic sweets ;)

    Posted by keiko | 25 August 2005 #
  • Pictures with recipes are not bad at all. Actually a recipe without one isn’t very appetising to me. Sorry, if I sounded a bit off in the previous comment. I meant to say those as a compliment. I think I need to put more emoticons. ;)

    Btw, I continue to be amazed by JD’s acting prowess ever since I saw him in the Pirates of the Carribean. Great guy and dream boat!

    Posted by celiaK | 25 August 2005 #
  • Hi Celia - I knew what you meant, so please don’t be sorry ;) and yes, he was great in the Pirates- too (why was he a bit camp?) I love him in Before Night Falls - he played two roles and one of them was, um, a transvestite :)

    Posted by keiko | 25 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    This looks like it turned out wonderfully. I have the same book and sadly, I have not made a thing from it yet. *sigh*

    Posted by Reid | 25 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko

    ’Cherry apples’ aren’t as small as the Japanese ones we sometimes get here, but they are about 1/3 of the size of a Fuji apple. My gripe with normal sized toffee apples is that there’s way to little toffee to go with the apple. I reckon these little ones will result in the perfect ration of toffee to fruit.

    Posted by S | 25 August 2005 #
  • Yum...I love the spikes!

    Posted by Monkey Gland | 25 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko- for me Nutella taste better than praline paste coz praline paste is a bit too sweet for my taste. I would prefer Gianduja over everything coz its really really good. Thanks

    Posted by Cathy | 26 August 2005 #
  • Keiko,

    I am very impressed by your pastry dishes. I’m a pastry chef and stumbled onto this site. It’s now one of my favourites. The photography looks very "cook-bookie", and your finished desserts look amazing. Tell me, what do you shoot your pics with. That’s one thing I struggle with, making desserts look good on photos. Thanks for an inspiring site!

    Posted by Rudy | 26 August 2005 #
  • I had bookmarked this recipe in the book. Now your photo lends the visual appeal that was missing. The caramel hazelnuts look beautiful.

    Posted by Mika | 26 August 2005 #
  • Wow, Keiko. Those mousses will put the bakery/hotel pastry chefs here to shame as they’re definitely more beautiful. I like the idea of the caramel hazelnuts.

    Posted by boo_licious | 26 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, Regarding the tiger cake: It went excellent, My familly loves it and they think its the best marble cake they ever taste. Maybe you dont like simple things when you reach the experts level? But really try it.

    Posted by Latifa | 27 August 2005 #
  • Hey keiko,

    Stunning pic as usual! :) The triple choc looks wickedly delish. So how long did you have to hold the caramel before it set?

    Posted by Julia | 29 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, i have been a silent admirer of your blog for too long! i think your pictures are works of art, and i love your taste in food. keep posting!

    Posted by zinnur | 29 August 2005 #
  • As stated by everyone above, your post is wonderful - both beautiful to look at and to read. I can’t even imagine how good it would be to taste.

    Posted by Ruth | 30 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, I hate to repeat everything thats already been said but I am very impressed not only with your photos but with your ability to make stunning desserts. Im lucky just to get a nicely formed scoop of ice cream into a bowl without it turning into a mess :) I like the trick with the caramel, it is a perfect topper to the dessert!

    Posted by michele | 30 August 2005 #
  • Hi there, sorry for the late response and thank you for all your kind notes.

    Reid - this was actually the first recipe I tried from the book and it was quite easy to make - you should try it too ;)

    S - I think you are right about the ’ratio’, they must look pretty too.

    Monkey Gland - everyone loves the spikes! :)

    Cathy - oh, I love Nutella - I’ll try with Gianduja next time ;)

    Rudy - I feel honoured to hear from a pastry chef! I was using a minolta A2 but just got a canon 350D - I’m afraid I’m struggling with the SLR features as I’ve never used an SLR before.

    Mika - thank you for dropping by, the caramel nuts were a nice extra touch even though I stubbed my mouth with them :)

    Boo_licious - you’re so kind, it was good fun making the spikes!

    Latifa - I love plain cakes as much as fancy ones ;) I’ll definitely try the tiger cake, I love the name too...

    Julia - I think it says that you stick the caramel-nuts-on-sticks onto the bowl with tape to let the spikes form, but I wasn’t sure about it - so I held each one until it set. It doesn’t take long, actually you need to work quite quickly!

    Zinnur - thanks so much for your kind words!

    Ruth - thank you for dropping by, I think this is heavenly if you are a chocoholic ;)

    Michele - thank you. And I have to say that I’ll be a happy woman when I get a nicely formed scoop of ice-cream ;) I always get frustrated when I take ice-cream pictures - it’s really difficult.

    Posted by keiko | 30 August 2005 #
  • I have the book too and can’t believe I haven’t made anything from it yet. Once again you inspire me to try something out - the mousse looks GORGEOUS!

    On the Willy Wonka note, I had a Wonka bar the other day and actually thought it was good! I recommend trying it. It will satisfy your chocolate craving with a lot less work :)

    Posted by Kelli | 7 September 2005 #
  • Hi Kelli - wow, can you get Wonka bars!? I’d like to try one, did you find a golden ticket in it... ;)

    Posted by keiko | 8 September 2005 #
  • Kelli - I had a Wonka bar today, it was pretty good!

    Posted by keiko | 9 September 2005 #
  • אני מקווה שמישהו יבין את מה שאני כותבת אני משוטטת באתר כבר כמה שעות ולא מצליחה להרגע הכל כל כך מדהים תודה על המתכונים והרעיונות

    Posted by אני | 10 September 2005 #
  • Hi anonymous - I’m sorry but I don’t understand Hebrew (I’m assuming you’ve written in Hebrew), I would be grateful if you could post again in English... thank you.

    Posted by keiko | 15 September 2005 #
  • hi, when you use ring molds, do you put parchment paper inside? beautiful work, i,ve been checking out your blog for a while, finally got the courage to ask smth. thanks

    Posted by maryloo_vi | 26 May 2007 #
  • Hi Mary – sincere apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I don’t use parchment paper for mousse, just pour directly into the moulds and I normally freeze them.

    Posted by keiko | 21 January 2008 #
  • I am looking for a recipe for Triple Chocolate Tiger Cake

    Posted by meichmiller | 24 February 2008 #
  • Hi meichmiller – I’ve checked Bittersweet and it has a recipe for tiger cake, I don’t think it’s triple chocolate though!

    Posted by keiko | 4 March 2008 #

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