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Cocoa Mousse Cake

This image courtesy of Del Nakamura

Fluffy, moist chocolate cake layered between a rich, whipped chocolate mousse ... this cake will send you to pure vegan bliss. It's nearly impossible to stop yourself from polishing off a whole slice in seconds.

Serves1 (8-inch [20-cm]) cake

Cooking MethodBaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Taste and TextureChocolatey, Sweet

Type of DishCake, Chocolate Cake, Dessert

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (320 g) dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (237 mL) soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 6 ounces (170 g) silken tofu, drained
  • 2 1/4 cups (281 g) whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (43 g) cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (415 mL) brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup (237 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (59 mL) + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Fresh berries, mint sprigs, or orange zest, for topping (optional)

Instructions

To Make the Cocoa Mousse:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat and allow it to melt, stirring constantly. If you don't have a double boiler, you can place a small saucepan inside another saucepan with about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of simmering water in it. When using this method, be sure that you do not let the bottom of the upper saucepan touch the water (it will burn the chocolate), and that you do not let any water get into the upper saucepan (it will break the chocolate, i.e., cause it to separate).

  2. In a blender, combine the soy milk, brown rice syrup, and tofu and purée the mixture. Add the melted chocolate chips to the blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C; 325°F [160°C] for convection ovens). Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt on low speed until well combined.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown rice syrup, water, oil, vanilla extract, and vinegar.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix well on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until fully combined and smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven.

  6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully invert the pan onto a cake plate to remove the cake. (You may need to slide a knife along the edge of the pan before flipping if you're afraid the cake might stick.)

  7. Once the cake is completely cool, frost it with the Cocoa Mousse. A warm cake will melt frosting, and if you don't wait, your cake will be glazed rather than frosted. Top with the fresh berries, mint sprigs, or orange zest, if using. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Variations

  1. If the idea of a Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake appeals to you, use Peanut Butter Frosting in place of the Cocoa Mousse.

  2. To make the flavor of this cake a little more interesting, add 1/2 teaspoon orange or mint extract to the mousse at the same time you add the soy milk.

  3. To turn this into a layer cake, double both the Cocoa Mousse and Cake recipes and add a layer of Cocoa Mousse between the 2 cakes.

Bakers' Notes

  1. You can substitute maple syrup, agave nectar, or any other natural liquid sweetener for the brown rice syrup.

  2. If you don't have a sifter, you can always use a mesh strainer instead. It's actually faster and just as effective.

  3. Time Saver: Make extra Cocoa Mousse and serve it in a parfait glass for a kid-friendly dessert in a flash. The Cocoa Mousse will stay fresh stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 days.

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