Apple Chocolate and Mousse Cake – Gluten Free

This is an easy recipe for multi-layered, exceptionally versatile and amazingly delicious mousse cake, with vibrant and distinctive flavour combination. The recipe below is for a gluten free version of the cake, but it can be easily transformed to be dairy free as well (step by step recipe here). The cake consists of 3 main layers:

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  1. apple chocolate sponge (gluten and dairy free)
  2. thick tart jam or preserve (from fruits or berries, based on sugar, honey or without sweeteners at all)
  3. vanilla mousse (gluten free) or fruit/berries coconut mousse (gluten and dairy free)
  4. topping for the mousse layer is optional, it can be anything, from thick frozen berries preserve or glazing, to simple crushed nuts on the mousse surface

Toppings:

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Apple and chocolate sponge has a soft and moist texture, without any butter or oils in the recipe. It stays soft, moist and stable for several days. I baked this sponge using either regular sugar, or pure glucose powder in the recipe, for those who do not tolerate sucrose in their diet. In gluten free recipes I used baking powder, but in grain free recipes, I used baking soda. With baking soda this sponge raises better and bakes into a thicker sponge. The texture is a touch more airy, but is does not make much difference in the cake. However, it might be of significance, if acetate cake roll is less than 6 cm wide.

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Ingredients:

apple chocolate sponge layer

for 21-22 cm round cake

  • 100g pure apple puree/sauce (I used blended cooked apple filling for pies)
  • 1 large egg (50-54g without shell)
  • 50g sugar (or pure glucose powder)
  • 50/60g almond meal
  • 20g organic pure cocoa powder
  • 3g baking powder/baking soda
  • unsalted butter to grease the pan

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Almond meal quantity depends on the thickness of apple sauce, puree used in the batter. For home-made thick apple puree I use 50g almond meal, for blended cooked apple filling for pies (shown on photo below) and SPC pure apple puree I use 60g almond meal.

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thick jam or preserve layer

  • any quality commercial fruit or berries preserve with a sharp tart taste (raspberry, blackcurrant, sour cherry)
  • home-made pure fruit puree, I used my own thick plum puree, if puree is a bit runny, add chia seeds to thicken it
  • thick cherry jam with chia seeds

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vanilla mousse

  • 600ml whipping cream 35% fat
  • 25-35g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 2 tea spoons vanilla extract
  • 2 table spoons of thick cherry jam with chia (optional)
  • 4 leaves gold grade gelatine
  • 100ml water room temperature

thick cherry jam with chia seeds

as separation layer and/or optional topping

  • 600g frozen cherries
  • 100g sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 40ml lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 60g chia seeds

Thick cherry jam with chia seeds can be used as a layer, separating apple chocolate sponge and vanilla mousse.

Preparation:

apple chocolate sponge layer

  • put all dry ingredients – almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder/baking soda through the sieve
  • mix them with a whisk, set aside
  • grease baking paper with butter
  • assemble 21-22cm springform baking pan with greased baking paper on the bottom
  • grease the sides of the pan with butter
  • whisk together an egg, apple puree and sugar/glucose powder for 5 min on high until pale and at least double in volume, all sugar should be dissolved by that time
  • add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
  • mix them with a whisk until fully combined
  • transfer the batter into a baking pan
  • spread the batter in the pan
  • tap the pan on a benchtop to make the batter level
  • bake in preheated to 165C fan forced oven for 25-30min, test the sponge with a tooth pick, it has to be dry
  • let chocolate sponge to rest on a wire rack
  • separate (peel) baking paper from the bottom of the sponge
  • rest turned over sponge on baking paper
  • use bottom surface for jam application
  • thick berries spread with chia seeds can be applied on completely cool or still slightly warm sponge

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The sponge in the photo above is baked with baking soda, in the photo below with baking powder and turned over.

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To bake the sponge for a larger cake (24-25 cm), double the quantity of ingredients in the recipe. The sponge below was baked using dusting the sides of the pan with sugar. For mousse cakes with bare cake sides sugar dusting is not my favourite option.

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thick cherry jam with chia seeds

  • cover berries with water in a sauce pan
  • cook to a boiling point and continue cooking on low heat until berries get soft
  • blend the mixture with a stick blender
  • add sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and cook for 7-10 min
  • add chia seeds and cook for 5 min constantly stirring
  • let preserve rest to cool, leave cinnamon stick in
  • best prepared ahead to achieve enhanced cinnamon flavour

vanilla mousse

  • cover gelatine leaves with water
  • use refrigerated whipping cream
  • whip cream with sugar and vanilla sugar
  • add thick berries and chia jam (if using) and vanilla extract when the whipping is nearly finished
  • stir the jam in and whip the mix for another 30-45 seconds
  • gently heat the water with gelatine until gelatine is fully dissolved
  • cool gelatine solution, when lukewarm, add to whipped cream
  • mix everything together with a whisk, make sure that all ingredients are combined into homogeneous batter
  • mousse batter is ready to be poured over 2 layers of assembled cake

making the cake

  • prepare and have thick berry spread ready  (or use commercial jam or spread)
  • prepare and bake chocolate sponge layer
  • turn chocolate sponge over into the middle of a cake plate or cake serving surface
  • apply thick berry and chia spread (or any other jam or spread) evenly, close to the edges, leave 1-2 mm uncovered
  • use acetate cake roll around the sponge
  • use sticky tape to fix the end of acetate roll in position
  • using small spatula or palette knife fill the gaps between the jam and acetate roll, to avoid vanilla mousse leaks to the bottom of the cake
  • the cake is ready for vanilla mousse layer
  • prepare vanilla mousse batter, transfer it into container with a spout
  • carefully and slowly pour the batter into acetate ring
  • gently tap the plate or serving board to make mousse surface level, alternatively use palette knife to spread mousse batter evenly
  • refrigerate the cake for several hours, until vanilla mousse is set and its surface is ready for any jam or glazing topping
  • if using crushed nuts, apply them on freshly poured mousse layer

Unfortunately I do not have step by step photos of this particular cake being assembled. I present some photos of making gluten and dairy free coconut panna cotta cake to illustrate the process.

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I also used some leftover raspberries to decorate the cake before applying cherry and chia jam on top.

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The cake is easy to slice, and it does not need any extras for serving. For purely decoration purposes I used some cherry jam to serve this apple chocolate vanilla mousse cake.

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My plum puree was a bit too runny as a separation layer for the cake, and allowed for slight movement between the top and bottom layers. I took this into consideration when made this cake with peach mousse, and used thick preserve that kept both layers completely stable. The recipe of peach and coconut cream mouse cake (gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free) is coming soon in my ecooking blog.

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4 thoughts on “Apple Chocolate and Mousse Cake – Gluten Free

    1. Thank you, if using commercial jams, the recipe is truly simple and easy. The essence of this sponge recipe that because it is baked in a very thin layer, dry ingredients ratio to wet (mainly apple with egg) is low and the sponge is moist with intense chocolate flavour. It is easy to bake the thin layer, I am not that sure that it will work as a regular chocolate sponge cake, but for the delicate mousse cakes it is a perfect delicate, but very stable base.
      This sponge can be used to make desserts as well. Works nice with yogurts and fruit stews.

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