Any old excuse for Chocolate Mousse Cake will do ... and it just so happens that Paul's birthday was a great excuse!
A thin layer of chocolate cake or a chocolate biscuit base as the foundation and a light, fluffy dark chocolate mousse with raspberries on top finishes off this sweet indulgence.
Recipe for Chocolate Mousse Cake
Put 250g digestive biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over 100g melted butter.
Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer.
112g/4oz plain flour
175g/6oz caster sugar
42g/1.5oz cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 free-range eggs
125ml/4.5fl oz milk
63ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
125ml/4.5fl oz boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm/8in sandwich tin, ensuring that the well greased lining paper comes up the full height of the tin.
For the cake, place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.
Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)
Pour the cake batter in the sandwich tin and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in the tin.
175g/6oz dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), chopped
110g/4oz butter, cut into cubes
3 large free-range eggs, separated
2 tablespoons of either rum, brandy or Amaretto (according to preference)
200ml whipped cream
Raspberries & icing sugar
Melt the chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add the butter. Stir until melted and combined.
Add the egg yolks one by one, stirring constantly.
Add either the rum, brandy or Amaretto (depending on your preference).
Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed, then gently fold them into the chocolate mixture.
Stir in whipped cream
Layer on top of base, ensuring to press mousse down firmly
Refrigerate till set
Remove from cake tin
Decorate with raspberries & dredged icing sugar