Mocha Mousse Torte with Wild Berries
This lovely torte is made from layers of chocolate sponge cake and mocha mousse, with a liberal sprinkling of Tia Maria and a touch of rum. Chef Girbl makes his own mold by placing a large (12 -or 14-inch) ring mold on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet, then folding and creasing the parchment up around the bottom of the ring mold. You could also use a 12- or 14-inch springform pan. Vanilla sugar is sugar in which a vanilla bean has been stored; you could use the same amount of plain sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.
- Chocolate Sponge Cake
- Flour - 3/4 cup, sifted
- Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons
- Cocoa Powder - 2 tablespoons
- Eggs - 5
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Vanilla Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Zest of 1 lemon, minced
- Mocha Mousse
- Unflavored gelatin - 1 packet
- Cold Water - 1/4 cup
- Eggs - 2
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Sugar - 3/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon
- Strong Black Coffee - 2 tablespoons
- Rum - 1 tablespoon
- Tia Maria liqueur - 1/4 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Strawberries - 2 pints, hulled and cut into thin lengthwise slices
- Blueberries - 2 pints
- Raspberries - 1 pint
- Blackberries - 1/2 pint
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup, beaten to soft peaks
- Cocoa for dusting
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Pistachios - 1 cup, chopped
- Marzipan flowers - optional
To make the sponge cake layer: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line the bottom of a 12-inch springform pan with buttered parchment paper. Sift the flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Put the eggs and the 2/3 cup sugar in a bowl and place over a pan of steaming water. Beat until lightened and warmed; remove from heat and continue beating until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Fold in the flour mixture, vanilla sugar, and lemon zest. Pour into the prepared pan (it will not fill it very deep) and bake 15 minutes, until the center springs back when touched. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
To make the mousse: Soften the gelatin in the cold water in a small bowl. Put the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl and place over a pan of steaming water while beating until lightened and warmed; remove from heat and continue beating until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Combine the coffee, rum, and 1 tablespoon Tia Maria and warm over medium-low heat. When warm, add the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Whisk the coffee mixture into the eggs and sugar, continuing to whisk until cooled. Beat the cream until it stands in firm peaks. With a spatula, fold some of the whipped cream into the egg mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream, being careful to preserve the volume of the whipped cream as much as possible.
To assemble the torte: Reassemble the pan, using a new sheet of unbuttered parchment. Dust lightly with cocoa powder and set aside. Slice the cake in half horizontally. Sprinkle the cut surfaces with the remaining Tia Maria. Place half of the cake back into the prepared springform pan, cut side up. Add half of the mousse, smoothing gently with a spatula. Place the other piece of cake in the springform pan on top of the mousse, cut side down. Top with the remaining mousse. Smooth the top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. If storing longer, cover the surface with plastic wrap.
To serve: On one side of each serving plate, make a 4- to 5-inch open circle of strawberry slices, points out. Fill inside the circle with a ring of blueberries, then a ring of raspberries. Place a blackberry or two in the center. Remove the torte from the mold. Slice the torte into 8 to 10 wedges and place a wedge on each plate opposite the fruit design. Put the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip and pipe a circle of whipped cream on each slice. Dust the whipped cream and torte with a little cocoa powder, then a little confectioner’s sugar. Sprinkle pistachios next to the torte slices. Optionally, place a marzipan flower on each plate.