my husband asked if he could choose sunday's cake and of course i said "yes." he flipped through a couple of cook books and then decided on a bittersweet chocolate mousse cake from the cake book. he went to the store, bought all of the ingredients that we did not already have and came home. i was ready to get started and he quickly intervened and said "i want to make it." and so he did. let me tell you, he did a wonderful job. it is rich and delicious. bravo cute husband.

here's what you will need:

for the chocolate cookie crust:
1  1/2 (6.3 oz/180 g) chocolate wafer crumbs
4 tablespoons (2 oz/57 g) unsalted butter, melted

for the bittersweet chocolate mousse filling:
1 pound (454 g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (160 ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (4.6 oz/132 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
pinch of salt
1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2  1/2 cups (600 ml) heavy cream

make the crust:
butter the bottom of a 9 x 3-inch springform pan. in a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs with the melted butter until combined. pat the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer. refrigerate the crust while you make the mousse.

make the mousse:
place the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and process just until finely ground. (leave the chocolate in the processor.)

in a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until  the sugar dissolves and the milk comes to a boil. with the food processor running, pour the hot milk mixture through the feed tube and process until the chocolate is completely melted. scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract, and process until blended. scrape the mixture into a large bowl and let cool.

in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream at high speed until soft peaks form. using a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. fold in the remaining cream until completely blended.

scrape the mousse onto the crust and spread it into an even layer. refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours.

unmold the cake:
run a sharp thin-bladed knife under hot water and wipe dry, then run the knife between the cake and the side of the pan to release the cake; reheat the knife as necessary. remove the side of the springform pan. if necessary, run a small metal spatula around the side of the cake to smooth any rough patches.


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