Chocolate Mehndi Mousse Cakes




Introduction: Chocolate Mehndi Mousse Cakes

These cakes are an idea I wanted to try out using some baking techniques that were new to me. I love the mousse cakes you can get in a nice bakery with the designs on the outer cake piece. It turns out that you can do this at home and make it as simple or complex as you like!

Step 1: Materials and Planning

Joconde cake
Decorative paste:
3oz cake flour, sifted
1.25oz unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
4oz butter, room temperature
4oz powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Joconde sponge:
2oz blanched ground almonds*
2oz powdered sugar
2oz flour
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
1oz granulated sugar
1oz melted butter
*You can make your own ground almonds by processing chopped almonds in a food processor until finely ground.

Dark, Milk and White Chocolate Mousse
Pate a bombe:
4oz granulated sugar
1oz glucose (corn syrup)
2oz water
3 eggs yolks

Chocolate Mousse (measure out for each chocolate flavor):
1oz pate a bombe
1 tsp gelatin powder
1 tbs ice cold water
2 tbs whipped cream, not whipped
1.5oz chocolate, melted and cooled
4oz whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

Chocolate decorations:
1oz melted dark chocolate

Decoration planning:
Parchment paper
Google search for mehndi designs

Baking tools:
Cake pan, 14in. x 10in.
2 ring molds, 3.5in. diameter x 2in. height
2 glasses/cups
Double boiler or microwave
Mixing bowls

Step 2: Create the Mehndi Designs

Create the cake designs:
1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of your cake pan, with a little bit for overhang on the long sides (for lifting the cake out easily after baking).
2. Measure out the the height and length of your ring molds and mark these out on your parchment paper, in the baking area. Leave room for the cake bottoms (same size/shape as if you'd use the ring mold as a cookie cutter on the cake).
3. On the underside of the parchment paper draw your design in pencil.

Create the decoration designs:
1. Cut two pieces of parchment paper the same height as the ring molds, but only half the length.
2. Draw a decoration design for the top of the cake. All the pieces of this design need to touch to support itself on the cake.
3. Put the 1oz of melted chocolate in a squeezy bottle with a fine tip or a piping bag with fine tip.
4. Place the design paper pencil side down and trace the design in chocolate.
5. Put the design in each ring mold, then place them in the fridge to set.
6. Once set, slide the parchment papers with design out of the ring molds and gently set aside in the fridge for later use.

Step 3: Make the Joconde Cake

I always wanted to know how the designs on those little mousse cakes in bakeries were made. It's a bit of a weird google search ("mousse cake designs"? "Neat looking cakes?") but I found out that it is called "Joconde Cake" and is something you can do at home if you have the patience.

Make the Chocolate Paste:
1. Sift cocoa powder and cake flour together in a mixing bowl.
2. In another mixing bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar together.
3. Add the egg whites one at a time to the creamed mixture, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add the vanilla extract to the creamed mixture.
5. Add the cocoa mixture to the creamed mixture and mix until just combined.

Draw the design with the chocolate paste:
1. Place the parchment paper down in the cake pan. The pencil drawings should be face down. Use a little bit of the paste to secure the parchment paper to the pan at each corner.
2. Put some paste in a pastry bag and pipe your design, using the pencil drawings as a guide.
3. Chill the tray in the fridge or freezer with piped design for 20 minutes or until firm.

Make the Joconde sponge cake:
1. Mix the ground almonds, powdered sugar and flour in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix in the whole eggs on high for about 5 minutes. The mixture should be at the ribbon stage.
3. Mix in the egg yolk until combined, then set aside.
4. Whip the egg whites with the sugar until soft peaks form.
5. Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
6. Stir in the melted butter. It mixes easiest if you pour a thin stream into the batter as you mix, so that it incorporates as it touches the egg mixture.
7. Fold in the remaining egg whites.

Prepare to bake:
1.Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
2. Remove the baking tray with piped cake decorate from fridge/freezer.
3. Gently pour the Joconde cake mixture into the tray, making sure to cover the piped decoration well and spreading the Joconde evenly without disturbing the decoration.
4. Bake the cake for 5-10 minutes, or until just set and the cake has very slightly changed color to golden color.

Cool the cake:
1. Dust flour on the top of the sponge then invert onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2. Cut in to the correct strips for the ring molds and use the ring molds to cut out two circles for the base.

Assemble the cakes:
1. Wash and dry the cake pan (or use a second one) and place two pieces of parchment paper large enough for the ring molds to sit on.
2. Place a ring mold on each parchment square. If you like, you can also line the ring mold with parchment paper to make the ring mold taller.
3. Gently place a cake strip into each ring mold so that it lines the mold with the design facing out.
4. Gently place a cake bottom into each ring mold. You will need to trim a small edge off each cake bottom to get it to fit in the ring molds with the cake strips.

Now we are ready for the mousse!

Step 4: Make the Mousse in Each Chocolate Flavor

Pate a bombe:
1. Put the sugar, corn syrup and water in a pan. Hook your candy thermometer to the edge of the pan with the tip in the mixture.
2. Heat the mixture to 240 F.
3. In a mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks until they are pale and doubled in size. They should be the ribbon stage.
4. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg yolks in a thin stream, mixing all the while on low. The sugar stream shouldn't go directly into the beaters as this will fling sugar around. Pour just to the side of the beaters.
5. Once the sugar mixture is all in, continue to mix on high until the mixture is fluffy, glossy and thickly sticky. The bowl should be nearly cool.

Chocolate mousse:
1. Put the gelatin in a small bowl and pour the ice water over it. This is blooming the gelatin.
2. Warm the 2tbs of cream and add the gelatin mixture. Heat until the gelatin is dissolved.
3. Add this gelatin mixture to the whipped cream, folding in until incorporated but don't overmix.
4. Add in 1oz of pate a bombe, folding in until incorporated but don't overmix.
5. Add in the melted chocolate, folding in until incorporated.
Do this for each flavor: Dark, Milk and White chocolates.

Step 5: Assemble the Cakes

1. Pour in the dark chocolate mousse to about 1/3 up the ring mold for each ring mold/cup.
2. Chill for 10 minutes.
3. Now pour in the milk chocolate mousse about to the 2/3 mark on the ring molds/cups.
4. Chill for 10 minutes.
5. Now pour in the white chocolate mousse to just 1/8th of an inch over the edge of the cake ring. We want a little cake to peep out the top of the cake.
6. Chill for 2 hours.

Final decoration:
1. Gently peel the parchment paper from the chocolate decorations.
2. Place one on each cake.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Keep chilled until you are ready to eat!

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    I also wanted to add, someone below asked about fruit pectin. I too could not find gelatin one time I made the mousse and I used pectin. I found that the 1 tsp asked for looked far too runny after sitting for 15 mins. I double the amount and it appeared to have a consistency very similar to 1 tsp gelatin.

    Long story short, if you have fruit pectin double the amount and your mousse will be fine, I couldn't tell the difference personally.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I've actually never made this cake, only your mousse recipe, which is my go-to recipe, its perfect every time. Thanks a bunch!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is gorgeous! And much simpler to make than I imagined it would be! Thank you for sharing. I will definitely be making these


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is so beautiful. I am going to make something like this for my dayghter's 30th birthday next week. In our family, we make Charlottes. they are a style of mousse on the inside and cake on the outside puddings with a creamy filling and ladyfingers. We make the Charlotte Russe which is a mocha flavor or a strawberry one. My daughter is more sophisticated than me so I am going to make her favorite combination of lemon cake ( i'm thinking lemon cake with darker orangy yellow designs-colored white chocolate) with a Rose flavored cream filling. If it turns out, I will post the photos. If you are still interested in fillings and haven't found your way to Charlottes, have a look, they are divine. Thank you again for your wonderful inspiration and great great instructions. I am really looking forward to making this cake.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    These look absolutely amazing. I have a question though-- my sister can't have gelatin. Is fruit pectin an acceptable substitute?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not sure as I haven't tried it with fruit pectin. I'm not sure it will set to the same firmness, but you can try.

    The other gelatin alternative is agar agar, but that never seems to work for me. For the agar, I think you will need to adjust for the fact that agar needs to be heated and then sets as it cools. It shouldn't be disturbed while it sets (below 50C) or it won't set properly so you need to do all the mixing after it heats but before it cools that much. My experience with it is that it doesn't work. Perhaps someone else has a foolproof way of using it.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Last weekend I printed out this instructable and gave it a go. All in all turned out pretty good - yours turned out better! I could not find cake rings, so I made my own out of folded aluminum. This worked well. Making the chocolate topper worked great, I will be using this again I am sure. The piping of the design for the cake part worked great (the parchment paper is hard to remove, but patience is key). I would never have thought of that and will be trying this out for other cakes too. Now for the constructive criticism - given so that you or anyone else might tell me what I did wrong! I found I had way too much of the decorative paste (used about 1/5th of what the recipe calls for). The cake itself wasn't very good to eat, it was very firm in texture and a bit gritty with the almonds - I wonder if regular cake could be used or if this would be too structurally weak to bend into a mold. The moose was just alright - mine was too jelly like and not fluffy as I would have hoped. Is it possible I beat the air out of it too much when folding in the ingredients? For the flavor of what I made and the time it took to make, I think when I make these again I would use an instant moose instead. When I poured in the final moose that comes above the cake, because the cake was not perfectly up against the side of the mold (due to the firmness of the cake more than the limitations of the homemade mold) it came down the outside of the cake and spoiled the design a bit (mine did not look pristine like yours did). I would be interested to know what the texture of both the cake and the moose is meant to be. I have never tried a proper joconde cake so I do not know if I butchered it or that is how they are meant to be! Thanks for the instructable, this has definitely given me food for thought!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Softer Cake - The recipes I looked at for this cake don't include this, but I did the following because my oven is old and heats unevenly. My oven has a large tray that is about 1inch deep. I put this on the lowest rack and filled it half full of water. I put the wire rack I baked the cake on about 2 inches above this, which placed the cake about in the center of the oven. This could have had the effect of keeping the cake soft. I didn't include it in the recipe because my reasons for doing it were to counteract my oven's weirdness.

    Tastier Cake - A tastier alternative to the joconde could be to make a jelly roll cake. I'm not sure if the jelly roll texture is good for this, since it has more holes, but it is meant to be rolled up as well. It will be thicker than the joconde, since jelly roll cake is a sponge cake and they rise to be about 1inch high.

    Relative texture of cake and mousse - My joconde was also very firm, especially compared to the mousse. I've had store bought joconde that was also very firm, so I can only assume this is normal. To be honest, I think it was invented as a method of making pretty cakes, rather than delicious ones. :) But any sort of filling you like can be used and a less foamy filling might match better with the firmness of the cake. Or using jelly roll might make for a softer and tastier cake.

    Mousse - You can whip cream too much (butter bits will appear) but that doesn't seem like it would make the mousse jelly-like. This mousse recipe is a bit firm and sets like a gelatin, but it should still be more foam-like than gelatin. I think it sounds like a great idea to use different fillings - instant mousse/pudding, no-bake cheese cake filling, etc.

    Decorative paste - Yes, I had a lot leftover too. You can freeze it for a month or so. I think some designs can end up using more, especially if someone decides to do stripes.

    Next time I do this recipe I will update with more images of the textures things should be.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I'll bring the steak and you can make the dessert...yum.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    These cakes look as delicious as they are beautiful! I'm jealous of your awesome artistic ability.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Ahhh I had a joconde and entremet recipe ready for this contest but missed the deadline. Glad someone did it though!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    You should do it anyways. :) It's always nice to see more things to bake, plus it's good to build up different cake recipes for variety.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I'd like to offer up my free mehndi patterns for anyone who is trying this out! :