Chocolate Fudge and dark Chocolate Mousse Cake with Fresh Strawberries
For the Cake Base:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 cups/250 g sugar
3/4 cup/170 g unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons/60 ml light corn syrup
3 tablespoons/20 g finely ground almonds
1 1/4 cups/195 g self-rising flour
2/3 cup/70 g unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces/225 g fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise
For the Mousse:
10 1/2 ounces/300 g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons/about 5 g) unflavored gelatin
4 large eggs
1/4 cup/50 g sugar
2 cups/470 ml heavy whipping cream
To assemble the cake:
6 ounces/170 g fresh strawberries, diced
2 ounces/55 g fresh whole strawberries, for garnish
One 3.5-ounce/100-g bar good-quality white chocolate, for garnish
To make the cake base:
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°F. Spray a 10-inch/25-cm diameter springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the syrup and ground almonds. Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the cake batter.
Using a large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the batter (the batter will be thick). Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sides puff slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with some moist crumbs attached (do not bake the cake until the toothpick comes out clean or the cake will be too dry).
Transfer the cake pan to a rack and cool completely. Press the edges of the cake down to help level the cake, if necessary. Line the halved strawberries atop the cake with the cut sides against the sides of the pan and with the tips pointing toward the edge of the pan. Set the cake aside while preparing the mousse.
To make the mousse:
Place the white chocolate in a medium Pyrex bowl. Set the bowl of chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate melts. Pour 3 tablespoons/40 g of cold water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften.
Stir the gelatin over low heat until the gelatin dissolves. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and light and medium peaks form. Beat in the melted chocolate then the melted gelatin mixture.
Set the bowl over another larger bowl of ice water and stir the mixture until cold and thick but not set. While the chocolate mixture chills and thickens, beat the cream in another large bowl with an electric mixer until soft semi-firm peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
To assemble the cake:
Spoon half of the mousse over the cake in the pan. Sprinkle with the diced strawberries. Spoon the remaining mousse over the cake. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or until the mousse is set. Slide a vegetable peeler across the white chocolate bar to form chocolate curls. Garnish the cake with the chocolate curls and whole strawberries.
Pairs Well With