These mini dessert cakes were created as a different way to use some of the blackcurrants from the allotment, as well as any excuse to have a play in the kitchen. It was also a nice surprise for these to feature during an episode of The Great British Bake Off: Extra Slice after submitting them.
The layers of whisked chocolate sponge, with a liberal splashing of Cassis, blackcurrant mousse and white chocolate mousse give an indulgent but very refreshing eat. It is not too sweet, owing to the sharpness of the blackcurrants and minimal sugar used. As the blackcurrant mousse is very much the star of the dessert, it features more prominently throughout.
Each dessert portion is topped with fresh blackcurrants and a blackcurrant macaron shells (recipe here). Perhaps this lily has been well and truly over-gilded but why not?
The recipe below is more a guideline, but the proportions below make 8 individual portions. I have also made this without flour, as a gluten-free dessert, by increasing the amount of cocoa powder in the sponge mixture a little: you get a more squidgy sponge, not too dissimilar to thin brownies, that works very well here.
For the macarons:
I made up half the quantity of blackcurrant macaron shells (recipe here), which does make far more than is needed, but it is no hardship whatsoever to sandwich them with some buttercream, jam or curd! The extra shells also freeze beautifully for use at a layer stage.
When the macarons were cooked, I brushed them with a little blackcurrant juice. Purely for the fun of it!
For the sponge:
I made half the quantity of a chocolate Genoise sponge, used in an earlier recipe here, replacing 20g of the flour with 20g cocoa powder.
This will make more sponge than you need but the sponge freezes very well: I sometimes cut out sponge discs from one that had been made and freeze them for later use. The left-over sponge is particularly great used later as a base for trifle, doused with the liquor of choice!
Swiss meringue (for the mousses):
The mousses can be made in many ways, but for these I made up a light Swiss meringue using 3 egg whites and just 2 tablespoons caster sugar, whisked until fairly firm peaks in a bowl over simmering water.
This meringue was then used for each mousse (about a third for the chocolate mousse and the rest for the blackcurrant mousse) to lighten them and give that wonderful moussey texture.
A little leaf gelatine is also used here, but only enough to give a just-set texture as rubbery mousses are not pleasant things to eat!
White chocolate mousse:
This mousse is excellent quality white chocolate and just-boiled double cream (about 100g of each), mixed together off the heat until smooth. I used about 100g each of chocolate and cream. Leave this mixture until a little firmer.
About a third of the meringue was folded into it until well incorporated, along with one sheet of leaf gelatine that had been rehydrated and melted with just a touch of hot cream.
Heat about 300g blackcurrants in a small pan with a little Cassis and a tablespoon of caster sugar. Bring just to the simmering point and then taken off the heat.
Pass the mixture through a very fine sieve and mix in two sheets of prepared gelatine. Fold in the rest of the meringue mixture.
(1) Line mini cake tins or metal rings with acetate. Cut discs of sponge the size of the tin/rings and sprinkle Cassis (or any liqueur) over each disc.
(2) Layer the dessert in any way you choose. I went for: sponge, chocolate mousse, blackcurrant mousse, sponge, chocolate mousse, blackcurrant mousse. However, a simple layering of: sponge, chocolate mousse, blackcurrant mousse and then topped sponge works very well.
(3) Put the tins/ring in the fridge for an hour or so until set and carefully remove the acetate.