Blackcurrant and Chocolate Mousse Cake

Black Currant and Chocolate Mousse CakeI have been meaning to make this cake for years now, and thanks to the We Should Cocoa challenge, by Choclette and Chele of Chocolate Teapot and the Chocolate Log Blog, I finally got around to it! It’s a homemade version of the blackcurrant & chocolate mousse cake by Kakkugalleria, which not only tastes divine but is also gorgeous to look at, in all its geometric glory. This recipe is a tweaked combination of a few I found online: the main inspirations came from Kotiliesi and Pirkka magazines. I omitted the glaze this time as I didn’t have currant juice, but it would certainly make the cake even neater and prettier. It’s a long recipe and a bit fiddly, but very much worth all the fiddling!

Blackcurrant and Chocolate Mousse Cake

8-12 pieces

2 eggs
75 ml caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
50 ml corn starch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Chocolate mousse:
150 g dark chocolate (I used one with 70% cocoa solids)
200 ml heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons hot water
3 gelatine leaves, plus water for soaking

Blackcurrant Mousse:
200 g blackcurrants
100 g cream cheese
200 ml heavy cream
100 ml powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons blackcurrant liqueur
3 gelatine leaves, plus water for soaking

3 gelatine leaves, plus water for soaking
300 ml sweetened, diluted blackcurrant juice

To make cake:
Preheat oven to 200 C. Line the bottom of a 24 cm springform pan with a round piece of parchment paper. Lightly butter the paper and the sides of the pan (no need to go all the way up!).
Whisk eggs and sugar until light and thick. Sift together cocoa powder, corn starch and baking powder and fold into the egg & sugar mixture.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool. Turn the cake out and give the pan a quick wash. Line the bottom and the sides of the pan with parchment paper and put the cake back into the pan. (I pressed it down a little as the sides of the cake had pulled away from the pan as it cooled)

Tip: If you want a perfectly smooth cake base with neat sides, double the cake recipe and bake it in a jelly roll pan (225 C for 5-7 minutes). Allow to cool and cut out a 24 cm circle to fit the springform pan. Eat the rest of the cake. :-)

To make chocolate mousse:
Melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler and allow to cool.
Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla sugar; mix. Add melted chocolate and mix well.
Soak gelatine leaves in plenty of water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the gelatine leaves and dissolve in the hot water. Gradually add to the chocolate cream mixture, pouring in a thin stream and whisking continuously.
Pour chocolate cream mixture over the cake base. Transfer pan into fridge and let set for at least 2 hours.

To make blackcurrant mousse:
Place blackcurrants in a saucepan and simmer over moderate heat until the berries have softened (5 minutes or so). Push the softened berries through a sieve; combine the resulting smooth berry paste and the cream cheese.
Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla sugar; mix. Combine whipped cream and cream cheese mixtures.
Soak gelatine leaves in a plenty of water for 5 minutes. Heat the blackcurrant liqueur. Squeeze out gelatine leaves and dissolve in the hot liqueur. Gradually add to the currant cream mixture, pouring in a thin stream and whisking continuously.
Pour over the chocolate mousse layer. Cover pan with clingfilm, transfer into fridge and let set overnight.

To make glaze:
Soak gelatine leaves in plenty of water for 5 minutes. Heat blackcurrant juice.

Squeeze out the leaves and dissolve in the hot juice. Allow to cool and pour mixture over the cake.

Transfer into fridge and let set for at least 3 hours.

Decorate with berries and serve to an adoring crowd.


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Vanilla Rolls

Vanilla Rolls

Wanted to make cinnamon rolls, but after I’d dissolved the yeast in the milk & butter mix, I realised I was out of cinnamon. What to do, what to do? Replace cinnamon with vanilla sugar and see what happens. Turns out, vanilla works wonderfully well with the sweet wheat dough – the rolls are delicious! However, they are supremely ugly. I took a photo of the four that at least had a shape. It’s not a cinnamon roll shape, but it’s a shape. I don’t know what I keep doing wrong, but every time, every time, my rolls fall onto their side and spread all over the baking sheet. Nyaargh. I have to call mom and ask her how she’s been able to make perfect snaily cinnamon rolls all these decades. :-?


Vanilla Rolls (makes 16-18)



25 g fresh yeast

75 g butter

300 ml milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

50 ml sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

750 ml all-purpose flour



100 g butter, at room temperature

100 ml sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla sugar


1 beaten egg, for brushing

pearl sugar


Crumble yeast into a bowl.

Melt butter, add milk and gently heat the mixture to 37°C (it should be more or less right when you add the cold milk to the hot butter, actually!).

Pour mixture over yeast and whisk until yeast has dissolved.

Add salt, sugar, cardamom and stir; add about 200 ml of the flour and stir.

Add the rest of the flour and knead dough by hand until smooth and elastic, and it no longer sticks to the bowl (this shouldn’t take long) nor to your hand (which takes a bit longer).

Sprinkle some flour on top and cover: let rise for 30 minutes, at which point the dough should have doubled.

Mix the filling ingredients together.

Lightly flour a baking board and turn the dough on it.

Roll dough out to a 40 x 60 cm square.

Spread the filling on the dough and roll it up tightly, starting from the longer side of the square.

Cut the roll in 16-18 pieces at an angle, so that each piece is trianglish.

“Open” the pieces by pressing the centre of each piece with a handle of a knife so that the centre is pressed down and the sides spread.

Place rolls on a parchmented baking sheet, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Brush the rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Bake at 225 C for about 10 minutes.

Cover the rolls while they cool.


Handy tip: if your dough looks like a lazy riser, put the dough bowl in the microwave, along with a small bowl of steaming hot water, and close the door. Do not turn the microwave on: the point is just to provide the dough with a private steam bath to help the rising process. Works like charm.


Disclaimer: The amount of gluten in flour varies across the globe, and the amount has a big effect on yeast breads in particular. While the amount given works well with Finnish all-purpose flour, people elsewhere may find they need slightly less or a bit more. Start with less than called for and add as needed.


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Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Strawberry CupcakesOur new kittens got names today, which I saw as a good excuse to bake. I wanted something chocolatey and strawberry-y, and Google led me to this beautiful blog: Krissy’s Creations, and this lovely recipe. I made half of the cupcake recipe (I made mine a little smaller, so I got 18 cupcakes) and 1/3 of the buttercream recipe, and it was still oh-so-much buttercream for a Finnish palate. As you can see from the photo, I can’t pipe buttercream onto a cupcake worth s&!t, so please take a look at Krissy’s gorgeous creations to see how cute these could be! :-D


Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup sugar

¾ cup + 2 tbls all-purpose flour

6 tbls cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used rapeseed oil)

1 ts vanilla extract

1/2 cup boiling water


Strawberry Buttercream

180 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 ts salt

1/4 ts vanilla extract

2 tbls mashed strawberries


Preheat oven to 175 C.  Line cupcake pans with 18 baking liners.


Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.


Whisk together egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Add the boiling water and mix until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.


Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake has just a few crumbs clinging to it). Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.


To make buttercream: Cream the butter with an electronic mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and salt and mix until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and strawberry puree and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.


Place the buttercream in a large piping bag fitted with a closed-star tip and pipe buttercream onto cupcakes (and please do a better job than I did ;-) ).


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Rhubarb Jelly Roll

Rhubarb Jelly RollRhubarb and strawberries go together famously well, and coconut is such a lovely addition to the mix! I adapted the recipe from Kotiliesi magazine (for some reason a direct link to the original recipe won’t work :-? ). Good good good! We gobbled up the prettiest slices from the middle of the roll before I got around photographing my creation, so the picture shows less glamorous end pieces that had sat in the fridge for a day. Truth in food photography!

5 eggs
200 ml sugar
4 tbls all-purpose flour
5 tbls potato starch
1 ts baking powder
100 ml flaked coconut

For sprinkling:
3 tbls flaked coconut
1 tbls sugar

500 ml sliced rhubarb
3 tbls chopped fresh mint leaves
200 ml jam sugar (sugar with pectin)
50 ml water
chopped strawberries (200 ml or so, to taste)

Start by making the filling: combine rhubarb slices, mint leaves, jam sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring slowly to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool.
Preheat oven to 225 C. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
To make cake: Beat eggs and sugar with an electronic mixer until thick and pale. Sift together all-purpose flour, potato starch and baking powder, and stir the mixture into the eggs&sugar. Fold in flaked coconut.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with flaked coconut and sugar and turn the cake out onto the paper; peel off the parchment paper the cake was baked on.
Spread an even coating of the jam on top of the cake. Sprinkle chopped strawberries on top of the jam.
Tightly roll up the cake. Place seam side down on a serving platter. Serve as is, or with ice cream or vanilla custard.

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