Sep 3, 2013

Still Searching For Spring. Cooking With YouTube.

Perth, you're doing your darnedest to hide spring from the suburbs aren't you? The flowers at Araluen are meant to be on schedule to bloom radiantly this month but what about the rest of us?

The branches of the trees at my local pub / cafe were still looking decidedly bare at the weekend. In a sculpted, artful, grey is the new black kind of way but bare all the same. Slightly off topic but I am so going to be there this summer, having a quiet drink or two at their astro turfed outdoor bar. If you find me there warming a seat, do say hello! I'll be the one with the champagne flute in a sea of serious red and white wine drinkers.....

Just to make sure it wasn't just an issue on the foreshore, I went further inland to my other local cafe on Sunday. Same thing. The trees there were just as naked, the sky just as grey. Did I need any more reason to treat myself to a mocha with marshmallows? I was in good company on Sunday. The neighbourhood's teenage girl population had done their Father's Day duties and were debriefing over cake and coffee and earnestly discussing their long term career paths. We can be so dismissive of Gen Y (or whatever letter were up to) and their supposed flightiness, can't we?
I did find my leafy trees further down the road though. Out the front of the old full service petrol station. The bowsers have long gone and in their place are posters advertising the conversion of the servo to a block of luxury apartments. Is Perth the only city in the world where petrol stations get converted to desirable residences?
I love a bit of preamble in a blog post these days but it's time to get to the recipe I need to share with you.  After one more memory...
There used to be a patisserie near the petrol station that was famous for its chocolate mousse cake. It was worth (and priced at) it's weight in gold. The base of this cake trod a fine line between biscuit and cake. The mousse was airy yet dense and it was concocted of nothing but cream and hard core dark chocolate (groundbreaking for us locals whose only previous exposure to dark chocolate was Old Gold from the supermarket). Haigh's and Koko Black weren't even twinkles in their creators' eyes.
With that fabled cake in my mind, I made it my Father's Day mission to recreate a simplified version of that cake.  The One Pot Chef came to my rescue and I'm sharing his YouTube video for an Easy Chocolate Mousse Cake right here.

I'm a huge fan of cooking with YouTube at the moment.  I watch the relevant video a few times to get the general feel of what needs to be done and on cooking day, I set the iPad up on the kitchen bench and let the video run, pausing and rewinding as necessary.

To make the base, crush 200g of plain chocolate biscuits and mix in 100g of melted butter.  Press into the base of a greased and lined 20cm spring form cake tin.  Refrigerate.  To make the mousse, all you need is 400g of melted chocolate, 600ml of thickened cream and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
Easier said than done for some people.  I managed to spill an entire bowl of melted chocolate on the floor.  Cleaning it up and driving out to the shops for more chocolate were the hardest things about making this cake.
To make the mousse (after cleaning the floor and anything else that got splattered with chocolate), fold the slightly cooled melted chocolate gently into the beaten cream and vanilla.  Ease most (except a spoonful for the lucky chef) of the mousse over the prepared base and refrigerate for 4 - 6 hours.

I garnished my cake with a layer of finely crushed Flake (about half a bar).  To me, the cake tasted best when allowed to warm a bit, close to room temperature. 

What I like most about this recipe is that the mousse is rich and chocolatey without being too sweet.  The cake looks pretty rustic compared to the patisserie version of my memories but it's a pretty close match in the taste stakes.  And you've got to be happy with that.


  1. You're back! And wow that cake looks amazing!

  2. That cook looks delicious! I hope spring comes your way soon!

  3. Does that mean you're in Perth longish term?

  4. That cake looks amazing! Even Canberra has lovely spring weather at the moment, so I hope Perth follows shortly.

  5. Hello SSG,
    Don't despair, you will not be alone - Steves is our haunt for a late afternoon refreshment and my choice is always of the bubbly variety.

    Hoping your days are brightening,
    best wishes
    Christine x

  6. Re the bakery, do you mean Barretts? Is that no longer there? :( they made the most awesome burnt bread and sandwiches that i lived off at Uni!

    1. Barretts is still there! New owners though.

      SSG xxx

  7. You're going be there this summer? Drinks at Steve's for sure! I haven't been there since uni days.

  8. Love your post! So interesting!
    -Your newest follower

    Letters from The Vintage Club

  9. I love a good chocolate mousse cake, yum! xx

  10. Welcome back! I have missed your posts immensely and am happy you're back!

  11. I ve heard Perth has been a tad chilly of late...I ll be there in early October, when I hope spring will have well-and-truly sprung!!
    It seems Steves brings back memories for quite a few of us...
    The chocolate cake looks a winner.

    Sending you some warmth from a delicious late summer day in Umbria, Italy !!

    Michelle x

    1. Thanks Michelle!

      Will keep you posted re the weather.

      SSG xxx


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