The crust is just substantial enough to lend support without being overwhelming to your fork. The richness of the chocolate is paired with the light and fluffy texture of a mousse. The almond flavor gives a smoothness to bring out the chocolate flavor. Not a fan of almond? You can try the same recipe with a mint or raspberry flavor as well. Plan ahead as the cake is best served after the mousse has set overnight or at least 6 hours.
Almond Chocolate Mousse Cake
1 9-ounce package Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies (approx 2 cups of crumbs)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs, separated + 2 whole eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
chocolate shavings or sliced strawberries
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Prepare crust by crushing the chocolate wafer cookies in a blender or food processor until fine crumbs. Add slivered almonds and grind until fine. In a medium bowl, add melted butter and crumb mixture until crumbs begin to stick together. Pour mixture into a 10-inch springform pan. Using the back of a spoon, press the crumbs up the sides of the pan and into the bottom. Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Place a large metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Melt the chocolate in the bowl, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you separate the eggs. Remember the heat from the bowl will continue to warm the chocolate so watch that the bowl is not overheated. One at a time, whisk in the two whole eggs and the four egg yolks to temper them. If the chocolate is too hot, the eggs will cook and will not incorporate smoothly. The mixture will thicken into a stiff batter as the chocolate cools.
Using a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, use the whip attachment to beat the remaining four egg whites until stiff but not dry. Set aside or transfer to another bowl to use your stand mixer again. In a large bowl or using a stand mixer, use the whip attachment to beat the cold heavy cream, powdered sugar and almond extract until stiff. Once you’ve achieved stiff peaks, gently fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Batter will appear streaky until blended. Finally, fold in the beaten egg whites until incorporated. Be careful not to overwork the batter at this point.
Retrieve your chilled crust from the refrigerator and pour the batter into the pan. Evenly spread the mixture and chill overnight or at least five to six hours.
To prepare the topping, use a chilled bowl and whisk attachment to beat the cream, powdered sugar and almond extract until stiff. Gently frost a layer of cream over the top of the cake. Garnish with chocolate shavings or sliced strawberries on individual slices. To remove from the pan, run a sharp knife around the edge. Makes 12-16 slices. Remember you are serving raw egg whites so check with your guests for any health issues before serving.