Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chocolate Passionfruit Mousse Cake

There are flavor marriages made in heaven we all know, strawberries and cream, chocolate and caramel, apples and cinnamon. And then there are those which are just becoming popular here in the US, like caramel and salt. But my favorite of these perfectly synergistic flavors is chocolate and passionfruit. I can't get enough of it. I almost always choose the chocolate passion fruit truffles and I adore my chocolate passionfruit sorbet. So, when I decided to make mousse cakes for a couple of bake sales, this was a natural combination.

I wanted contrast both texturally and flavor, and I worked to develop a recipe. First time around I used a Pierre Herme recipe for chocolate meringues and mousse. The mousse was lighted with both Italian meringue and whipped butter (if you can call butter lightened). I made a passion fruit mousse using a riff from Martha Stewart, but it was too mild for me, so I added more passion fruit. The result was good, but not there.

The final product was lovely, tart, sweet, deeply chocolately cloudy cream, with a crisp toasted coconut meringue softened by the mousses. It looks fussy to put together and does require several steps, but it really fairly easy.

Coconut Dacquoise

  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 5 ounces superfine sugar
  • 1/4 t lemon juice (optional)
  • 3 1/2 ounces toasted coconut, fine ground*
  • 1/2 t coconut extract (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Prepare two sheet pans with parchment and draw 6 six inch circles on the parchment.
  2. Whip egg whites and lemon juice in very clean bowl of stand mixer with a clean whip attachment on low for 2 minutes, or until the start to froth a bit. Then increase the speed to medium. When they start to froth more, increase to medium high, until they expand in volume and start to hold very soft peaks.
  3. Add sugar and whip on high until it holds stiff peaks. 
  4. Gently fold in coconut and coconut extract until even incorporated taking care to not deflate the batter too much. 
  5. Fill piping bag fitted with #5 inch round tip. Starting in the middle pipe a circle by piping a tight spiral. Leave about a quarter inch border to allow the meringue to expand.
  6. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 250, until dry but not colored, then turn off the oven and let dry for several hours. If the meringue browns too quickly you can prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon.

*Note: You can use coconut flour, fine ground coconut such as Kara brand, or you can take sweetened flaked coconut, toast it and grind it in a food processor.

Chocolate Mouuse

  • 6 ounces pate bombe 
  • 2 ounces passion fruit puree
  • 9 ounces dark chocolate
  • 12 ounces whipping cream

  1. Reduce passion fruit puree until it is a thick consistency and cool completely. 
  2. Whip cream to soft peaks and place in refrigerator until ready to use. 
  3. Melt chocolate in over bain marie, or in microwave. If you are using the microwave, only heat in 30 second segments, stirring in between and removing when it is not quite all melted. 
  4. Warm pate bombe over bain marie slightly. 
  5. Whisk in chocolate until smooth.
  6. If it gets very thick, add a bit of whipped cream and warm over the bain marie. 
  7. Cool the mixture, before folding in the whipped cream.
  8. Use immediately

Passionfruit Mousse
Adapted from Eddy Van Damme

  • 3 ounces passion fruit puree
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ounce sugar
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 10 ounces whipping cream

  1. Whip cream to soft peaks and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Over a bain marie whisk egg yolk, sugar and passion fruit puree constantly until it thickens and the temperature reaches 165. 
  3. Place white chocolate in medium bowl and add egg mixture. Allow to sit for a few minutes, the stir until chocolate is melted. Allow mixture to cool. 
  4. Fold in whipped cream. Use immediately.

Chocolate Passionfruit Glaze

  • 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 6 ounces passion fruit puree
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin bloomed in 2 T water

  1. Heat passion fruit puree and sugar and cream until almost boiling and the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Place chocolates in medium bowl. Pour passionfruit/cream mixture over chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted. 
  3. Heat bloomed gelatin in microwave for 10 seconds until melted. 
  4. Stir into chocolate mixture
  5. Allow to cool until thickened, but not set before use. 
Assembling the Cake

  • Line 2 6 inch rings with acetate or parchment paper. Place one dacquiose disc in the bottom of the pan, then pipe a layer of mousse, starting on the outside. 
  • Place another disc and push it down gently into the mousse, then pipe the next layer of mousse. Repeat if desired with the last disc. 
  • Chill for at least 3 hours. Make the glaze, then top. Make sure the glaze is thickened, so it doesn't melt the mousse, but not yet set. As an alternative to a glaze you can coat the entire cake in a chocolate ganache.


  1. My goodness, Sheryl, that is something else! I don't even want to try to make it myself. I just want a piece of what you did. :) That is deliciousness and gorgeousness all wrapped up in one dessert!

  2. Ahhh!!! This look SO good! i am wild about anything passion fruit so I know that I would love this. (Because, uh, chocolate helps too!). So happy I stumbled onto your beautiful site today!

  3. Oooh my mouth is watering just reading this!

  4. Okay - I'm going to try to make this for next week - two coworker's birthdays celebrated together. One is a bittersweet chocolate freak, and the other is from Tonga. Should be a hit - wish me luck!