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Can you help me improve this three layer mousse cake?

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I agreed to make this cake http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/... for my daughters school auction. Cakes fetch between $500-$800! Yeah, so just a little pressure! I have made this cake twice before and have run into some issues I would love to solve in one test run. The first is presentation. My layers are never even and clean. I am thinking after the cake layer cools, to unmold it, wrap in a parchment paper ring and then pipe in the mousse layers. Thoughts?

I made the raspberry mousse layer as written the first time and found it tasted more of white chocolate then raspberry. Also because the two bottom layers were chocolate it just kind of got lost. Second time around I eliminated the white chocolate, increased the cream to 1.5 cups (same as the chocolate layer) doubled the raspberries and added more gelatin. It was better but not firm enough without the chocolate, I think some chocolate would also balance the tartness of the raspberries. This time I'm think of leaving the chocolate as written but still increasing the cream and raspberries. That would mean I would need to increase the gelatin too, but I'm not sure exactly how much.

Sorry this is so long, I'm hoping some more experienced bakers can give me some tips. It's a pretty labor intensive process and i really only want to make one test cake, so it needs to be perfect!

Oh and I need some decorating tips to make it look fancier. Another cake is already being decorated with fresh raspberries. I think chocolate
shavings would overwhelm the cake, but have no other ideas!

Thank you!

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  1. Spreading a layer of good quality raspberry jam directly on the the chocolate cake layers as well as folding some into the mousse mixture would infuse more raspberry flavor without changing the consistency. When I make Lindsor heart cookies for Valentines I buy my jam from Trader Joes. Also whenever I make mousse I do not use gelatin. Separate eggs. Beat yolks to pale yellow with 1 T conf sugar per egg. Add jam to that mixture. . Whip whites to stiff peaks (can even add touch of cr of tartar). Fold in the two in batches. But must keep assembled cake well refrigerated. maybe varnish with wh choc curls. Mint sprigs, and candied lemon peel. Hope this helps! Reetsie

    1. The purists here won't like it but if you really want raspberry flavor, use Loran's Flavor oils. They make a raspberry one.

      http://www.amazon.com/LorAnn-Flavorin...

      If you just insist on natural flavor, then cook down some raspberries, remove the seeds and separate the pulp from the juice. Be sure to save the pulp. concentrate the juice by cooking it down. Your recipe called for 8 ounces of raspberries and cook the liquid down to 12 cup so you could do it with 16 ounces and cook it down to 1/2 cup. I would just use the flavor oil in addition to the original recipe.

      Decorate it with raspberries but stuff each one with a chocolate chip and drizzle each one with apricot jelly to glaze them. Maybe put each one into a little rosette of stabilized whip cream.

      I think that would taste and look wonderful.

      1. Are you spreading the layers with an offset pallete knife? That's a great help in getting more even layers of mousse.

        1. Your idea to pipe the mousse in is good but maybe you'd need acetate?

          Maybe you could make the raspberry mousse as is, pipe the perimeter, then do a couple rows of actual raspberries? Of course this wouldn't be seen until the cake is cut but that is a relatively easy way to add raspberry flavor.

          I was thinking to decorate with chocolate glass but you may think that's too much chocolate lol. It would hide uneven layers though. Maybe just melt down some chocolate into a thin layer, break it into a few pieces and stick a few into the top. Abstract-ish. You don't need much decor since the 3 layers are so nice.

          Good luck please share pics :)

          1. You can also add raspberry flavor by brushing the cake layer with a raspberry simple syrup before adding the first layer of mousse. As others have suggested, use an acetate collar, pipe the mousse, lightly even it with the palette knife, and let the first layer set for a bit before adding the second mousse.

            For decoration, a thin layer of raspberry gelee will give it a professional finish. On top, a line of fresh raspberries with a whimsical bit or two of chocolate work (curl, filagree, or cigarette) should do the trick.