Two winters ago, on a freezing cold and snowy day, I went for a very long walk in the park of the Nymphenburg Castle, in Munich. It was an absolutely beautiful walk and the Nymphenburg park - it is one of my favorite corners in Munich - could not look more like a winter fairy tale.
On the grounds of the castle there is the Café Palmenhaus which I visit sometimes after a long walk in the park. Unfortunately, the staff of the café is most of the time unfriendly and not very accommodating but the delicious cake served in the café make up for it.
On that particular cold winter day I visited the café and I ordered a "König Ludwig" torte which is a chocolate mousse cake with a cherry ragout and a chocolate sponge sponge cake bottom. The cake was extraordinary good and I was so thrilled that I wanted to recreate this particular cake myself but I made a few changes. The chocolate sponge bottom was good but I thought a crunchy shortcrust would be better than a soft bottom and by now, I think you know me well that I like everything petite. Instead of making one big torte, I made individual petite cakes. I also added a chocolate mirror glaze to the cakes, whereas the torte at the café was only decorated with cocao powder on top.
My Café Palmenhaus inspired cake creation has been a big hit among my family (in particular, my dad like this chocolate mousse cake a lot) and other people I presented these little delicious cakes. Amongst others, these little cakes were part of the 110 cakes ( I still need to write about my cake marathon) that I prepared for my brother's doctorial thesis ceremony celebration last June and these cakes were recieved exeptionell well which maked me more than happy.
I am very pleased that I finally share this recipe with you, my dear readers. I do hope you like this recipe as much as I do. And if you are in Munich, visit the Castle Nymphenburg and have a slice of the "König Ludwig" torte!
NOTE: I tried out different cacao percentages of chocolate for the mousse chocolate. I like 53 % chocolate the best because I think it makes the creamiest chocolate mousse. I used 60% chocolate as well but I must say that I prefer 53% chocolate. I use Valrhona chocolate, in case you are wondering what kind of chocolate I work with.
|The grounds of Castle Nymphenburg|
Makes 6 little cakes (7 cm / 2.75 inches)
- 175 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon frozen tart cherries or 125 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon fresh cherries, pitted
- 25 g / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 20 g / 1 1/2 tablespoons jam sugar (1:1) (it means a jam sugar is used with equal weights of fruits)
- 1 pinch of salt, pepper and cinnamon
- 50 ml / 3 tablespoons cherry juice
- 1,5 g / 1 sheet of gelatin, soaked
- Defrost the frozen cherries. Keep the juice of the cherries.
- Place granulated and jam sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cherry juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the gelatin, then add the cherries to the mixture and mix well.
- Evenly divide the cherry ragout in 6 small silicon moulds. The size of each mould I use is: 2.5 cm / 1 inch in diameter and 2.5 cm / 1 inch in height.
- Freeze the moulds for at least 24 hours.
- 75 g / 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 100 g/ 3 1/2 ounces chocolate (50 % - 60 %) ,* see my note above
- 2,25 g / 1,5 sheets gelatin, soaked
- 175 g / 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring it almost to a boil. Set the saucepan aside. Chop the chocolate finely, add the chopped chocolate to the saucepan and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the soaked gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour the chocolate mixture into a medium sized bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
- Whip the heavy cream until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
- Place (silicon) moulds on a board or a flat plate. Fill the moulds 2/3 with the chocolate mousse.
- Unmould the frozen cherry ragouts (they are a little sticky but do not worry, that is fine) and gently press the cherry core into the chocolate mousse.
- Freeze the moulds for at least 4 hours.
Almond Shortcrust Bottom
- 50 g / 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 50 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 15 g egg yolk, equals yolk of a medium sized egg
- 100 g / 1 cup pastry flour
- 75 g / 1/2 cup almond flour
- Mix butter and sugar until well combined, Add the pinch of salt and the egg yolk to the mixture and mix well again.
- Add almond and pastry flour to the mixture and stir until the dough comes together.
- Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper, place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is 2 -3 mm / 0.08 to 0.1 inch thick.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 355 °F.
- Place the dough on a baking sheet. Remove the baking paper on top of the dough.
- Bake the sheet of dough for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut out circles (7 cm / 2.75 inches) with a cookie cutter. Bake the shortcrust circles for another 4 minutes or until golden in color.
- Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.
Chocolate Mirror Glaze
- 4 g / 2 2/3 sheets gelatin, soaked
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup water
- 50 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 105 g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 35 g / 1/3 cup unsweetened raw cacao powder, sifted
- Place the water, heavy cream, granulated sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Bring the mixture almost to a boil, remove from the heat.
- Place the cacao powder in a little bowl, pour about half of the hot mixture to the cacao powder and mix well. Add the cacao mixture to the hot liquid and mix very well until all ingredients are incorporated. Add the soaked gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely melted.
- Pour the chocolate glaze through a sieve into a bowl and let it cool until the glaze has almost room temperature and has thickened up a little bit. If it is too thick gently reheat the glaze.
- You can also prepare the glaze in advance. Pour the glaze into a jar, let it cool completely, then store the jar in the fridge up to one week. Carefully reheat the chocolate glaze.
- 6 fresh cherries, for decoration
- Unmould the frozen cakes. Place each mousse cake on a shortcrust circle. Place frozen cakes on a wire rack and place a deep plate under the wire rack in order to catch the excess glaze which you can reuse again.
- Pour the glaze over the frozen cakes. It is important that the ackre are frozen and it is also important that the glaze has the right temperature (lukewarm / almost room temperature). Let the glaze set for a minute. Carefully remove the cakes from the wire rack (I use a a fish slice) and place the mousse cakes on cake boards. Let the cakes defrost in the fridge and keep the cakes in the fridge until consumption.
- Decorate each cake with a fresh cherry.