Lucifer’s Layer Cake

Desire to lickCAUTION: Cooking this sweet treat will inflame your desire to lick things. Sometimes it’s just safer to give in…and clean up afterwards.

It’s my birthday this week and I’m not only celebrating getting older (yes, I do that), but the release of See You in Hell.

So…I figured I’d let you in on a little secret, which is the recipe for the orgasmic, dark chocolate, dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate raspberry mousse confection that is Lucifer’s Layer Cake. This cake is so luscious that Luce tried to seduce Mel with it – twice, because of how much she loved it the first time.

Now, this particularly decadent dessert consists of a very tempting threesome:

  • A dark chocolate tart on the bottom
  • A decadent, dark chocolate mousse in the middle
  • A rich, sinful, white chocolate and raspberry mousse on top

The best sex scenes in my books involve raspberries. Perhaps it’s my signature – or perhaps it’s because I wrote those while eating raspberry yoghurt for breakfast. This cake…is arguably better than sex. It lasts longer, too. And you’ll need to do some exercise afterwards to work off the calories, so…

Right. The recipe. Here goes.

Base, Dark Chocolate Tart

200g of dark chocolate pastilles
6 tablespoons butter
1.5 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 165 degrees C (325 F). Grease and line a 22cm springform pan.

Flourless chocolate cake baseMelt chocolate and butter. This can be done in a heatproof bowl over a double boiler saucepan on the stove, or using a microwave. I chose the microwave option – setting the microwave to its defrost power setting and heating for two minutes, removing the bowl and stirring the mixture, before returning it to the microwave for another two minutes of defrost power. Continue until the chocolate mixture is completely liquid, then set aside to cool for five minutes.

Separate the eggs – you’ll be using both the yolks and whites.

Stir the egg yolks and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture.

Soft peaks but not stiff

Soft peaks but not stiff

Pop the egg whites and salt into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it foams, then slowly add half the brown sugar while beating. Once it’s all combined, add the rest of the brown sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form – but not until they’re stiff.

Folding it in

Folding it in

Fold half the egg whites into the melted chocolate mixture. Once it’s all combined, add the other half, stirring carefully to retain the foamy consistency.

Pour the batter into your greased and lined cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, longer if required. The cake is done when it springs back in the centre when touched.

Mine inflated so large I wondered how it was supposed to fit in the pan, but even as it bulged out the top, I realised it was exactly the right size. Don’t worry – once it’s done cooking, it’ll shrink down to a much more manageable size. Like Lucifer’s…ego.

Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour – I let it cool overnight. Mine shrank to roughly one third the depth of the cake pan – perfect for a layer cake. When it’s cool, reline the cake pan with baking paper and return the base to the pan – ready to be topped with some pretty sinful layers of mousse.

Rich, Dark Chocolate Mousse

375 mL cream
360g dark chocolate pastilles
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons castor sugar
3 egg yolks (this cake just gets progressively darker – the egg whites won’t be part of this cake)

Melt the chocolate, as for the tart above (except without butter).

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until it’s as peaked as the egg whites were for the tart.

In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to the boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove this hot syrup from heat.

Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl, then slowly add the syrup while mixing. Add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate and mix well. When chocolate and egg mixtures are combined, heat the mixture in a microwave for 15 seconds on high.

Using the electric mixer, whisk a third of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate mixture until combined, then gently fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is fluffy.

Pour the thoroughly fluffed mousse mixture into the pan, on top of the tart. Leave the two of them alone for at least half an hour to get to know each other. When they’re both lying still (they don’t move when you touch them), you know it’s time for the third member of this delectable threesome.

Sinful White Chocolate Raspberry Mousse

500g raspberries (I recommend defrosted frozen ones, though fresh can be used)
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatine
180g white chocolate pastilles
250mL cream

Place the water in a bowl and sprinkles the gelatine over the top. Set aside.

Puree raspberries in a blender, adding a little water, if required. Press the raspberry puree through a fine sieve to separate the seeds out, before discarding the seeds and other solids.

Pour the raspberry liquid into a small saucepan with the sugar and bring to the boil over medium heat. Continue to boil , stirring occasionally, until the liquid condenses into a thick syrup. Remove from heat and add the gelatine/water mixture, stirring until the gelatine is completely dissolved.

Place the white chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot syrup over the top, stirring until they’ve melted and you can’t separate them.

White chocolate pastillesSyrup melting white chocolate

Whip the cream with an electric beater until it peaks, then beat a third of it into the raspberry and white chocolate sauce. Fold in the remainder, ensuring it’s as fluffy as the dark mousse.Raspberry and white chocolate mousse

Spread the resulting pink, fluffed mousse on top of the two chocolate partners already lying in the pan. It’ll take at least three hours before these three are in any fit state for more company, so leave them to cool off in the refrigerator for at least that long.

When it’s time for the big reveal, remove the cake from the fridge. Run a sharp knife or spatula around the edge of the pan to free up the cake, as it has a tendency to be pretty sticky by this time. Undo the latch on the pan walls and release the cake carefully to serve. Can be garnished with fresh raspberries or shaved white chocolate (because the hairy stuff simply isn’t as attractive).

Lucifer's Layer CakeSlice of layer cake

NOTE: My layers aren’t even because I made this cake in a 19cm springform pan and I had to transfer it to the 22cm one to fit the suggestive pink mousse on top, so it sort of overflowed down the sides and looked more like pink frosting than a thick layer, like the other two.