Make the most of winter citrus fruit by serving up this heavenly Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse Cake with a spoonful of intensely fruity blood orange compote. This easy no-bake dessert feeds a crowd and packs a hefty flavour punch.
I know that last time I promised you a marzipan cake, but well, as you can see, I break my promises. Every so often it’s necessary to bump a recipe to make way for something that cannot wait. And the reason behind the sudden urgency for my recipe today is blood oranges. Blood oranges have such a short season and we must be at least half way through that time already.
Blood oranges make all the difference to this indulgent and intense Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse Cake. The sharp, tangy nature of the blood orange compote smoothly cuts through the rich & creamy nature of this chocolate dessert. And of course, the beautiful colour looks stunning against the dark tones of the cake. A smidge of compote is all that is required in each spoonful to transform this dessert completely without overpowering it.
Making this Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse Cake is relatively straightforward and it’s no-bake. The base is a simple biscuit crumb enhanced with chocolate, cinnamon and zest from a blood orange. The top layer is a vegetarian friendly chocolate mousse – there’s no gelatine involved in this recipe. But the mousse has been spiked with cinnamon, since it pairs excellently with both chocolate & orange and it adds just a hint of warmth with seems fitting during the winter months.
The blood orange compote is vibrant in colour and intense in flavour. I recommend taking the time to segment the orange to fully remove all pith. If, like me, this will be the first time you prepare an orange in this way and you need some guidance, head over to The Watering Mouth for a video tutorial. I won’t lie – segmenting an orange is a little messy, but the result is well worth the effort.
I’ve chosen to decorate this Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse Cake simply – with a swirl of cream, a drizzle of compote and a few chocolate flakes. Sometimes less is more.
Since this Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse Cake is so intense, this delectable dessert will serve plenty of people – at least 10, possibly more, depending how greedy your guests are feeling. And of course, should blood oranges not be available near you, give it a try with regular oranges. The compote might be lighter but the dessert will still taste amazing.
Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse Cake with Blood Orange Compote
For the Biscuit base
- 225 g/ 8oz Digestive Biscuits (substitute Graham Crackers)
- 75 g/ 3oz Butter
- 50 g/ 2oz Dark chocolate - roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Zest from a blood orange (or regular orange)
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
For the Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse
- 200 g/ 7oz Dark chocolate
- 100 g/ 3 1/2oz Milk Chocolate
- 3 Egg (large) - separated
- 300 ml/ 1 1/4 cups Whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon (add more to taste)
For the (Blood) Orange Compote
- 4 Blood oranges
- Juice from 1 Blood orange juice
- 4 tbsp Light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 120 ml/ 1/2 cup Double (heavy) cream
- Chocolate flakes (optional)
Make the Biscuit Base
- Line the base of a deep 8 inch springform cake tin with butter and a circle of baking parchment. Line the side of the tin with acetate, pushing it all the way to the bottom of the pan
- Put the biscuits & chocolate into a processor and blitz until broken down to resemble breadcrumbs. Add the cinnamon and orange zest & pulse a couple of times to combine
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter then tip the biscuit mixture into this and stir. The chocolate will melt. Once everything is well combines scoop the mix into the prepared tin and push it down to create an even, compact layer using the back of a spoon or the end of a rolling pin
- Pop it into the fridge to firm up
Make the Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse
- Finely chop the chocolate amd melt over a Bain Marie. Once melted take off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, whip the cream until it thickens, but NOT as far as the soft peak stage. It should leave a ribbon trail when the beaters are lifted out of the cream
- Add the egg yolks to the chocolate, one at a time, beating well between each addition with a balloon whisk
- Add the cinnamon and beat in
- Next, beat the thickened cream into the chocolate with the balloon whisk - work quickly to avoid the chocolate setting and the mousse turning grainy.
- Whisk the egg whites to the firm peak stage and gently fold them into the chocolate mixture with a large metal spoon. Keep on folding in until no patches of egg white remain. The gentler you fold the egg white in, the lighter the mousse will be
- Pour the mousse over the biscuit base, level the top if necessary, using the back of a spoon and chill for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight)
Make the Blood Orange Compote
- Put the sugar and orange juice into a small heavy based pan with the cinnamon and cook over a medium high heat until beginning to thicken
- Peel the oranges and segment the oranges to remove all of the white pith (do this over a bowl to collect all of the orange juice)
- Add the orange segments and additional juice to the pan and continue to cook until the sauce is syrupy and the segments have collapsed. Let cool to room temperature
- When ready to serve carefully remove the mousse cake from the tin and gentle peel away the acetate from the side and the baking parchment from the base
- Whip the cream to soft peaks and pipe rosettes around the edge of the cake
- Put a small blob of compote on the top of each rosette and scatter with grated chocolate
- Serve each slice with a teaspoon of the remaining compote alongside
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