These past few days and even weeks are super hot, I’m pretty sure one doesn’t really feel like going to the kitchen, not mentioning having to bake something in the oven! This delicious mousse cake is almost no-bake (let’s not count those 15 minutes required for the sponge base) and will definitely please your taste buds and help fight the hot weather. The amount of berries this time of the year is incredibly big, so you may want to taste different flavours of this cake, just think of black currant, raspberries or sour cherries. The more sour the berry the better!
This cake is very balanced in taste, it has just enough sweetness and bursting with berries. The base is a thin layer of tender and a little dense sponge, it holds that light-as-air, melt-in-your-mouth bilberry mousse. The recipe is quite straight forward, I’m pretty sure even a new baker may succeed with it.
Bilberry mousse cake
Adapted from Richard Bertinet
The recipe makes a 6″/ 15 cm cake, serves 8-10
- 2 T/ 1 oz/ 35 g white sugar
- 1 egg
- finely grated zest of ½ lemon (optional)
- 2.5 T/ 1 oz/ 35 g all-purpose flour
- 2 t/ 8 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 355ºF/ 180ºC regular or 320ºF/ 160ºC fan forced. Line the base of a 6″/ 15 cm spring form with baking paper.
In a heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (filled 1/4 with water) and whip the contents with a balloon whisk for 3-4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and beat with a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment for 5 minutes, until the batter is thick, light and cooled.
Add the lemon zest, if using.
Gradually add in the flour and mix gently with a spoon until fully incorporated. Add the butter and gently stir again.
Transfer the batter to the prepared spring form and bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown and ready. Remove from oven, let stand in the pan for 10 minutes, then release the sponge from tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
Place the sponge in a 6″/ 15 cm spring form with tall sides.
- 1 1/3 t/ 4 g gelatin
- 4 t/ 20 ml cold water (1)
- 1½ c/ 9.2 oz/ 260 g bilberries, fresh or frozen
- ¾ c/ 5 oz/ 150 g white sugar (1)
- 1½ T/ 25 ml water (2)
- 2 oz/ 60 g/ 2 egg whites
- 2 t/ 10 g white sugar (2)
- 1/3 c + 1 T/ 100 ml heavy cream
Soak the gelatin in water (1), set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.
Add the billberries to a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the berries are soft. Remove from heat, push the berries through a fine sieve. Discard whatever remains in the sieve.
Heat up ¼ of the bilberry puree over a water bath or pulse in a microwave. Add the soaked gelatin and stir well until fully dissolved and smooth. Combine with the remaining puree and set aside to cool completely.
In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the sugar (1) and water (2), bring to a boil and continue cooking the syrup to 248ºF/ 120ºC. Meanwhile, in a bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites with the sugar (2) on low. When the syrup is ready, increase the speed to high and carefully pour the hot syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Continue whipping the meringue until stiff peaks form and it cools down.
Add the cooled bilberry puree to the meringue in 3 batches, gently folding it until fully incorporated.
Whip the heavy cream to medium peaks and incorporate with the bilberry-meringue mix.
- 2 T Crème de cassis
- 1 c/ 100-150 g bilberries for decoration
Brush the sponge with Crème de cassis and cover with mousse. Smooth the top and freeze for at least 2-3 hrs or until fully set. Decorate with bilberries.
Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 40 minutes before serving. Use a blow torch or hair dryer to heat up the sides of the pan for easy unmolding.