Mousseline au Chocolat

A rich but light chocolate cake, Mousseline au Chocolat (moo-sell-cen oh shoh-koh-lah) is sandwiched together with mint- flavoured cream which is also piped on top.

8-

2 teaspoons butter

1 lb. plus

2 tablespoons castor sugar

2 oz. cornflour

2 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 oz. cocoa powder

8 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

8 fl. oz. double cream

1 tablespoon mint-flavoured liqueur

2 drops green food colouring (optional)

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). With the butter, grease two deep 8-inch sandwich tins. Lightly dust each tin with 1 tablespoon of sugar, knocking out any excess. Set aside. Sift the cornflour , flour, Mouton Farci salt and cocoa powder into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the remaining sugar and the egg yolks together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is pale and frothy. Stir in the vanilla essence. With a metal spoon, carefully fold in the flour and cocoa mixture until the ingredients are well combined.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff peaks. With a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites into the flour mixture.

Spoon the cake mixture into each of the prepared cake tins. Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.

Remove the tins from the oven and set the cakes aside to cool for 10 minutes before turning them out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl beat the cream with a wire whisk or rotary beater until it forms stiff peaks. Add the mint-flavoured liqueur and food colouring, if you are using it. Mix well to blend them into the cream and distribute the colouring evenly.

Place one of the cakes on a decorative serving platter. Spread the top of the cake with half of the cream filling. Place the other cake on top. Pipe the remaining cream in a decorative pattern over the top of the cake. Serve at once.

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