Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake with Earl Grey Crème Brulee Filling

Still with the cake marathon, this was made just a few days after the previous cake, and only a week before the wedding I prepared the cake and favor for! I still can't believe that I actually executed it in the middle of the insanity that was going on due to the wedding preparation, packing up some stuff for moving, my family coming from overseas and other state, Thanksgiving dinner planning just a few days after the wedding, and let's not forget about work, oh it was an extreme chaos alright.

Speaking about cake, gourmetbaking is participating in CAS (California Against Slavery) by donating a cake of selection for the winner who won the bid. All of the money will benefit the organization to stop slavery (in any kind of form) in California. You can go here to read more about this. There are plenty of items that other people donated, which you can bid too, for a good cause! The bidding will end on Wednesday, December 8, only in two days. Not so much time, but hey... again, it's for a good cause :)

Anyways, when you're making this many cakes in a year, and 90% of your family's and friends' birthday cakes, it feels unusual (at least to me), if you need to buy a cake from a store. Not that they would mind, especially if it needs to happen to keep me sane, sure why not and I was tempted to do so too for this one birthday. It was actually a combined birthday for two of my good friends, H and E, but as stupid (or nice) as I was or maybe just the fact that they kept on hinting that they "expect" me to bake them the cake, I decided to just make it (I guess it's easier to have lack of sleep rather than being "reminded" everyday for a few months that I did not actually bake them a cake on their birthday).

I knew it from the beginning that I will be making a chocolate cake since E is a true chocoholic while H is pretty much fine with everything. So, the usual process where I need to think hard of what cake I want to make that would please me and them was pretty much skipped as I knew what I wanted to "experiment". Being not so much of a chocolate fan, I always try to sneak in some other flavor to compliment the chocolate rather than having a true 100% death by chocolate flavor (unless requested). I've always curious to put both chocolate and earl grey in the same cake as I think they would make a really nice pairing. To me, Earl Grey has that warm feeling kind of taste that reminds me of the cold Fall/Winter, not that I'm an expert on tea but that's the impression I got when I have warm Earl Grey milk tea.

I love texture in a cake, and I especially love crunch in a chocolate cake, just to have that textural balance. I did that in this cake and I LOVE it! Trying to create the same type of crunch, I made a paillete feuilletine layer in the bottom layer, but instead of using hazelnut praline and gianduja paste like the other cake, I decided to make it using milk chocolate, butter, and cocoa nib. I wish I have some praline paste on hand, but I didn't and I don't know where to get them (suggestion is well-appreciated).

The component of this cake is:
- 2 layers of chocolate sponge brushed with brandy (I wish I had whisky on hand) for the bottom and middle layer
- pailette feuilletine with cocoa nib

- dark chocolate mousse
- earl grey creme brulee
- dark chocolate glaze

I cheated and used ready-made crunchy dark chocolate chips for the decoration. I didn't have much time to take pictures too as I was gearing up and was baking some cake base for the wedding cake prep.

We also had some Korean-themed dinner that night which was really good. I loved how the earl grey creme brulee provides a nice creamy surprise in the middle and it certainly provides good textural as well as taste balance to the whole cake. I really wish I have some cross-sectional picture for the inside of the cake, but everything always happens so quickly :(


Anonymous said...

love this idea of your cake. I would like to know how you make the creme brulee for cake filling. Did you bake it seperately and then transfered it on the cake? I was confused since creme brulee is very soft texture and how do you do that? Please give me a little hint. Thank youuuuuuuuu

Bertha said...

Hi Wita,
I baked the creme brulee in a round pan. After cooled, I froze it until completely frozen. To unmould, I dip it in a hot water, you can also use hair dryer or blow torch to warm the bottom and side of the pan. You can also line your pan (bottom and side) with aluminum foil for easier removal after frozen

Crumbs N Crust said...

Hi Bertha

Would you be able to post the recipe for your cake ?! Any cross section picture of your cake ?


Stanislav said...

Your photos looks fantastic. This Chocolate mousse cake have to be special anniversary cake.
B E A U T I F U L !!!

Anonymous said...

Ok Bertha, I think your explanation has cleared up my mind..hihihi...wow thats a lot of work then. I hope I'd have the time and passion like yours, but is on my list to try it out. Thanks again, Bertha!

Birthday Gourmet said...

That's really one of the great and impressive post. i really liked it. This is my first comment for any post and you made me to post comment. Thanks for sharing.

vanillasugarblog said...

that cake is a work of art.
you did an amazing job.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Great job. Love the flavors and it's a stunning creation!

CarinE said...

Your cakes always looks fantastic! I love your decorations and your lovely photos. Do you own a cakeshop? Coz you really should! haha..anyways,Happy belated birthday to your friend!

KA77 said...


How come you don't have your OWN COOKING SHOW!!!!????

Seriously, you're food, talent, everything just amazes me. This is my first time ever leaving a comment for anyone as far as cooking goes and I you are absolutely beyond talented. GO GET YOUR OWN SHOW! you have FAR more talent than she whose name rhymes with Kartha Spewart(for legal purposes of course) :)

Thank you for your amazing blogs, dedication and sharing your talents. If only I could sample your foods(sigh) lol.

krissy @ thefoodaddicts.com said...

your cake looks absolutely gorgeous... it's so elegant! i haven't yet gotten the chance to make a cake from scratch but i'm getting inspired :)