Since winter is almost here, I had to snag the last of the decent berries at the grocery store to make something delicious. Though the raspberries I got were already overpriced and not the best, I was still craving and needing to make something with berries and chocolate ever since Peter brought it up. So as he (indirectly) requested, I found this short and seemingly simple recipe and came up with:

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First, my criticisms. I vaguely remember thinking that the cake recipe was funny (no butter or fats? I don’t know much about baking, but… ); by the time I was pouring the batter I was pretty damn skeptical–the recipe said that a lot of cake would come out of this, but what I ended up with was a 3/4″ thick sheet of something with the texture of a slightly stale cookie. So I made another one with marginally better results, but still disappointing. Was a line omitted from the ingredients list? I wonder.

Because I was so hung up by the cake thing I did not love the first or second bite of this. However… I really love berries. And though the mousse wasn’t perfect (texture somewhere between whipped cream and mousse) it held its shape and had good flavor even though I ended up with half the berry puree. Also, not straining the berry puree was nice, I like chunks of fruit in desserts. The last and best good thing about this cake is a lucky substitution. I used some raspberry preserves that Peter bought on a whim yesterday instead of the raspberry syrup (see dark red chunks between cake parts in bottom left picture) which thankfully made the cake infinitely softer and better–this saved the whole cake for me, I think.

Future improvements I think would include using a lot more fruit preserve (not really sure where I would get raspberry liqueur as the syrup recipe calls for, will look into other options though), using a better cake recipe, and actually doing the chocolate glaze on top.

There is also this amazing cherry blossom mousse layer cake (see Craftster forum post here)–I would like to try to get a thick layer of mousse in between the cake (brownie in this case, mmm) but I wonder if it’s all piled on at once like I did or if you need the first layer of mousse to set before you put more cake on. I didn’t have too, too much mousse this time around and plus the recipe I used had the cake and mousse put into a larger pan so that the mousse completely surrounds the cake instead of being a layer in between. But if I used the same sized pan would the cake sink? Is cake more dense than mousse? This seems like a dumb question but I am always amazed at pecan pies (not the same principle but damn baking is cool) and things that are constructed in an easier way than one would expect. Now I just need another occasion to make a big cake… :)

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