Happy Raksha Bandan (Rakhi) family, friends, and love ones.!!
Raksha Bandhan, (the bond of protection) or Rakhi is a Hindu(Indian) festival which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters, held once a year. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother’s wrist. This symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her.
I usually make a big fuss about Rakhi since I missed out on in growing up (no brother). So now being blessed with both a son and daughter, I take it upon myself to make it X-special for my kids.
To commemorate this monumental occasion, I once again turned for inspiration to one of my favorite and trusted website Leite’s Culinaria. Brainchild of David Leite, a food site which consistently carries fool-proof and delicious recipes. I wanted to make something which was easy and especially make ahead since it is a school night. Rich chocolate mousse and sublime ladyfingers, topped with creamy crème anglaise…..a show stopper for sure!
Traditionally I should have made an Indian dessert but since my son adores chocolate, I took the classic french route. Don’t let the various steps scare you away, it is actually relatively easy to make. I chose to make home-made ladyfingers but if you are stressed for time, go ahead and buy them from your local grocery store for convenience. It will still taste delicious.
Chocolate Mousse Cake with Creme Anglaise
Rich chocolate mousse surrounded with fluffy, moist, and delicate ladyfingers, topped with decadent crème anglaise, need I say more? No frills, no fuss, no fancy ingredients, just melting in your mouth chocolate goodness and love. It tastes even better next day with your morning cup of Joe. Feel free to omit the rum in this recipe, it will taste fabulous regardless.
- 11/4 cup sifted cake flour
- 1 tbs sugar
- 4 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 7 ounces semi-sweet good quality chocolate
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1/4 cup spiced rum
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 5 eggs, separated
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup spiced rum
For the Crème Anglaise
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- Sift cake flour and 1 tablespoon sugar three times.
- Melt the butter and set aside.
- Place the egg yolks and eggs in a heavy-duty mixer bowl. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and whisk by hand to combine. Place the bowl over a large skillet filled with hot tap water and whisk until the mixture is smooth, and not grainy.
- Whip the mixture on medium-high speed until it has cooled and increased in volume, appears pale yellow in color, approximately 4-5 minutes. Fold in the vanilla essence.
- To test the consistency, lift the whisk. If the mixture falls back into the bowl in ribbons and remains on the surface, proceed with the flour addition. Otherwise, continue whisking till desired consistency is reached.
- Scoop one-third flour mixture and sprinkle over the meringue. Fold until incorporated and repeat until all flour is absorbed.
- Gently pour one cup batter into the butter and fold until combined. Return the butter to rest of the batter and fold again to combine.
- Pour the batter into a 9″ baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the batter with a sieve. Bake for 5-6 minutes in a pre-heated 425 degree oven on the middle racks until the cake is firm but spongy. Remove and cool. Once cool, gently slice the cake into 24 pieces like lady fingers.
- Combine the sugar and water in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to one week.
- Break the chocolate up and place it in the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water. Add the espresso powder and the 1/4 cup of spiced rum and let stand uncovered until the chocolate is softened. Stir until blended and chocolate is glossy.
- Whip the cream on high-speed for 4 minutes, or until soft peaks form.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of the sugar until pale, about 3 minutes.
- In a large mixer bowl with clean beaters, beat the whites on medium speed until frothy. Gradually add the remaining 4 tablespoons of the sugar and increase the speed to high. Whip until you get the consistency of a meringue, stiff peaks.
- Add the egg-yolk mixture to the chocolate and stir to combine. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture.
- In a large saucepan, bring the milk and 1/2 cup of the sugar to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla paste.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until thick and well blended. Temper the eggs by gradually adding 1/2 cup of the milk mixture into the yolks and whisk until well incorporated. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened slightly and the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 6-8 minutes.
- Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer, cool, and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Mix together the simple syrup and 1/4 cup of spiced rum. Dip each ladyfinger in the syrup until slightly softened.
- In a 2-quart glass serving bowl,spread a ladle of mousse, top with ladyfingers, repeat the process finishing with mousse. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
- To serve, either pour the cooled anglaise on top of the cake or slice the cake and serve crème anglaise on the side.
For the original recipe check out Leite’s Culinaria. Recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria and The Simple Art of Baking by Flo Baker.