Our Five Favorite Spring Desserts

Black-and-White Mousse Cakes
 
Serves 10
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Mousse (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease an 11¾ x 16¾ x 1-inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; line with parchment paper, and spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine chocolate, flour, and cocoa powder. Process until chocolate is finely ground.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add ground chocolate mixture, ¾ cup sugar, and vanilla, beating until well combined; set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture, in thirds, into egg yolk mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center; immediately loosen from sides of pan, and turn out onto parchment paper. Remove parchment paper from bottom of cake; cool cake completely.
  5. To assemble cake, cut 3 (9x3-inch) strips of cake. Place cake strips in the bottom of a 9-inch square springform pan.
  6. Spread half of Mousse on top of cake.
  7. Cut remaining cake into strips to fit pan. Place cake strips on top of mousse. Spread remaining mousse on top of cake. Cover; refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. Garnish with grated chocolate and chocolate curls, if desired.

Mousse
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 (.25-ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 4 (4-ounce) bars white baking chocolate, finely chopped and divided
  • 3 tablespoons white chocolate–flavored liqueur
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine water and gelatin; let stand for 2 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup cream and half of white chocolate over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until white chocolate is melted. Add gelatin, stirring until gelatin is melted. Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in white chocolate liqueur.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat remaining 2 cups cream and vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into white chocolate mixture. Stir in remaining chopped white chocolate.