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Chocolate Mousse Cake

(Serves 10-12)
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Chocolate Mousse Cake

2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
4 egg whites, room temperature

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Chocolate Leaves:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
Waxy leaves, such as camellia or lemon leaves

Sugared Cranberries:
2 cups sugar, divided
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries


For crust:
Combine crumbs and butter.  Press on bottom and 1-inch up sides of 10-
inch spring form pan.  Refrigerate 30 minutes.

For filling:
Microwave chocolate until smooth, about 1 minute.  Allow to cool about 15
minutes.  Add whole eggs and mix well.  Add yolks and blend thoroughly.

In a bowl, whip cream with sugar until soft peaks form.  In another bowl, beat
egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Stir a little of the whipped cream and
whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining cream and whites until
completely incorporated. Turn into crust and chill at least 8 hours or

For topping:
Whip 1 cup heavy cream with sugar until peaks form.

To serve:
Loosen crust on all sides using a sharp knife.  Remove spring form side ring.
Use an offset spatula to spread an even layer of the whipped cream over the top surface of the cake. Alternately, you can pipe the whipped cream into rosettes on top of the cake. 

To make Chocolate Leaves:
Line large baking sheet with foil.  Melt chocolate  in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth.  Use a spoon or brush chocolate over veined side (underside) of 1 leaf to form a thick coating.  Repeat with remaining leaves and chocolate, re-warming the chocolate if necessary to keep it thin enough to work with. Arrange the leaves chocolate side up on prepared baking sheet. Chill the leaves until firm, about 45 minutes. Starting at stem end, carefully pull back the green leaf, releasing the chocolate leaf. Return the leaves to same baking sheet. (Can be made 2 days ahead;
cover and keep chilled.)

To make Sugared Cranberries:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cranberries until well coated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to wire rack; let dry for at least 1 hour. Working in batches, roll cranberries in remaining 1-1/2 cups sugar until well coated; let dry for at least 1 hour.

Use any remaining melted chocolate to pipe decorative swirls on top of the cake. Arrange chocolate leaves and sugared cranberries on top.  Refrigerate until serving.
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