• It’s right there in the name. This ultimate death by chocolate mousse cake is the only decadent chocolate confection you will ever need again. It’s perfect for entertaining or a special occasion, and no palate will be able to resist it.

    Recipe by Martie Koen

    Photographs by Graeme Borchers

    Ultimate death by chocolate mousse cake


    • Cake

    • 400g (2 cups) sugar
    • 250g cake flour
    • 100g good-quality dark cocoa powder
    • 7,5ml (½ tbsp) bicarbonate of soda
    • 7,5ml (½ tbsp) baking powder
    • 5ml (1 tsp) salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 250ml (1 cup) milk
    • 125ml (½ cup) oil
    • 10ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
    • 250ml (1 cup) boiling water
    • Mousse

    • 330g good-quality dark chocolate
    • 150g butter, cubed
    • 150ml milk
    • 650ml fresh cream
    • Ganache

    • 300g good-quality dark chocolate
    • 180ml fresh cream
    • fresh berries and grapes, to decorate



    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 2 x 22cm cake tins with baking paper.


    In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together on high speed all of the cake ingredients, except for the boiling water.


    Stir in the boiling water. Pour equal portions of the batter into the tins and bake until a skewer comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool and then turn out.


    To make the mousse, combine the chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, bring the milk to the boil, pour over the chocolate mixture and stir until the chocolate dissolves. Cool to room temperature. Whip the 4th cream to soft peaks then fold into the chocolate mixture and refrigerate.


    For the ganache, in a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the cream together, stirring until smooth. Leave to cool to room temperature. It should thicken slightly, but still have a pouring consistency.


    To assemble, grease a 22cm spring-form cake tin. Halve both layers of cake and put one layer in the tin and cover with chocolate mousse, repeat with all the layers then refrigerate for about 2 hours.


    Remove the cake from the tin and pour the ganache over. Refrigerate until the ganache has set.


    Cook's tip: If you have the time, make a chocolate band to go around the cake. Measure the circumference and height of the finished cake and add a few extra centimetres to create an overlap. Cut baking paper to these dimensions and flatten out on a clean work surface. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. Pour the chocolate onto the baking paper and use a spatula to smooth out the chocolate. Remember to go over the edges. When the chocolate loses some of its gloss, it is ready to wrap around the cake, with the chocolate side against the cake. Refrigerate, and remove the baking paper when set. Decorate with fresh berries and grapes.