Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adriano Zumbo's Chocolate Mousse Cake (from Masterchef)

I don't know what possessed us to attempt this cake. It took my husband and I 4 hours to make it. We were alternating between mixing the 5 different layers, cooking it, assembling it, decorating it and trying to keep our son entertained as well. Poor little guy. Here are the photos...
Pate sable cinnamon (in the oven)
Texture apple tatin insert - Part A

Texture apple tatin insert - Part B

Salted Caramel Layer (we should have cooked this for longer)

Cigarette decor paste - this was the decorated part on the side of the cake. You really need a blast freezer for it to work out because it didn't set fast enough for the contrasting colours to show.

Biscuit jaconde mixture (used with the cigarette decor paste to make the decoration and also one of the layers in the cake)

Spreading the Biscuit jaconde mixture on top of the Cigarette decor paste

Halfway through our baking and this is the mess already.....we
ran out of clean pots and mixing bowls and had to clean some up to continue on
This was suppose to be Blackberry ganache stage but we couldn't find any fresh or frozen blackberries at the store so we used strawberry instead.


Mixing the straweberry ganache with the sabayon to form Chocolate strawberry sabayon mousse

1st layer - the mousse


2nd layer - salted caramel (the caramel is suppose to be poured into a silicone mould and then placed in the blast freezer). Since I didn't have a blast freezer I had to just pour it straight on top of the mousse layer cold. I'm sure this affected the overall appearance too because it was just too runny.

3rd layer - jaconde

4th layer - mousse

5th layer - apple tatin

6th layer - sable (6th layer should actually have been another jaconde followed by the 7th layer of mousse and then the final 8th layer should be the sable but the tin was already full and we ran out of mousse)

This was the first cake (we ended up making 2 because our cake tins must be really small)
See how the Cigarette decor paste didn't show up on the side of the cake - you need the blast freezer.

This is pathetic I know. But I don't have a sugar thermometer so I couldn't make the Tempered chocolate. We had to make do with one big swirl and our "stone henge" decoration instead. We also were not going to use a paint gun to decorate it so just sprinkled cocoa on the top instead.

It takes a lot of concentration to cut a cake (well when you are 2 it does...)

And how was the layering? Yikes scroll down, the second cake looks better!

(still the first cake)

Here's the second cake (minus the decorations because by this stage we were over it and just wanted a slice)

Slice from the second cake (below). Still pathetic. Click here to see what it's really suppose to look like.
Not Quite Nigella is one of my favourite food blogs to visit and she was fortunate enough to try Adriano Zumbo's Chocolate Mousse Cake. I'm so jealous! See the difference between mine and the real thing. Man, Mr Zumbo would be falling on the floor laughing by this stage.

Squint and you might be fooled....

So how did it taste. Pretty darn good. I think if we had cooked the caramel for longer it would have made a big difference. Would I make it again? Probably not. It took me 4 hours for crying out loud and that's with 2 people at it! There was just so much to do and it was really involved. Not to mention the cleaning afterwards too! I'd make the apple tatin insert again and use it for an apple pie. I'd also make the mousse on it's own and just eat a tub of that.
I'm glad we attempted it. It was a real challenge and I have all new respect for the Masterchef contestants and Mr Zumbo himself. Amazing.
Almost forgot, here is the recipe. Remember my cake does not resemble anything like the real one because I don't have a sugar thermometer or a blast freezer....and I'm not Adriano Zumbo. Well that's my excuse anyway.


  1. Well done! You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, it's a terribly difficult cake to make and look at all of those distinct layers! :D

  2. Im so impressed! You and your wonderful hubby should be proud of yourselves. Have you read the comments on the site? no-one else has the courage or patience to make this. Also I am so impressed at your hubby getting in the kitchen with you. My hubby only comes into the kitchen to see what I am cooking and pick at it. I am tempted to try to make this cake myself, but it would have to be pretty darn good to do so, and I think it sounds nice, but not worth the effort. Might stick to making simpler things.

  3. I am about to make the cake and be challenged. Plse let me know where you bought the cocoa butter, pectin nh and what is inverted sugar? tks.

  4. Hi NQN - thanks for stopping by again. I love your blog!

    Hi Anonymous - Oh wow, thank you so much for your kind words! You should try the cake, I would love to know what other people think of it. Just be prepared to make a mess ;)

  5. Hi Alice - I didn't buy the cocoa butter because i didn't want to use a spray gun for the decorations. Instead I just just sifted cocoa over the cake.
    The pectin I bought some from woolies which was actually jelly setter (which has pectin in it). That was the closest thing I could find.
    Inverted sugar - I had no idea what this was but a search showed that it was a very sweet syrup so I just substituted it with glucose syrup (already in the recipe).
    This probably all affected the cake in the end but still tasted great!
    Goodluck with it, hope you can let me know how you went

  6. wow you did u good job at this cake
    i have the same problem with the blast freezer... how long did u find it took for each layer to set?
    for long did u put the caramel in the fridge?

  7. You shouldn't sell yourself short! The fact that you attempted it makes you one very brave woman! I think the layers look fantastic and I can just imagine how beautiful it'd taste.

    Think of the 4 hours and subsequent washing up as a great bonding experience b/w you and your hubby :) Well done!

  8. Hi Anonymous - thank you!!
    For the apple mixture we put it in our freezer for about an hour (although it didn't really set). We just didn't want to wait anymore. I think the main thing was it couldn't be hot or even warm otherwise it would have melted the other layers.
    The caramel, we totally forgot to put this in the freezer so we basically poured it on when it was fully cooled.
    Hope this helps!

  9. Hello Karen - thank you very much!
    I had to laugh reading your positive outlook on washing up! That's certainly a good way of looking at it :)

  10. Congratulations! Brave, brave soul for attempting it - I've looked at the recipe many times and thought about it but not having several fridges put me off a bit - you might have convinced me to try it now, thanks!

  11. Hello YaYa - Thank you : )
    We had to clear out a few things from the freezer, but it was worth it.
    Yes definitely give it a go, and please let me know how you went.

  12. dude i think you did an awesome job! and hey its the taste that counts in the end right!

  13. wow, what a Herculean effort! I think you did a fantastic job - I would never even entertain the thought of making this. Great effort, and I think the Stonehenge effect is brilliant!

  14. wow, holy cow bee, you are amazing, is this what i have to look forward to when i come back to australia. Awesome blog!

    Jo xxx

  15. Hi Suze - Thank you!!!
    Yeah that's what I keep telling myself haha!

    Hi Helen - Thank you so much for your kind words! Had to make do with what we could :)

    Hey Jo - I won't be making this when you come back, but I can certainly make you something easier ;)

  16. Wow. 4 hours! You go girl! I think you did an awesome job! It looks pretty tasty to me :) I think Mr. Zumbo would be proud that you even attempted it!

  17. Hey Betty - Awwww thank you for saying that :)
    P.S. Keep up the good work on your blog!

  18. Fabulous! I am really impressed.

  19. Hi Cakelaw - : ) Thank you!!!

  20. 4 hours of your life that you will never get back!

  21. Hi Anonymous - yeah that's what I was thinking whilst making the cake...

  22. Hey Brenda, T gave me the link to your blog. I'm massively impressed - that's a deadset tricky cake to make.

    Hehehe *evil thought* Should I tell T that this is your signature dish and he should ask for it?! ;) j/k

  23. Hi Milli - Thank you so much!!
    I know how much you love Zumbo too ;)

    Hahahahaha! Don't even think about it! I don't want to attempt this cake again. Tell him I make a wicked "White Wings" cupcake LOL!

  24. omg! it really look SOOO CRAZYY!
    anyways gd job! hehe
    im gonna try making it with my friends today!
    wish me luck =D

  25. We are a bit behind here in UK, the first Masterchef is now showing -or perhaps I missed it 2009. Anyhow, this cake was made yesterday here. As soon as I finish my SMD, I shall make it as well. Your effort proves that it is doable!
    Thank you for the photos!