Creamy and rich low carb chocolate hazelnut mousse on a layer of gluten-free hazelnut sponge cake. The ultimate I Love You dessert.
There’s no denying it; I am a mousse-aholic. I love the stuff and could eat it anytime anywhere, in any form. Put in a cup, I will eat it. Put it in a cake, I will eat it. Put it in a tube that I can cut off the end and just pour it straight into my mouth, I will eat it. Except for the high blood sugar-inducing, organ and nerve-damaging part. That part might give me pause, if it wasn’t so darn easy to make low carb chocolate mousse. I honestly believe I have perfected the stuff…it’s light, it’s creamy, it’s melt in your mouth. Everything a good mousse should be, minus the sugar.
I appear to have passed on my mousse-aholic tendencies to the rest of my family. My son gets positively giddy when he knows I am making chocolate mousse. And my husband gets a happy grin on his face. Knowing that, when I decided to make a “welcome home” dessert for my husband after he got out of the hospital, making some chocolate mousse was a no-brainer. Except for the fact that I’ve done several variations of mousse on All Day I Dream About Food already. Being ever a multi-tasker, I wanted to bake something delicious for my husband AND get a good new recipe out of the deal. How to change it up a little?
I’ve long thought about putting it into a cake, so that was one little variation. And then I thought about flavours. Beyond peanut butter, I think hazelnut might be my favourite flavour to combine with chocolate (coffee and mint rank up there too…hard to say!). And I do make a FABULOUS low carb hazelnut cake. Why not just make a layer of that and layer it with a hazelnut-flavoured chocolate mousse? That’s super new and different for my readers, right? Well that’s my story and I am sticking to it.
There are definitely some specialized ingredients in this recipe. One is hazelnut oil (I pick it up inexpensively at TJ Maxx). You don’t absolutely need it, you could sub butter or another oil into the cake part. But if you can get your hands on some hazelnut oil, you will take that hazelnut flavour to the next level. I also used hazelnut extract to flavour both the cake and the mousse. Again, you could use vanilla but it won’t have quite as much hazelnut flavour. And I used some Scharrfen Berger 82% Cacao chocolate I picked up at IFBC for the mousse. You can use other high cacao chocolate but I have to give a shout out to Scharrfen Berger because my, oh my, that is good chocolate. It’s also certified gluten-free, which is hard to find. You know I love my husband that much, since I decided to put my last bar of Scharrfen Berger in his welcome-home dessert!
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 oz high % cacao chopped (I used Scharffen Berger 82%
- 3 large eggs separated and at room temperature
- 4 to 6 tbsp hot water
- 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or powdered erythritol
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract
- For the cake, grease a 9-inch springform pan and preheat oven to 325F.
- In a medium bowl, combine hazelnut meal, unflavored whey protein powder, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sweetener until well combined. Beat in hazelnut oil, egg, hazelnut extract and stevia extract.
- Beat in hazelnut meal mixture, then beat in almond milk until batter is well combined.
- Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top is set, lightly browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- For the mousse, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate together, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks together until smooth. When chocolate is lukewarm, whisk in egg yolks. Mixture will become very thick and chocolate will seize. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and whisk vigorously. Continue to add 1 tbsp water at a time until chocolate mixture becomes smooth (will still be quite thick). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites with powdered sweetener, the salt and the cream of tartar until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry.
- In another bowl, beat cream with hazelnut extract until it holds soft peaks.
- Stir a couple of large spoonfuls of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then carefully fold the chocolate mixture back into the egg whites. Fold in the cream thoroughly but gently.
- Spread mousse over cooked cake in springform pan. Let set in refrigerator at least 2 to 3 hours.
- To remove, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan sides and gently loosen. Remove sides and serve.
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