This is definitely a chef's recipe, and by that I mean it is a recipe that was written from a professional's prospective instead of being geared to the average home cook like me. But it is actually very doable and I am going to try and be a bit more precise as I rewrite the directions. I will warn you that I used a lot of mixing bowls in this process. But you can make this dessert and run the dishwasher a good 36 hours before your guests walk in the door.
It cracks me up that this is called "Mom's Chocolate Cake"! No wonder this guy became a chef....growing up with a mom who whips up cakes like this!
I am so happy to finally know how to make beautiful chocolate curls. Of course I had to do a little online research to find a technique. See what I mean about "chef's recipes"? They say things like, "decorate with chocolate curls" just assuming that we all know how to do that. But now I do know how to do that so thank you Chef Tourondel for inspiring me to figure it out.
7 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
5 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
3. Add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the whites.
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rum
20 to 25 ladyfingers, cut in half horizontally
3. In a 2-quart glass serving bowl, alternate layers of 1/3 of the mousse followed by 1/3 of the ladyfingers, finishing with the mousse. Alternatively, you may make individual servings by layering the mousse and ladyfingers in large wine glasses. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
Chocolate curls or shavings, if desired