Home » Desserts » My Martha Flop! (Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake)

My Martha Flop! (Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake)

Ever feel like Martha Stewart’s recipes oughtta come with a warning label?

Something like, “CAUTION!  This dessert was created for the sole purpose of making you feel inferior in the kitchen.  Handle with care!” would be nice.

Chocolate Mousse Cake


Elsa and I had the brilliant idea to make this dessert today to celebrate my chocolate-loving  Mother-In-Law’s birthday!  But Elsa was especially invested in the dessert since she and her Mama Casey are both celebrating special milestones… February 6th was Suzanne’s birthday and today is Elsa’s half-birthday!  (And yes, you’re observing correctly… I’m attempting to shove the blame for this dessert-flop onto my 6-month-old.)

Here’s how Martha’s dessert is supposed to look.


Photo courtesy of marthastewart.com

Luscious chocolate mousse piled high on top of moist chocolate cake… this is some serious eye/tummy candy.  And I had been eyeing this recipe for years, waiting for the perfect occasion to whip it out.  But as it turns out, it whipped me instead.

For this dessert, here’s what you need.  (Also, please note the curious little baby hand reaching for the cream in this picture.  Gotta love cooking with babies!)

Chocolate Mousse Cake Ingredients~

I won’t bother with showing you each and every step, since (as you can see) I’m no authority on the matter.  But it starts off simply enough with a small layer of dark chocolate cake, baked in ramekins.


My cakes turned out fine.   I think my error was somewhere in the mousse-making process…

There’s a lot of whisking involved.


At one point you have to boil corn syrup and sugar and then mix it into your eggs without curdling them… always a risky step.


Then there’s more whisking, some chocolate melting, and you guessed it… more whisking.


Then this entire process is repeated all over again using a different kind of chocolate (so you can achieve that two-toned effect.)

So yeah.  Pretty intense recipe.

Finally you get to the fun part where you pipe the mousses into these parchment paper “collars” you have to wrap around the cakes.




And then it all chills it your fridge overnight, taking up an insane amount of room and fooling you into thinking that everything is “setting” and “firming up” like the recipe says it will.



Then, finally, it’s time for the big reveal!  Off come the collars and…






She’s fading fast!


Maybe some chocolate curls could spruce it up??


Perhaps a few more chocolate curls…?


You get the idea.


Don’t get me wrong… it was a delicious flop.  But a flop nonetheless.

Thanks a lot Elsa.

Oh and Martha too.  Can’t forget to thank her.  I bet you’re dying to make this on your own now aren’t you?  So here’s a link to the recipe.  I wish you all the luck in the world.

You’ve gotta keep your sense of humor in the kitchen.  I’m chalking this one up to a learning experience, and I know I’ll just feel that much more awesome the next time I DO pull off a complicated recipe.  Besides, if I hadn’t shown you the picture of what this was supposed to look like, you totally would’ve pinned my chocolate blobs on your Pinterest, right?  Haha, riiiiight.

Here’s to many more kitchen adventures!  And Happy Birthday and Half-Birthday to my Mother-In-Law and my girl!


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6 Responses so far.

  1. emily cheatham says:

    HAHAHAHA! “Perhaps a few more chocolate curls?” I was laughing aloud! Thanks for this post.

  2. daphne says:

    i made these last year (am just about to again) and they turned out exactly like her photos.. sorry.. maybe it’s your chocolate?

  3. […] call me Martha Stewart!  (Actually if you want to see my last attempt/flop at a Martha recipe, here it is.  Eat your heart […]

  4. Iichan says:

    I’m sure thinking you figured out what you did wrong since its been years since you posted this but just in case you still wondered what went wrong I figured to write to you. You where supposed to chill the cake and the dark chocolate mousse for at least 4 hours then you make the lighter chocolate mouss chill again at least 4 hours up to overnight.