Birthday Cake Recipe: Chocolate and Raspberries Mousse Cake

birthday cake picture

Acetate sheets for next time 😦

Disclaimer: This recipe is not intended for lazy people or busy people. It takes a lot of time to prepare but is worth every single effort put in it.

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday, and she had asked me to bake her the same cake that I had prepared a year ago for a friend’s birthday.

It’s a complex cake consisting of a layer of chocolate Genoise topped with a choco-raspberries mousse and a final layer of raspberry jelly.

On my first trial, the last layer did not really set, and I ended with a raspberry sauce but it was still amazing, so I was excited to give it another chance.

But after starting with the preps, I remembered why I did not even think of doing it ever again… It is so time consuming!

Anyway, after 2 days of work, the result was better but still not satisfying. I think the cake looked ugly, but it was really tasty that you could easily forget how it looked.

The first layer- the chocolate genoise – shrink after baking and became smaller than the mold that I was going to use to layer the cake (same mold I used for baking it!).

The second layer – the chocolate and raspberries mousse – was excellent but looked ugly after removing it from the mold.

The last layer, the “miroir”,  did set, and it looked beautiful.

For next time, I need some acetate sheets (the clear plastic-like sheets) that are used in most pastry shops. This will solve all the aesthetic problems (I think the cake looks horrible 😦 ). And once I have a real good-looking cake, I can think of decorating it with some berries probably!

I really think the recipe is worth the effort. Remember to indulge in some good quality ingredients (chocolate, berries, vanilla extract…) so you have a satisfying result. It’s a shame to do so much work and get an average cake.

Birthday Cake Recipe: Chocolate and Raspberries Mousse Cake 

Serves 10


To prepare the Genoise:

  • 2 room temperature eggs, separated
  • 70 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40 g flour
  • 20 g cocoa powder

To prepare the Mousse:

  • 300 g frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 2 tsp gelatin powder
  • 70 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g dark chocolate
  • 630 ml whipping cream

To Prepare the “Raspberries Miroir”:

  • 300 g frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1 tsp gelatin powder
  • 120 ml strawberry syrup / grenadine
  • 120 ml raspberries jam


To prepare the Genoise:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line the base of a round springform with parchment paper then grease the paper.
  2. Sift the flour and the cocoa together.
  3. Beat the egg whites with 2 tsp of sugar to soft peaks in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture is pale yellow. Add the sifted flour and cocoa and mix gently.
  4. Add one third of the beaten white eggs and mix again gently using a spatula then add the remaining egg whites and mix until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture in the cake pan and cook for around 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely.

To prepare the Mousse:

  1. Press and rub the thawed raspberries on top of a strainer to get rid of the seeds. Keep aside.
  2. Grate the chocolate using a bread knife and put in a bowl. In a bigger bowl, put some cold water with numerous ice cubes.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the cream with the vanilla extract. Before the mixture boils, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir gently using a spatula or a silicone whisk until you get a homogeneous brown mixture. Put the bowl inside the iced water bowl, stirring frequently until the mixture is cold (around 30 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, mix the sugar and the raspberries puree. Sprinkle the mixture with the gelatin powder and let sit for 2 minutes, and then put on a very low heat until gelatin dissolves completely. Be careful not to boil the mixture. Pour the mixture inside a big cup and put in the fridge. Stir from time to time until you get the consistency of an egg white.
  5. Whip the chocolate and cream mixture until thick. Add the cold raspberries and gelatin mixture and mix well.
  6. Cover the sides of the springform pan with acetate sheets or baking paper if sheets are not available.
  7. Gently spread the mousse over the Genoise and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, tightly covered with cling film, so the top of the mousse won’t be in contact with the air.

To Prepare the “Raspberries Miroir”:

  1. Press and rub the thawed raspberries and the jam on top of a strainer to get rid of the seeds. Put in a saucepan and add the syrup.
  2. Sprinkle the mixture with the gelatin powder and let sit for 2 minutes, and then put on a very low heat until gelatin dissolves completely. Be careful not to boil the mixture. Pour the mixture inside a big cup and leave to cool before putting in the fridge.
  3. Pour the mixture over the mousse and cover the mold with a plate. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours, until the jelly layer sets.
  4. The cake is now ready to serve. Enjoy!

So, do you think the recipe is worth the effort put in it? And would you do it? 

My birthday is in three weeks. Starting to think of the next cake 🙂 


Mint Raita Recipe

Mint Raita Picture

Perfect cooling effect after hot dishes!

Raita is a famous Indian side dish with a cooling effect, usually much appreciated after trying a very hot or spicy dish.

Raitas are versatile. They consist of yogurt that is seasoned with herbs or spices: mint, cumin, cayenne pepper…  The yogurt can be mixed with different kinds of raw or cooked vegetables or even fruits: cucumber, pineapple, eggplant…

The closest approximation in our cuisine in the yogurt and cucumber salad that we usually serve next to the kibbeh bel Siniyyeh, seasoned with dried mint.

Bur raitas do not rely on dry mint; they use “mint sauce”. As I am not familiar with this ingredient, I googled it: “A sauce traditionally made from finely chopped spearmint leaves, soaked in vinegar and some sugar. It can also contain lime juice and raspberries”.

Unfortunately, I could not find mint sauce in the supermarket, but I found something called mint jelly (Tesco brand from Spinneys), so I decided to give it a try. Apparently, it’s used as well.

Let’s check together this super easy recipe that I served next to my Indian chicken and onions. And why not try it next to red lentils and cauliflower curry?

Mint Raita Recipe

Serves: 1 – 2


  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mint sauce
  • Mint leaves to garnish


  1. Pour the yogurt in a small bowl and beat it using a fork. Gradually add the water while beating.
  2. Add the onion, salt and mint sauce and mix well.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Indian Pulao Rice Recipe

Indian Pulao Rice Picture

The grains are well cooked and do not stick to each other!

I’ve been sharing many Indian curries recipes lately, and I think it’s time to start with the side dishes as well.

As we all know, Indian curries are usually served next to rice or bread. As for the vegetarian curries, they are served next to lentils that are rich in proteins.

Rice is served with almost every Indian meal, which explains the wide variety of ways to cook it. The most famous rice used is “Basmati”, and it can be cooked plain, or it can have some interesting add-ons from spices to meats and veggies.

Today, I am sharing a simple rice recipe that goes well with the butter chicken and the chicken with onions, two recipes that I previously shared on this blog. The recipe is once again from “What’s Cooking Indian” Cookbook.

But what makes this rice special? It’s the use of the saffron along with the other spices, and of course the fat! Note that I did not have ghee, so I replaced it with clarified butter and it worked just fine. The rice was cooked to perfection and the grains did not stick to each other. Now, let’s check the recipe together!

Indian Pulao Rice Recipe

Serves: 3


  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt


  1. Rinse the rice twice and drain.
  2. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add the cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns to the pan and fry, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir-fry for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the salt, saffron and water. When the water boils, reduce the heat, cover and cook until all water has been absorbed (Around 10 minutes). Serve hot.

Serve this pulao rice next to your curries, and don’t forget to tell me how it went when you try the recipe!

Indian Chicken and Onions Recipe

Indian chicken and onions | Indian chicken pyaza

Chicken do pyaza

It looks like my love for Indian food is only growing stronger. Today, I tried a new recipe from the same cookbook I already told you about in my chicken khorma and butter chicken recipes: “What’s Cooking Indian”.

The dish is introduced in the book as one of the rare occasions where chicken is cooked without yogurt in India. It is also called “Chicken do pyaza” since “do pyaza” is used to refer to meat cooked with plenty of onions.

I turned out an exceptional dish! I had to make some changes. I only used 1/4 cup of oil instead of 1 1/4 cups, and I added some salt, as the original recipe did not use any.

I served this dish with some pulao rice and a mint raita. Raita is a refreshing Indian salad prepared with yogurt and mint sauce – the Indian version of our local yogurt and cucumber salad. Recipe will be on the blog soon

Now back to our main dish, it consists of chicken thighs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce with onions. My sister does not eat but chicken breasts when it comes to chicken, and this is why my choices are usually limited. Since she’s not here today, I grabbed the opportunity and cooked one delicious dish. I am quite sure I’ll be able to convince her to try it.

The book says this dish is better reheated, because reheating helps developing flavors and making them richer. I couldn’t wait of course, but I’ll try the reheated version tonight.

Let’s check now the ingredients and cooking method together!

Indian Chicken and Onions Recipe

Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 fresh green chili, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Fry in the onions until brown, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat and add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, salt, ground coriander, chili powder, cardamoms and peppercorns. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomato paste, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat well with the spice mixture.
  5. Pour the water over the chicken, cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice, coriander leaves and chopped green chili and combine. Cook for 2 more minutes. Serve hot.

What’s your favorite Indian dish? Let me know in the comments box! 

Indian Chicken Khorma Recipe

Chicken Khorma Picture

Be careful, it’s hot!

I am officially in love with Indian food. I’ve been cooking Indian at least once a week for the last month, and today I prepared a delicious chicken Khorma from “What’s cooking Indian” cookbook for Shehzad Husain. This is the same book where I got my butter chicken recipe from, and it keeps amazing me.

Khorma is a popular curry in India, and it can be prepared with meat, chicken or fish. There’s also a vegetarian version if you’re not as fan of meats.

I had to do some changes as the original recipe calls for 1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil – I can’t afford that much fat in one meal. I only used 1/2 cup and it was still too much. For the next time, I am cutting it to 1/4 cup of oil only.

I served the curry with an interesting side dish: urid dhal, meaning white lentils. These lentils are small and split, and they have a mild flavor compared to other types of lentils. I got them from Dubai on my last trip, but I am not sure if they are found in Lebanese supermarkets. I cooked them with ginger before seasoning them with a mixture of garlic and red chili pepper, both fried in ghee. They were a little mushy. I will have to retry this lentils recipe before posting it.

Now for the chicken khorma, let’s check how I did it!


Indian Chicken Khorma Recipe

Serves 3


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 600 g boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into big pieces
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 tsp rushed garlic
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 green cardamoms, with husks removed and seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 fresh green chili, chopped


  1. In a big bowl, mix the garam masala, chili powder, ginger, garlic, salt, cumin, cardamoms, coriander, almonds and yogurt.
  2. Add the chicken and stir to coat well.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Fry in the onions until brown. Add the chicken and the marinade. Stir-fry for 7 minutes.
  4. Pour the water over the ingredients. Cover and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes.
  5. Add the cilantro and green chili and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  6. Serve hot with Basmati rice or any other side dish of your choice.