The Mysterious, Exquisite Mona Lisa Cake
The enigmatic beauty of the Mona Lisa painting is undisputed. But baking a delectable Mona Lisa cake that is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate is not as enigmatically difficult as da Vinci’s artwork.
The traditional Mona Lisa cake is a sophisticated, unique confection that is certain to enchant any guests invited to your tea party or formal event. Deep layers of chocolate sponge cake are enveloped in rich, velvety dark chocolate mousse and topped with creamy, dreamy white chocolate ganache. There’s just something special about the contrast of creamy and dark, the sweet and the bittersweet, that makes a Mona Lisa cake a wonderfully indulgent and refined cake worthy of a royal audience.
Chocolate Sponge Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the melted butter and sugar until light and creamy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, then the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the dry ingredients slowly until fully incorporated and no lumps remain.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes completely before assembling.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 6 tbsp white sugar
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips until fully melted and smooth.
- Remove the chocolate from heat and chill for 15 minutes or until cool enough to the touch.
- In a bowl, beat the cold heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until completely incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy.
- Gradually add in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not beat for too long.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until combined.
- Refrigerate the mousse for at least two hours until set.
White Chocolate Ganache
- 6 oz white chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Place the chopped white chocolate in a bowl.
- In a saucepan over low heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.
- Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Gently whisk together the cream and chocolate until fully combined. Do not over whisk or ganache will be too thin.
- Chill the ganache completely before using.
- Place one of the cooled cake layers on a cake stand or plate.
- Spread cooled dark chocolate mousse over the cake layer.
- Top with the second cake layer and press down gently.
- Spread a layer of white chocolate ganache on top of the cake.
- Top with fresh raspberries and strawberry slices, if desired.
- Serve chilled.
The exquisite Mona Lisa cake can be easily recreated in any kitchen. Just be sure to show off all the delicious layers, so your guests can appreciate this masterpiece. From the dark, velvety chocolate mousse to the creamy white chocolate ganache, this unique cake will be a conversation starter and a taste sensation.