Flourless Chocolate Cake
12 ounces European or other good-quality dark chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Note: You will need 4 four-inch heart-shaped pans or 1 nine-inch round or heart-shaped pan, greased and lined with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Add butter and melt into chocolate, whisking occasionally. In a bowl whisk eggs and sugar together. Then whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Stir in rum and vanilla. Pour batter into the heart-shaped pans. Place cake pans in a larger pan, fill it halfway with water, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. (For a nine-inch cake, cook 1 hour and 15 minutes.) Carefully remove cakes from pans and cool completely on a rack. The cakes will not be very tall.
Milk Chocolate Mousse
10 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
3 jumbo eggs, at room temperature, separated
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over lightly simmering or very hot water, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir vanilla into egg mixture.
Using an electric mixer at low speed, beat egg whites until frothy. Increase speed to medium or medium-high and continue beating until stiff shiny peaks form. Stir egg yolk mixture into chocolate mixture. With a large rubber spatula, fold whites into chocolate mixture (fold in a third to lighten the chocolate; then fold in the remainder).
Using an electric mixer at medium or medium-high speed, whip cream until soft peaks start to form. Do not overbeat. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture and refrigerate mousse until firm, at least an hour and a half.
Dark Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces European dark chocolate, chopped into approximately 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Put the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Put corn syrup, cream, and vanilla in a saucepan and heat until it just starts to boil. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes without stirring. Then whisk about 1 minute until smooth. Set aside, keeping at room temperature so that it will be pourable.
To assemble, return the cakes to the heart-shaped pans and spread with mousse, filling to top of each pan or to thickness desired. Smooth mousse with a spatula. Freeze cakes for at least 6 hours (cake will be quite dense).
To serve, remove from freezer, dip bottom of each pan briefly in hot water to loosen, and invert onto a plate. Then invert again onto another plate so that the mousse is on top. Tidy up the mousse with a knife. Pour glaze over the top and spread on the sides. Serves 8 chocoholics or 12 to 16 normal people. (Note: The cakes may be served immediately but are also delicious at room temperature, or warm, with the glaze alone.)