The recipe, printed in a February, 1967 Australian women’s magazine promised that the secret in this chilled, whipped dessert is the Carnation Evaporated Milk, “the milk from contented cows.” I’m not too too sure about how contented the cows were this time around, but this did make for a lovely cake, with one caveat.
The 1960’s recipe called for dark cooking chocolate and instant coffer, and I used 70% cocoa extra bittersweet cooking chocolate, along with instant espresso, I thought the cake came out… nice, but too sweet. Next time I make this, I believe a tablespoon or two of rum or brandy is called for, to take the edge off all that sweetness.
Chocolate Mousse Cake:
•1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk*
•1 cup water
•3 tbsp cornstarch
•3 tbsp sugar
•2 tsp gelatin
•2 tsp instant instant espresso
•4 oz dark (70%) chocolate
•Grated orange zest
•24 or 30 ladyfingers
*The original recipe called for a 14-1/2 ounce can which measured out to 1-2/3 cup. Well, my 12 ounce can yielded 1-2/3 cup as well, so, who knows if it was a no bake miracle or just a slight difference in the way weight is calculated between Australia and here, but it all worked out.
Line the bottom and sides of the loaf pan with ladyfingers.
Break the chocolate into squares.
Whisk cornstarch together with the sugar, instant espresso, gelatin, one cup of evaporated milk, and one cup of water together in a ‘wave safe bowl along with a wooden skewer to lean into the mixture against the side of the bowl (this’ll help to keep the milk from boiling over). Put the remaining evaporated milk in the fridge to chill.
‘Wave on high until boiling, stirring every 30 seconds – this’ll take mebbe two minutes.
Add the chocolate squares and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the orange zest and rum or brandy until nicely blended.
Whip the remaining (2/3 cup) chilled evaporated milk until stiff, then fold into the chocolate mixture.
Spoon half the mousse on top of the ladyfingers in the loaf pan, then top that with another layer of ladyfingers.
Spoon the remaining mousse on top, then finish the cake off with one more layer of ladyfingers. Trim the extra ladyfingers sticking up over the side and cover, then chill for at least two to three hours.
Lift from the loaf pan and serve with whipped cream.