Though this cake is made of a rich layer combined with a rich filling it is surprisingly light, and of course, very satisfying.

Makes one 9-inch cake, about 12 servings

Chocolate Cake

3 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Raspberry Mousse

2 10-ounce packages frozen raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
2 tablespoons water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 basket fresh raspberries
Confectioners' sugar

One 10-inch springform pan, buttered, lined with parchment disk
One 9-inch springform pan for construction

  1. To make the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in the middle level. Chop chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a pan of hot water and allow chocolate to melt. Stir melted chocolate smooth and allow to cool.
  2. Beat butter and sugar by machine on medium speed until soft and fluffy. Beat in chocolate and scrape bowl and beater(s). Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, then beat in the ground almonds. Beat in remaining 2 eggs, then breadcrumbs. Scrape batter into prepared 10-inch pan and smooth top. Bake until well risen and firm, about 20 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack. Unmold cake, wrap and chill until needed.
  3. To assemble dessert, trim top of cake straight and cut cake to a 9-inch diameter by using the outside of a 9-inch springform pan as a guide. Assemble pan and force cake layer into pan. Chill cake in pan until ready to fill with mousse.
  4. For the mousse, combine raspberries and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Puree in food processor and strain away seeds. Chill puree. To assemble mousse, pour liqueur and water into a heatproof bowl and sprinkle gelatin on surface. Allow to soak 5 minutes. Place bowl over gently simmering water and allow gelatin to melt; cool slightly. While gelatin is melting, whip cream until lightly firm, but not grainy. Whisk gelatin into raspberry puree, then fold puree into cream. Quickly pour mousse over cake in pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, 8 hours or overnight.
  5. To finish dessert, whip cream with sugar and spread evenly on mousse. Chill to set cream, then run knife between cream and side of pan. Remove springform side. Garnish top with raspberries and sprinkle berries with confectioners’ sugar.