Can't have too much chocolate!

PAM ANDERSON | 9/17/2009, 11:20 a.m.


Whether you've got a few minutes to nuke chocolate fondue, a half-hour to whip up chocolate mousse or a leisurely afternoon to take on a rich chocolate cake, there's an irresistibly lush chocolate dessert here for you.

First up is Microwave Chocolate Fondue, a dessert so simple you could make it -- start to finish -- while a pot of coffee brews. The Chocolate-Raspberry Mousse delivers an intense chocolate hit with a hint of berry. The moist, tender Chocolate Sour Cream Cake is satisfying on its own or with ice cream. Or make all three recipes, then split one layer of the cake, sandwich in the mousse and pour the fondue (it doubles as a glaze) over the filled cake. Wow, indeed!1 cup heavy cream

1 8-ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate bar, broken into large chunks, or 8 ounces of chocolate chips (half of a 16-ounce bag)

2 Tbs. raspberry liqueur (or use your favorite flavor of liqueur)

Dippers: Sliced bananas and apples, strawberries, figs, warm miniature croissants, fortune cookies, pieces of challah bread

Measure cream into a 4-quart Pyrex measuring cup or other microwave-safe container. Add chocolate. Heat until cream is hot, about 2 minutes. Whisk until chocolate melts, then whisk in liqueur. Transfer to a bowl and serve with dippers.

Serves 8 Per 1/4-cup serving: 258 calories, 3g protein, 17g carbohydrates, 23g fat (13g saturated), 41mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 12mg sodium2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups cake flour

2 Tbs. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp. instant coffee

3/4 cup boiling water

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

14 Tbs. butter, melted

Ice cream, to serve

Note: The cake is firm on the bottom and soft on top, so it's important to invert the baked cake onto a plate then invert it back onto a wire cake rack to cool. Otherwise, the top may stick to the rack and tear as it is removed. This recipe makes two cakes; freeze the second one for a fast dessert later.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with vegetable cooking spray, then dust pans with flour, knocking out excess flour.

Whisk sugar, flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In another medium bowl, measure cocoa and coffee, then whisk in water to form a smooth paste. Stir in sour cream and vanilla; set aside.

In a third bowl, using a hand mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add melted butter to dry ingredients; without cleaning the beaters, mix until butter is completely incorporated. Immediately add cocoa mixture; beat until batter is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully fold egg whites into batter with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Divide batter evenly between the two pans and bake until a skewer inserted into the center of each cake comes out with still-moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cakes sit in pans to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Invert each cake onto a plate, then back onto a wire cake rack so that it sits top side up; cool completely. Double wrap and freeze one cake for another use. Serve remaining cake in wedges with ice cream.