Dessert First – Glacial Ice Core Chocolate Mousse Cake

Some calendars declare August as “Eat Dessert First Month.” Well since it is also the Coast Guard’s Birthday Month, we can’t let this opportunity pass us by! Each Tuesday during the month of August, our very own Coast Guard food service specialists will share some of their favorite dessert recipes so you can have dessert first!

Coast Guard food service specialists serve in approximately 370 units worldwide. They keep the Coast Guard fleet ready and able to perform the service’s missions. Dessert is always a morale booster, as well as being an important part of special events like a Change of Command.

There’s no better way to start off than with CAKE!

Glacial Ice Core Chocolate Mousse Cake by FS1 Lisa Densmore. Photo credit ENS Brian Hagerty.

Glacial Ice Core Chocolate Mousse Cake by FS1 Lisa Densmore. Photo credit ENS Brian Hagerty.

Glacial Ice Core Chocolate Mousse Cake

Made by Petty Officer First Class Lisa Densmore

Food Service Specialist aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy

The cake’s namesake describes the cutter’s operations –

“Coast Guard Cutter Healy is currently breaking ice in the Arctic to facilitate groundbreaking science for researchers from the University of Alaska and other universities as they search for new species at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean,” said the Executive Officer Cdr. William Woityra. “The mission has been an amazing success already.”

You can follow the Healy here.


  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup strong coffee, boiling
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature



1. Place rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment. Sift cocoa; whisk in boiling coffee and milk. Let cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. Using a rubber spatula, mix the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour in the cooled cocoa mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.

3. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans (about 4 cups in each pan). Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.

4. Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Carefully run a small offset spatula around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the pan. Remove cakes from pans, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.


Chocolate mousse


  • 2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature, divided
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar



1. Place white chocolate chips in a double boiler with ¼ cup of the milk chocolate chips and ½ cup of heavy cream and allow to melt. Stirring when needed.

2. Then place milk chocolate chips and the remaining 1/2cup heavy cream in the double boiler and allow to melt. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. While both chocolates are cooling down, put 4 cups of heavy cream in a mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk until you get soft peaks. Gradually add the 1 ½ cups of sugar.

4. Divide the whipped cream in two. Add the melted white chocolate to half of the whipped cream and stir to combine the two. Then do the same with the remaining whipped cream and melted milk chocolate.


Assembling the cake

1. Place the cake on the serving platter you will be using make sure it is flat.

2. Put parchment paper along the sides of the cake so that it rises up the sides and secure it with tape if needed.

3. Using a piping bag, fill with the milk chocolate mousse and pipe it on top of the cake making a layer using the parchment paper to stay neat. Then do the same thing with the white chocolate mousse.

4. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator and then take the parchment paper off before serving.


Leave a comment below to let us know if you try the recipe!

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