Edible Art


Wild berry Chocolate Mousse in a Bitter Chocolate Bramble Cage



The challenge – to make edible art. The theme this Valentine month – chocolate. The blog host Holly of Art You Eat.

This one was fun. My creation is a Wildebraam Dark Chocolate Mousse with Vanielje Cream and Fresh Strawberries in a Bitter Chocolate Bramble Cage.


  • First make the mousse according to my favourite recipe, substituting the espresso for Wildebraam, a South African wild berry liqueur. You could use any liqueur here, as long as it goes with chocolate and strawberries.
  • Line and fill bottomless individual moulds with baking parchment and placed them on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. This makes the mousse easier to unmould when set.
  • So far so easy!


Step by Step for Chocolate Cages







  • Whilst the mousse is setting melt 100g of Bitter 80% chocolate in a double boiler then take it off the heat to cool slightly
  • Measure a strip of baking parchment long enough and wide enough to go around the moulds you are using, with a little extra
  • Fold the parchment around a spare mould and mark the meeting point on both ends of the paper. This lets you know how much pattern you need to circle the mould
  • Photocopy a twirly, brambly pattern from a book. I used one from ‘Pattern Motifs – A sourcebook’ by Graham Leslie McCallum.
  • Place the photocopy under your piece of measured parchment
  • Fill a piping bag with the slightly cooled chocolate. It should not be too runny but you will have to work quickly as it sets rapidly, becoming recalcitrant and difficult to work with.
  • Use small amounts at a time, returning stubborn chocolate to the bain marie for a few seconds to soften if needed.
  • Pipe over the pattern trying to use smooth movements.
  • Chocolate is not as easy to control as royal icing, so choose a pattern that lends itself to a slightly wild, undisciplined look, unless you are a pro
  • Leave the chocolate to set for a few seconds and then fold the paper band around the outside of your mould, using a blob of chocolate to hold it in place
  • Pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes to set
  • To plate you will need some fresh cream, whipped to medium peaks with a little Vanielje sugar, and some fresh strawberries
  • Cut the baking parchment that lines the chocolate mousse tray so that each mould will come away separately.
  • Lift one mould up with a spatula and carefully peel away the parchment from the bottom
  • Lift off the mould and peel away the parchment from the sides
  • Take a bramble cage out of the fridge (at the last minute) and carefully slip the mould out from the centre.
  • Very gently, taking care not to handle the cage too much as the heat from your fingers will mark the chocolate, peel the paper from the inside of the chocolate cage
  • Slip the cage over the mousse
  • Top up with a dollop of cream and some fresh chopped strawberries.




You may need to set aside some time to do it, but it is not that difficult, and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed helping me. In her words ‘it is definitely worth the Wow factor for a special dinner or lunch’. Once plated, these wildly delicious treats can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or overnight, but bear in mind that cream and dairy products will absorb the smells of the fridge.

Please check the Vanielje Kitchen Cook Book for the Chocolate Mousse recipe.

Thank you for trying a Vanielje Kitchen Recipe. I hope it fed you mind, body and soul.



32 Responses to “Edible Art”

  1. on 05 Feb 2008 at 1:20 pm Ann

    Wow! Spectacular! Absolutely beautiful! And I bet it tastes great too! I’m going to try this soon!

  2. on 05 Feb 2008 at 1:48 pm Susan from Food Blogga

    That is simply to gorgeous to eat. OK, maybe I could be persuaded. Maybe. 😉

  3. on 05 Feb 2008 at 2:52 pm Bellini Valli

    This takes dessert to a whole other level. I suppose if you opened a shop that might take the fun out of it, but it is something to condsider. I remember your Christmas cakes as well. All are just gorgeous and too pretty to eat and destroy…good thing you took a photo or two :) for prosperity.

  4. on 05 Feb 2008 at 4:04 pm Deborah

    This is just amazing!! What a beautiful piece of art!

  5. on 05 Feb 2008 at 4:14 pm courtney

    You have taken my breath away! Outstanding. I know you have your cake business but you need to start catering.

  6. on 05 Feb 2008 at 6:03 pm Holly - AYE Event Host

    Thank you SO much for entering this in my humble little competition. This is beyond amazing and exactly what I was looking for. So incredible and beautiful!


  7. on 05 Feb 2008 at 6:38 pm Kit

    Wow, Inge – these are stunning! Definitely edible art – the photos are great too, just wish I could taste them from here!

  8. on 05 Feb 2008 at 8:24 pm katie

    WOW is absolutely the right word! That is incredible! I’m not sure I could eat it… But I could sit and admire it for a bit! Then I’d eat it.

    And gorgeous photos to commemorate it. Well done! (Did I say I was amazed?)

  9. on 05 Feb 2008 at 10:07 pm Andrea

    This is utterly gorgeous! I’m in awe.

  10. on 05 Feb 2008 at 10:43 pm african vanielje

    Ann, thank you. It’s messy but fun.

    Susan, i think you could be persuaded too, it smells heavenly.

    Thank you Valli. I’ll open my shop one day but I doubt I’ll have time to play around like this. Thank you for your sweet comments.

    Deborah and Courtney, thank you. It’s nice to be appreciated, even if it is over the web.

    Holly, thank you for a fun event.

    Kit, thanks. Your photography tips are paying off. Although I would like to stress that Kit is in no way responsible for my amateur photography, just for improving it!

    Katie, thanks. You definitely have to eat it, eventually!

    Andrea, you’re making me blush. Thanks.

  11. on 05 Feb 2008 at 11:18 pm Mrs.W

    And WOW it is! Unbelievable, Inge. Absolutely gorgeous. But not too gorgeous to eat. If that was in front of me it would be gone in 2.3 seconds.

    It is, after all, chocolate.

  12. on 06 Feb 2008 at 9:44 am Nicisme

    Oh my! That is some dessert! I dread to think how long that took you to make, and then, just a few (or less) minutes to devour!

  13. on 06 Feb 2008 at 10:44 am Miri

    Wow, they are absolutely perfect! Loved the pictures too!

  14. on 06 Feb 2008 at 3:25 pm Jeanne

    OMG Inge – those look incredible! And I’m sure I still have a bottle of Wildebraam knocking about somewhere at home. I used to love having it over ice cream… You rock!

  15. on 06 Feb 2008 at 3:59 pm Amanda @ Little Foodies

    You are just brilliant! …a genius! …and you share your talents and the secrets of achieving such beauty with us. Thank you!

    Should I ever make these I will photograph them a lot.

  16. on 06 Feb 2008 at 4:45 pm Pasticcera

    Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

  17. on 06 Feb 2008 at 9:33 pm marye

    beautiful! Inge you are so very talented.

  18. on 07 Feb 2008 at 5:46 am Jeni

    Holy smoke girlfriend! Your talent never ceases to amaze me. This is art, passion and temptation all rolled into one. Un-blanking-believable!

  19. on 11 Feb 2008 at 2:34 pm Nina

    Fantastic. I have placed your blog on my favorites, hope it is alright. You inspire me. How do I enter this competition – in housewife language, I would like to take part.

  20. on 11 Feb 2008 at 10:58 pm african vanielje

    Mrs W, you are right. It is, after all, chocolate!

    Nicisme, it was fun to make and delicious to eat.

    Thank you Miri.

    Thanks Jeanne, that means a lot coming from the Jedi master.

    Amanda, I’m not sure how much fun they will be to make with the little foodies. Actually, probabely a lot, but expect loads of chocolate everywhere!

    Pasticerra, Jeni, Marye – thank you my friends.

    Nina, I’m glad I inspired you. To enter just click on the link at the top of my post to the Art you can eat site. Good luck

  21. on 12 Feb 2008 at 4:07 am Papin

    This is such a beautiful desert (and chocolate to top it off). You are very talented.

  22. on 12 Feb 2008 at 9:10 am linda

    Wow, very cool! I’m voting for you!

  23. on 12 Feb 2008 at 12:19 pm african vanielje

    Papin and Linda, thank you very much. These look more complicated than they are and were quite fun to make.

  24. on 12 Feb 2008 at 8:30 pm Mansi

    That is simply brilliant!! you should go for those Food network challenges girl!:) amazing, and I’ve already voted for you:D

    btw, even with your brilliant instructions, I don’t think Ic ould create somethign so artistic as that! hats off to you!:)

  25. on 12 Feb 2008 at 11:15 pm Neha

    This is truly the most creative dessert I have ever seen!!! And I loved your true simplicity of explaining everything! This one dessert has me hooked onto your website for life! :)

  26. on 13 Feb 2008 at 1:12 am arfi

    that is a fantastic idea to enclose the mousse like that. lovely decorated dessert!

  27. on 13 Feb 2008 at 9:13 am african vanielje

    Mansi, Neha and Arfi, thank youfor stopping by, and for your encouragement and enthusiasm, both always appreciated.

  28. on 20 Feb 2008 at 1:24 pm Maddy

    Wow, I just saw that this entry won the Art You Eat contest-congrats! That chocolate cage is stunning, and the recipe looks to die for. I can’t wait to try my hand at this, although I doubt it will come out as beautiful as yours :)

  29. […] I truly believe this, as chocolate is one of the all time best foods ever invented/grown/made etc. But this time I’m not the only one who thinks so. Thanks to all of you who voted I am the winner of Holly’s First Art You can Eat competition for my Wildberry Mousse in a Dark Chocolate Bramble Cage. […]

  30. on 02 Mar 2008 at 8:27 am Lucy V

    A really beautiful dessert, Inge!

  31. on 17 Mar 2008 at 8:05 am Caramella Mou

    I’m dying to try this out, reading your great instructions makes it sound so easy, but looking at the finished result, I would never have managed to work out how to do it. You’re a genius!


  32. on 12 Jun 2009 at 6:25 pm Dara Turgeon

    simple, beautiful, elegant, delicious, I’ll try it!

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