Close your eyes and imagine this: three layers of chocolate cake, filled with chocolate mousse in between, topped with a rich dark chocolate ganache with some milk chocolate shavings. Oh, and some dark, milk, and white chocolate truffles. Something akin to heaven, is it not?
Yesterday at a cake decorating class that some of us food bloggers are taking, our lovely instructor/chef gave us the idea of using chocolate mousse between cake layers instead of buttercream. And so I closed my eyes and imagined this. I also imagined something else, but that's going to be in another post.
I had some leftover cake I wanted to use up so what I did was whizz it in a food processor until I got cake crumbs. With those crumbs, I made truffles. And then the rest of the cake came together. I made the chocolate cake and the truffles last night and made the mousse and ganache and shavings this morning.
My favourite caster sugar to use is Tate and Lyle. But for some reason, the packet I used yesterday was rock solid. The sugar was one huge block and not grains of caster sugar. I placed it in a sandwich bag and beat it with the bake of a measuring cup. Very effective at stress-release by the way. That technique was somewhat effective but there were still some major cubes of sugar. And oh, I'm still mixer-less. I tried my best to break up the sugar cubes with my whisk while I will creaming it with the butter and that broke it down further although not completely. Anyways, this sugar cubiness somehow resulted in the cake not being cut evenly. So instead of having three neat layers filled with lots of mousse in between, I ended up with something very droopy. But it tasted wonderful. And it looked home-made.
Here's the recipe:
For the chocolate cake:
125g unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup cream (preferably Nestle)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and extract, beat until combined.
Add sifted dry ingredients and cream and beat on slow speed until combined. Increase speed to high until mixture is smooth.
Spoon mixture into tin and bake for around 45 minutes.
For the chocolate mousse:
300g plain chocolate, in pieces
284ml double cream
3tbsp cranberry juice
1tbsp vanilla extract
Put the chocolate in a double boiler until it's melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Add cream, mascarpone, juie, and extract to the chocolate and mix well until smooth.
Refrigerate for five to ten minutes.
For the ganache:
200g dark chocolate (preferably 70%)
Melt the dark chocolate on a double boiler until smooth.
For the truffles:
300g vanilla cake crumbs
2 tablespoons strawberry jams
3 tablespoons cream (again, preferably Nestle)
60g melted unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cranberry juice
100g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
100g white chocolate
Mix together cake crumbs, jam, cream, butter, chocolate and juice; stirring until moistened.
Refrigerate for half an hour.
Roll teaspoons of mixture onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Refrigerate for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
Melt the white, milk, and dark chocolates separately.
Dip a third of the truffles into the melted white chocolate, a third into the melted milk chocolate, and a third into the melted dark chocolate.
Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Refrigerate until firm and needed.
For the chocolate shavings:
50g milk chocolate
Melt the chocolate until smooth. Spread evenly over a piece of baking paper. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then refrigerate until firm. With a flat bladed spatula, gently scrape at the stiffened chocolate to create chocolate shavings.
1. Cut the chocolate cake into three equal layers. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Place half of the chocolate mousse mixture on top of the base cake, top with another cake layer, the remaining chocolate mousse mixture and the final cake layer.
3. Prepare the chocolate shavings mixture except for the part of scraping off the shavings themselves.
4. Melt the dark chocolate, leave to cool for about 3-4 minutes and then pour all over the chocolate cake, allowing to drip down the sides.
5. Then, create the shavings and quickly place over the cake. They melt in your hands.
6. Place three truffles of different colours over the cake and serve!
The cake is best served immediately while the chocolate mousse mixture is still cold and while the dark chocolate ganache hasn't hardened.