Calling all chocolate lovers! Indulge in this rich chocolate cake filled with silky chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache frosting and decorated with chocolate candies. This Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake is a chocolate lovers dream!
Happy Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day you guys!
Look at me getting back on on this whole blogging track, it’s now been weeks in between a new post instead of months!
I confess, it’s not because of proper planning but because of boredom? Should I have told you that? Maybe not but it’s true – you see I’ve been out of commission the last three weeks due to surgery I needed towards the end of January. Recovery took me away from my bake shop duties, so I figured I’d do a little baking at home!
After all today is Galentine’s Day and tomorrow Valentine’s and who doesn’t love a little chocolate for yourself, your friends or your sweetheart!
Granted it took practically a week to make this wee cake and taking the photos whipped my butt, however I’m on the mend and I got to eat cake. It’s a win win situation and now you get cake too. . . well you get cake photos, you can eat the cake only if you make yourself!
I had one goal when I set out to make this cake and that was to make a cake so chocked full of chocolate, it would be almost too much to handle.
A cake that even the biggest lover of chocolate could only have just a couple of bites before it *might* be too might.
Did I succeed?
You bet I did.
This cake is small but mighty.
I wanted to call it cake for two – most of the time a 4 inch cake is a good size cake for two with a little leftover but this cake is so rich that’s more like cake for 4, maybe 6!
I took a slightly different approach when making this cake than I normally do when building up layer cakes. Normally, I bake them in off in the appropriately sized round cake pan and continue on my way to build a layer cake.
Not this time – I know not every one has a 4 inch cake pan at home, it’s a lot to ask an occasional baker to keep stock of cake pans in varying sizes other than the standard 8 or 9 inch.
I get it and who has the space to store it all? I barely have room for it and I have to stop myself all the time for picking up more pans. However, I am guessing that most of you have a 9×9 square pan at home.
It’s a pretty standard pan, great for brownies, blondies, snack cakes and more!
So I baked this cake in my square pan and then used a a large round cookie cutter to cut out my layers. And it’s okay if you don’t even have the cookie cutter because you can just cut out a piece of cardboard in the size of the cake you want and trace away that way. Just make sure to be very precise so your cake sides are nice, straight and even.
This method does leave you with extra cake scraps but is that ever a bad thing? Nothing goes to waste in my home if I can avoid it – go ahead and freeze those cake pieces for later. It’s perfect to add to a parfait or make cake pops with!
Cake is done and now on to the rest!
The filling – which is chocolate level #2 is a simple chocolate mousse – that takes all of five minutes to mix together. I added gelatin into the mousse for extra stability but if gelatin isn’t your thing feel free to just leave it out.
Chocolate level #3 to make this a triple chocolate cake is our chocolate ganache frosting! Two ingredients, a quick whip with your mixer and you have the easiest frosting ever.
Decoration is up to you – I went a little nuts at Trader Joe’s picking out all the chocolate candies, from chocolate covered pretzels, caramels and toffee but you go ahead and add your favorites to the top.
1/2 teaspoon gelatin + 3 teaspoons cold water (optional)
For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
6 ounces heavy cream
6 ounces dark chocolate
For the cake decoration:
Chocolate candies of your choice - nonpareils, chocolate pretzels, chocolate caramels, toffee etc. .
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 square pan and line with parchment paper.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, milk and vanilla and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat on low speed until combined and the butter is broken up into little pieces.
With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture until it is all incorporated.
During this process, you may want to stop and scrape the sides and bottoms of the bowl to help mix everything together.
Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, more depending on your oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the sides of the cake just start to pull away from the pan.
Cool completely, then remove from the pan, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled at least 4 hours or overnight.
Once the cake is chilled, if needed cut the top to make an even layer and then using a 4 inch cookie cutter or with a cardboard cake board cut out two four in circles.
If desired you can make some additional mini cakes or just save the scrapes in a plastic bag in the freezer for additional uses later.
Place one of the cake layers on your decorating stand and while turning, carefully cut in half with a serrated knife to make two layers. Repeat with second layer and set aside.
To make the chocolate mousse, mix the gelatin if using with cold water and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and set aside. Once the gelatin has set, add to the heavy cream and sugar in your stand mixer and whip, using the whip attachment on high until you've reached stiff peaks.
Mix in about 1/4 of the heavy cream into the chocolate to lighten up and then gently fold in the rest of the heavy cream.
Transfer to a piping bag for easy filling and set aside.
In the mean time prepare the chocolate ganache frosting by adding 6 ounces of chocolate to a medium bowl and heating up heavy cream in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, let sit for a minute and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
To fill the cake, place one layer on a cake board and then pipe about a 1/2 thick layer of chocolate mousse and repeat with remaining layers. Use extra mouse to crumb coat the outside of the cake. If there is still more mousse save to pipe on the top of the cake.
Transfer to your refrigerator to firm up for about an hour.
While the cake is chilling, place the chocolate ganache in your stand mixer and whip for 1-2 minutes on high until light and airy.
Frost the sides and top of the cake and use a bench scraper to smooth out the sides.
To finish decorating, pipe extra mousse on the cake to build an area to pile on your chocolate candies.
If adding the chocolate drip, reheat the whipped ganache until it's smooth but not too hot and has a pourable consistency and drip down the sides of the cake.
Cake should be kept chilled but is served best at room temperature.