March 24, 2012
As spring break 2012 came to a close, we celebrated my dear friend, Cathy's 21st birthday. Just a small gathering of a home-cooked meal and watching a movie together. I remembered that Cathy enjoyed a really chocolatey cake that we ordered from Red Lobster sometime last summer, so I was determined to try my hand at a chocolate cake for her birthday this year. Because most of my friends and family aren't huge fans of rich and dense cakes, I had shied away from chocolate cakes. But, the chocolate mousse did just the trick of enhancing the chocolate flavor of the cake without making the cake too rich.
Instead of the fudgy chocolate cake that I originally intended to make, I opted for my favorite frosting, the swiss meringue buttercream and the meringue, angel feather icing from Sweetapolita (which tastes kind of like marshmallow cream, yum :P). I finished off the cake with the edible metal pearls that my sister bought for me from FreshMarket as well as some silver heart confetti.
The Assembly: Chocolate cake layer covered with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Chocolate Mousse
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark cacao powder
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tb vanilla extract
1.)Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2.)Butter and flour 3 eight-inch diameter cake pans.
3.) Sift dry ingredients together.
4.) Add wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, coffee) to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed using paddle attachment (if using a stand mixer)
5.) Pour batter into pans.
6.) Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pans in oven and bake for 10-15 more minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7.) Cool for 20 minutes.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (5 cups)
Adapted from Sweetapolita
5 egg whites
1 cup + 2 Tb sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter (softened/ room temp)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1.In a clean, heatproof bowl, add egg whites and sugar.
2.Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk mixture constantly until temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
3.Take bowl off bowling water and whip mixture until thick, glossy and cool (approximately 10 minutes).
4.Using the paddle attachment on medium speed, add cubed butter to mixture and mix until consistency is smooth.
5.Add extracts and flavorings.
6. The buttercream can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6-8 weeks. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and whip until smooth consistency.
Dark Chocolate Mousse:
Adapted from Pepsakoy's blog (http://pepsakoy.blogspot.com/2011/09/dark-chocolate-raspberry-white.html)
100 g chopped Dark Chocolate
Whipping Cream (A) 50 g
Whipping Cream (B) 150
50 g sugar
2 Egg yolks
1/2 tsps powdered gelatin
1.)Melt the chocolate. If using microwave, microwave in 15 second intervals stirring in between until melted.
2.)Add 50 g whipping cream A, sugar, yolks and gelatin to a bowl over simmering water until melted.
3.)Add mixture to chocolate and stir until mixture is homogeneous and cooled.
4.)Whisk 150 g whipping cream B to soft peaks and fold in chocolate mixture.
Angel Feather Icing
2 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 Tb of water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.Add all ingredients to a bowl over boiling water.
2.Beat with on medium speed until stiff peaks and remove from heat.
3.Add flavors and beat until mixture is thick and spreadable.
1.)Level cooled cakes.
2.)Cover first layer with buttercream and top with chocolate mousse (which should be placed in refrigerator until cake is ready to be assembled). To set mousse, refrigerate cake for 30 minutes.
3.)Repeat step 2 with the 2nd layer. (Note a cake ring would be very helpful as I found the cake collapsing by the time the 3rd layer was assembled).
4.)Crumb coat cake with buttercream icing and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
5.)Cover cake with feather icing, pulling spatula/ spoon/ decorating utensil away from cake to create imprint effect.