The Chocolate Lover's Cake
So last week I made a cake for my mom and her friends, as per her request. There was a cake I had planned to make for my sister and Sanjay's wedding anniversary, but it had turned into a disaster. It was my first time ever making a 2 layer cake, and I'm just terrible at it... The cake kept cracking or breaking, it was always lopsided and sliding off the filling.
This cake wasn't much of an exception except it was way more delicious. It did crack a little and it's definitely lopsided, but it was pretty tasty.
I made my regular one-bowl chocolate cake and soaked the two layers in coffee syrup. I then made milk chocolate hazelnut mousse and used it for the filling. I had intended to do a simple ganache coating but I had soooo much mousse left that I iced the entire cake with it. I then tried to top it with dark chocolate ganache but it started melting the mousse which is why I left it looking all drippy.
I also meant to add strawberries to the filling, not the top... but I was so obsessed with getting the layers correct and not lopsided (which it was, anyway) that I forgot. I just sprinkled them on top instead.
Many people raved about this cake, even my brother-in-law who typically doesn't like 90% of what I make. I have to admit, I enjoyed it too. It wasn't overly sweet at all, although the hazelnut extract was a bit too strong, in my opinion, I might reduce it to a 1/2 tsp next time. In any case, I would definitely make this cake again!
Here's the recipe:
Martha Stewart's 1 bowl Chocolate cake found here.
Bake in two pans of the same size. Freeze to make it easier to handle/frost.
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
1/4 cup sugar
Bring both to a boil in a saucepan. Later, pour over the two cake slices as evenly as possible. My mistake was that I poured it while they were still in their pans and they became too soggy to remove after that. Definitely pour after you remove them, right before assembling!
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
5 oz. milk chocolate chips
1/2 tsp hazelnut extract
Whip 1 1/4 cups of whipping cream to soft peaks and refrigerate. Bring remaining cup of cream to a boil in a saucepan and then pour into the bowl of chocolate chips. Let stand for a minute or two and then whisk it together. After it's thoroughly mixed, add the chilled whipped cream and blend. (Any leftovers can be set into glasses or ramekins for dessert!)
Frost the middle layer of the cake and then carefully stack them. You may need to level the cake (cut off any domes on the cake to make it even, except mine didn't rise too much so I didn't need to). Frost the outside and let it chill overnight.
Pour melted chocolate over the cake (although it may melt the mousse so be careful. It tasted delicious but it was way too risky; not sure I'd do it again... Garnish with any fruit (or even put the fruit on top of the middle filling before you stack) and serve!