Monday, January 10, 2011

Triple Chocolate Indulgence

I am going to share with you something I am very proud of. I have been thinking for a long while what to call it. Chocolate comes in three distinct forms (four if you count the pirouettes) in this elegant cake. It is decadent, rich, moist and very delicious. If you don't like chocolate, this is definitely not for you. I thought of my friend, Barb when making this because I know she, too, loves chocolate. :)
This cake was for a New Years Eve party. There was going to be a dessert competition and I wanted to show off my best. Chocolate was not just an option, it had to be the main attraction. And so I came up with this lovely chocolate concotion.
While there was no official voting, I do think that this cake would have, stick with me here, taken the cake. Ha! With two layers of homemade Devil's Food cake, homemade dark chocolate mousse and a delicious chocolate ganache encompassing the entire thing, how could anyone go wrong?
When you make this cake yourself, you can certainly use a store bought cake mix, but I really think the mousse and the ganache need to be homemade to get the best flavor. As for the Pirouettes, they are optional. You can definitely leave the cake as is with the ganache, however, I haven't met a single person that doesn't like Pirouettes. Plus, they come in a few different flavors, something for everybody.
My chocolate mousse is very good. I have made it so many times for so many reasons and everybody loves it. It does use uncooked egg whites, so get your eggs from someplace you trust, and try to make sure they are very fresh. (Save those yolks for zabaglione or chocolate lava cakes!) The recipe is also versatile in that you can use the good baking chocolate, or half of a normal sized bag of chocolate chips.
The ganache is super easy to put together and oh so good. Chill it and pipe into eclairs, or warm up and put over vanilla ice cream.

First make the cake, since it needs to cool completely. Once it has cooled, trim up the tops if they aren't very flat. I just left mine as is, a little rounded-ness never hurt anyone.
While those cakes are cooling, make the ganache. Put one cup of the finished ganache into the fridge to firm up. Leave the rest out at room temperature.
Once the cakes are cool, make the chocolate mousse. This recipe makes about twice as much as you need. However, if you decide to make a triple decker cake (double the cake batter recipe and split it between 3 pans) the extra mousse will come in handy. Hubby and I just ate the rest of it as is.
Now we can begin putting this bad boy together. Put on of your cake layers on a cake stand, top of the cake side down (this helps eliminate that top bulge). Spread on desired amount of mousse. Place other cake layer on top of that and make sure you have enough mousse to ensure no gaps along the sides.
Mix up the room temperature ganache a bit and then begin spreading it all over your cake, starting with the top and moving downward. I recommend using an offset cake spatula for this. Don't worry about how pretty the sides are if you are going to stick pirouettes on it.
Once you have completely covered your cake with ganache (this should have used up all, or just about all of the room temperature ganache), stick your pirouettes (1 normal sized can, pirouettes cut in half) onto the cake. Your chilled ganache should be nice and firm now, so put that into a decorator bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe some stars on the top. I put 12 on because the cake is pretty rich and the standard 8 slices would have been way too big.

Homemade Devil's Food Cake
(recipe modified off of the Softasilk box)

1 c. sugar
1 stick, unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/4 c. cake flour (I like Softasilk)
1/2 c. dutch processed cocoa powder, or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. + 2 tbl. buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.
Beat together the first three ingredients, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg until completely incorporated. Combine in another bowl the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk into the butter. Scrape down the bowl and beat for another minute to get it nice and smooth.
Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Flip the cakes gently onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

6 ounces dark chocolate (or whatever chocolate you have on hand)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
3 egg whites
2 tbl. sugar

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and then leave out while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Whisk the heavy cream in a chilled mixer bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside until needed.
Put the egg whites in a very clean mixer bowl. Any little fat molecules will prevent the whites from holding up as a meringue. Whisk together until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Here is where you have to work fast. Quickly whisk one quarter of the  whipped cream into the chocolate. If you don't work fast enough, the chocolate will just cool and harden. (in which case, pop in the microwave for 5-10 seconds and try again. Once that is all nice and incorporated, carefully fold in the egg whites and the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to use. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Semisweet Chocolate Ganache
(recipe slighty adjusted from the book, Death by Chocolate)

1 c. heavy cream
2 tbl. unsalted butter
2 tbl. granulated sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate (1 bag or 2 cups of chocolate chips)

Heat together the heavy cream, butter and sugar in a small saucepan over a lower heat. Stir together until everything is incorporated, but do not allow to boil. Put the chocolate into a medium sized bowl and pour the cream over top. Allow this to stand for 5 minutes, then gently stir until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature. (Any leftover should be refrigerated)

Enjoy! :)

I am joining the fun at:


  1. Oh. my. gosh. That looks (and sounds) AMAZING!!!

  2. this sounds so good . I feel sorry for those who dont like chocolate!(cheryl@scrapaddict4sure)

  3. This is gorgeous and sounds fantastic. I am such a killer-dessert kind of girl, this is right up my alley! I have a recipe similar to this but it is all chocolate mousse inside the pirouettes. I am printing yours right now, its going to be going to the next party! Thanks.

  4. This is delightfully decadent! It’s new- the Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent Saturday Picture Linky – we’re leaving it up for the first week to get it rolling.

    Older posts that fit the theme are also a-ok.

  5. That looks TO Die For! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to try it. I am also your newest follower, and would love for you to follow me back at, thanks!!

  6. Oh. my. I've been waiting for this one. It was worth the wait. Oh. my.

  7. Your Devils Food Cake looks amazing. I would like to invite you to bring a dish to my Full Plate Thursday. Thank you for sharing and you have a great week!

  8. What a stunning dessert! Thanks so much, this is just right for those special occasions that come along.

  9. This looks amazing! Awesome recipe!

  10. Oh, my! I am wiping drool off keyboard. I didn't need to see this. LOL!

  11. Hi I stumbled upon your site thru the "Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent" blog party. This cake looks amazing and I'm sure it tasted wonderful. My husband adores all things chocolate. I think I'll make this for his b'day next month. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Your cake looks beautiful. I love how you have used the pirouettes biscuits!

  13. I am so sure your cake "took the cake"! So full of chocolate and beautiful too!! Thank you for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  14. this cake is gorgeous...and i know how much work you put into it...your friends are very lucky that you are willing to put the effort into such a masterpiece! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club :)