I’m hoping anyone else who is a blogger might be able to relate to this, but I’ve had this draft post saved since May. Yes, I am quite aware that it’s the end of October, but I kinda just forgot about this until I sifted through some drafts that I had. I remember writing the commentary in the post, but saving the recipe for later because it was a bit cumbersome. Apparently, I forgot. Anyway, I think this might have been one of the first cakes I’ve ever made that was not from a box, so I’m pretty proud! I’m also craving the dark chocolate mousse. It was so delicious!
I was originally planning a French silk pie for Mother’s Day, but we were celebrating my dad’s birthday as well, so I decided a cake was in order. For as long as I can remember, he’s always had a chocolate cake for his birthdays, so I thought it was a good time to try out a cake recipe from Food and Wine that I’d been holding on to for a while. The article in Food and Wine actually gives two different kinds of cakes (double chocolate or brown butter), with three different fillings (dark, milk, or white chocolate mousse) and three different frostings (rich or white chocolate buttercream, or hazelnut buttercream) to pick and choose from. I went with the chocolate cake, with dark chocolate mousse filling, and chocolate buttercream frosting, hence the “triple” in the name. The double comes from the double layer cake. I’m so creative, right? Who says I don’t know anything about basketball?
The finished product was missing something visually, so I decided to add chopped pecans to add a bit of pop to the cake. It actually looked like something I wanted to try!
I may have mentioned this in the past, but…I’m not a baker. My cakes still seemed a little undercooked when the allotted 25 minutes was up, as when I inserted my toothpick, it didn’t come out crumbly, or clean, it was wet with cake batter. So, I baked the cakes a bit longer. Probably too long, because it ended up being slightly dry. It still tasted amazing, but would have been much better had I not over-baked the cake , or so I thought….
Two days later, the cake was sitting out on my counter and I thought I’d bring it into work to share. I popped the top off and taste tested a little piece (just to make sure it was good enough to share), and it actually tasted better than when we had it on Mother’s Day/my dad’s birthday. It was so incredibly moist, I almost hacked off a piece for breakfast. Almost.
My conclusion is that it was better because the cake came right out of the refrigerator on Sunday, and today, it was just sitting out at room temperature. So guess what, I decided not to bring it into the office
The chocolate mousse was the best part! The recipe makes a lot, and I had quite a bit leftover. I even tried to add more to the middle, but didn’t want it oozing out the sides when I put on the second layer. While I was frosting the cake, I had to have Nate try the mousse right away. It was so amazing!! The buttercream frosting was nothing to poo-poo either – it was extremely creamy, but still had a light texture, so the cake wasn’t too chocolatey (is that even a thing?).
Triple Double Chocolate Cake
Source: Food and Wine
For the Cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
unsalted butter, for greasing pans
1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse:
1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 tbsp water
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tbsp coffee liqueur
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 sticks plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into tbsps, at room temperature
4 oz extra bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Directions for cake:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of each flour and cocoa powder. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pans with the flour-cocoa powder mixture. Tap out any excess.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 cups of flour with 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat eggs with brown sugar and remaining 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar at medium-high speed until thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add in 1/2 cup oil. Continue to whisk for 3 minutes. Beat in melted chocolate and slowly stream in remaining oil, until thoroughly blended. At a low-speed, mix in buttermilk and vanilla. Remove bowl from stand and mix in dry ingredients by hand.
4. Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out with few moist crumbs attached. Cool cakes in pans for 20 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack, removing the parchment paper, and let cool completely.
5. Set one layer of cake on a platter. Spread the mousse filling on top and cover with second layer of cake. Frost cake all over with a thin layer of buttercream. Refrigerate until set, about 5-10 minutes. Frost cake with remaining buttercream Refrigerate the cake until the frosting in firm, at least 15 minutes, before serving.
Directions for the dark chocolate mousse:
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand until softened.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl or bowl of stand mixer, beat cream until softly whipped using stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Refrigerate until chilled, about 10 minutes.
3. In a small, microwave safe bowl, heat coffee liqueur until hot, about 45 seconds. Stir in the soften gelatin until dissolved.
4. In another medium bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and salt at high-speed until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes. Continue beating and add in coffee liqueur-gelatin liquid and melted chocolate. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to ensure ingredients are thoroughly combined. Fold in whipped cream using a rubber spatula in two additions. Scrap mousse into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Directions for chocolate buttercream:
1. In a food processor, pulse the sugar until powdery. Transfer to a medium heat-proof bowl and whisk in egg whites and salt. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk gently until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
2. Transfer warm egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Add vanilla and beat at medium-high speed until stiff and glossy, about 8 minutes. Beat in butter a few pieces at a time, fulling incorporating them before adding more. The buttercream should be light and fluffy. If it appears runny at anytime, transfer to the freezer for 5-10 minutes, return to stand mixer and continue.
3. Beat in melted chocolate until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl. Remove bowl from mixer and beat with a wooden spoon to remove any air bubbles.