Posts Tagged ‘coffee mousse’

It was J’s birthday on Thursday. I took him out for some grilled sausages and beer. You might be thinking, “Now that’s a great pair, sausage and beer. There’s probably not a finer duo.” Well, stick around for dessert.

I made him a gigantic cake, too.

J loves chocolate. He also loves coffee. So, I brought his two loves together by making him a chocolate-coffee layer cake.


I’ve made this chocolate layer cake several times before. The cake layers are dense, rich, and moist. It’s chocolate upon chocolate, with a touch of coffee to add depth. Chocolate ganache enrobes the cake, adding to its decadence. This time around, I made a variation of the cake by sandwiching coffee mousse between its layers.

Making this cake takes a little bit of efficiency if you don’t want to spend all day on it. After placing the cake layers into the oven to bake, you can begin preparing the coffee mousse. While you wait for the cake layers to cool and for the coffee mousse to firm up in the fridge, you can whip up the chocolate ganache. When all the elements are ready, bring them together to create your own chocolate and coffee masterpiece. This recipe makes a mountain of a cake, so be sure to have many cake-hungry mouths around when you’re done.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake
adapted from here


cake layers

two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans (I used 9-inch pans, so my cakes were much taller)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
1-1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process) – Here, I differed from the original recipe. I think it is more important to use a high quality cocoa powder than 3 oz of high quality chocolate, since the cocoa powder makes up most of the chocolate in the cake layers.
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1-1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300┬░F. and butter the bottom and sides of the pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and butter the paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove parchment paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.


coffee mousse
adapted from here

1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp concentrated coffee (I used a French press, adding more coffee grounds than I normally would. I also included 1-2 tsp of the post-brew coffee grounds for taste and for visual appeal)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream

In a small saucepan sprinkle the gelatin over the coffee/coffee grounds and let it soften for 2 minutes. Add the milk and the heat the mixture over moderate heat while stirring. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and set the pan in a bowl of ice and cold water, stirring the mixture every few minutes until it is thick and cold. In a small bowl beat the cream until it just holds stiff peaks and fold the coffee mixture into it gently but thoroughly. Chill until set and spread onto bottom cake layer.
Note: This made a thin layer of mousse, which was perfect for a two-layer cake. Having more mousse would have caused it to leak out of the cake layers. But if you wish for more mousse, I would double the recipe and split the cakes into a total of four layers (it would help to freeze the cakes beforehand), spreading the mousse in between each layer.


ganache frosting

1 pound bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Finely chop chocolate. In a 1-1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).

Spread frosting over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.


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