I love collecting recipes. I have a shelf full of cookbooks, many of which I've never tried a single recipe from, and stacks of magazines with Post-Its sticking out of most of the pages. But mainly, my recipe collection takes the form loose leaf pages printed out from the internet that pile up on my desk, get crammed into my recipe binder, or find their way to random parts of the house. Despite this seemingly overwhelming number of good recipes waiting to be tried, I always seem to be at a loss when an occasion arises for which I need a killer dessert. I saw this cake recipe months ago, and finally gave it a whirl for a friend's birthday.
I love seeing a heavenly recipe and deciding that my future holds it's yummy goodness. It's like having your cake and eating too. I can hold in my mind the promise of something homemade and delicious without the calories. Of course, once my mind gets too full of amazing cookies (Martha, I'm making these someday, soon, I promise!) brownies (I'm going to need a couple days to work off the calories when I make these babies), or cakes (*sigh* This one is going to be vanilla heaven!) then I need to bake! Recipes like this Midnight Sin Chocolate Cake usually pile up because I either have no time to make it or no occasion. Cakes are especially difficult to find an occasion for, since I find that cookies and other portable goodies are better for parties. But when I was invited to Girls Night In/Birthday Party, I jumped at the chance to make this wonderful cake from the blog, Not So Humble Pie.
This cake is for the true chocoholic. Chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache all in one. If you're not a true chocolate lover, don't even attempt it. You're not worthy. Of course, I altered the recipe a bit. I used my own chocolate cake recipe. I'm sure Shirley Corriher's chocolate cake from her book Bakewise is fantastic, and I will try it someday, but I felt safer with my own. I did make the ganache that Not So Humble Pie used, but if I make this again I will use a slightly softer ganache and have made the change below.
So, here it is, folks!
Inspired by Not So Humble Pie
(Mary's note: I made the mousse a day ahead of time, and I used water instead of the liqueur.)
Not so Humble Frangelico Dark Chocolate Mousse
Posted in Not So Humble Pie who adapted it from Pure Chocolate
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Frangelico hazelnut liqueur (or substitute 1/3 cup water)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 66% cacao), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
In a heat safe bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is uniform and light in color. Place over a double boiler and whisk until slightly thickened. A ribbon of the egg sugar mixture should flow back into the bowl when the whisk is lifted and the sugar should just be beginning to dissolve. Add the Frangelico (or water) and then continue to whisk over the simmering water until the mixture hits roughly 160°F and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate. Stir until your arm cramps or the mixture becomes cool to the touch, whichever comes first (roughly 10 minutes).
Set the chocolate aside and beat the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the chocolate, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans.
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. (Batter will be thin.) Divide batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 minutes or until tops spring back at touch. Cool 5 minutes in pans and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Adapted from Not So Humble Pie
1 cup bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream (40%+ milk fat is ideal)
1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted is fine)
Measure out the chocolate into a bowl. Bring the butter and heavy cream to a low boil over medium-high heat and pour over the chocolate. Give the chocolate a shake to submerge and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.
To Construct Cake:
Assemble your cake by placing one round onto your serving platter. Reserving 3/4 cup for garnish (keep chilled), spread the mousse to form an even layer on top of the cake. Top with the second cake round, touching up the sides with an offset spatula if necessary.
Pour the ganache onto the cake, smoothing over the top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the fridge and allow the ganache to cool.
When cool, you can put the finishing touches on the cake. Take the reserved chocolate mouse and fill a piping bag, fitted with a large star tip. Drop small dollops of mousse around the perimeter of the cake.
Keep the cake chilled until ready to serve. Then allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Store the cake in the refrigerator, covered to keep it from absorbing odors, for up to 5 days.