Yesterday was a dreary, rainy Sunday here, so what better time than to hole myself up in the kitchen and do another test run on the birthday cake?! 🙂 I tried a few different things this time, and I’m very pleased to report that my modifications worked out perfectly! The cake was amazing, and exactly how I had pictured it in my mind, yay! I apologize for my lack of pictures, but trust me, if you follow my steps exactly, you’ll come out with a fine cake indeed! 🙂
First I started with the cake:
– 1 3/4 cups cake flour
– 2 cups sugar
– 3/4 cups unsweetened baking cocoa
– 2 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1 tsp. kosher salt
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup buttermilk (one of my tips, if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, mix 1 tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup whole milk, let sit for a few minutes, and voila! buttermilk)!
– 1 cup black coffee (you won’t taste the coffee at all, it’s just for a moister cake )
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Now, the above recipe is for (2 )round 9-inch baking pans or (1)9X13-inch pan. The recipe I’m going to give you next is for my massive (12×18-inch) cake pan. You’re just going to double everything, and it will fill the huge pan perfectly.
– 3 1/2 cups cake flour
– 4 cups sugar
– 1 1/2 cups unsweetened baking cocoa
– 4 tsp. baking soda
– 2 tsp. baking powder
– 2 tsp. kosher salt
– 4 eggs
– 2 cups buttermilk
– 2 cups black coffee
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– 4 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F, 325F for the big pan. Grease your cake pan(s) and set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on low, just until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Next, to the bowl, add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed about two minutes, or until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour batter into your prepared pan(s). The batter will be pretty thin, so don’t worry.
Bake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake passes the “toothpick test”. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.
Now, I sliced the cake in half and let the separate pieces cool completely.
Now, I made the mousse filling:
– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
– 4 oz. chocolate chips
– 2 tbsp. butter
Begin by placing the chocolate chips and the butter together in a heat proof bowl. Microwave in intervals of about 20 seconds, stirring well each time, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted together. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool. While the chocolate is cooling, place the cup of cream in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat the cream until stiff leaks form. Once the desired consistency is reached, turn off the mixer and remove the bowl.
Start with a 1/3 of the cream and mix it into the chocolate mixture. You don’t have to be too careful with it at this point, so just mix it in until it’s combined. Now, do another 1/3 and be a little gentler this time with folding in the cream. You don’t want the mousse to deflate.
Finally, add the last 1/3 of the cream, folding it in gently. If it doesn’t get all incorporated it’s ok, there can be some white spots peaking out. Now, cover the mousse and put it in the fridge to chill for about an hour and a half to two hours.
Now, we’re going to make the frosting. I am in love with the grocery store/bakery frosting. It’s light but a bit dense at the same time, and unlike buttercream it saves well and doesn’t get rock hard in the refrigerator! It’s my favorite frosting 🙂
Grocery Store Frosting:
– 1 cup shortening
– 1/2 cup unsalted, softened butter
– 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tsp. almond extract (can also do 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla if not using the almond extract)
– 1 pound confectioner’s sugar
– 4 tbsp. water
– 1/8 tsp. salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, butter, extract(s), and water. Beat until just combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until well combined. Add a tbsp. or water if it seems like it needs it. Now, turn the mixer to the highest speed and beat for the FULL 15 minutes. I know it seems like a lot of time, but just trust me 🙂 you can add food coloring to tint it if desired.
Now, to assemble this baby!
Remove your chilled mousse from the fridge. Smooth on the first layer of the cake. Spread evenly and use all the mousse. You want a nice thick layer, because it will absorb into the cake a bit when it chills. Leave about an inch of room on the sides of the cake, or you’re mousse will get squished out the sides, like mine did the first time. Place the top layer on the cake, and frost that beautiful baby with your delicious frosting! Frost the top and sides completely using an offset spatula. I just had a cake server, so I used that and it worked too!
I had ordered an edible image off of Etsy, and had an extra so I used my extra one for the practice run. I’m super pleased with how this cake came out, and I think my guests will be pretty happy as well 🙂 if you made it through this whole thing, thank you and you’re a rock star!