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Friday, February 26, 2016

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Berry Mousse

This is my go-to cake recipe.  What's not to love?  

Fudgy, moist chocolate cake...yum.  Buttercream frosting that is silky smooth and perfect.  Mousse filling that is to-die for.

If you're looking for a cake recipe because you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, graduation or just because you want to bake a yummy cake...look no further.  Make this cake today!

Today's Playlist
  • "Here Comes The Sun"...The Beatles
  • "Californication"...Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "Santeria"...Sublime
  • "Funky But Chic"...New York Dolls
  • "New Year's Day"...Caesars
  • "In One Ear"...Cage The Elephant
  • "Mistress Mabel"...The Fratellis
  • "Re-Education (Through Labor)"...Rise Against

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Berry Mousse

Chocolate Cake Ingredients (Recipe adapted from Hershey's):
Printable Recipe
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons light cream
Berry Mousse Ingredients:
  • 12 oz frozen berries (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup (cold) water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Step 1: Bake the cake!

Gather your cake ingredients.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans.  You may also line the pans with parchment paper (to help prevent sticking), if desired.

Place the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in the bowl of your mixer.  Stir to combine.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add the boiling water and mix until incorporated.  The batter will be thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans, trying to distribute it equally between the two pans.

Bake for 33 to 36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 2: While the cake bakes, prepare the mousse!

Gather your mousse ingredients.  Today, I made the mousse with a mixed berry medley, but I've made it before with only raspberries and it is divine.  Use whatever type of berry or combo of berries that makes you happiest!

Pour the cold water into a small saucepan.  Sprinkle the gelatin on top (do not stir).  Let the water/gelatin stand for a few minutes while you prep your berries.

I am going to double-strain my berries, to remove the seeds.  I have a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, and a colander over the fine-mesh strainer.  If you use only strawberries, don't bother straining--the seeds are so small that they are practically nonexistent.  

I'm only doing this because I'm trying to keep the mousse smooth, and blackberries have large seeds!

However, if you don't mind the seeds, save yourself the time and skip the straining.  The taste will not be affected at all if you don't strain the seeds out!

Place the berries into a food processor or blender.

Pulse until they are pureed.

Pour the puree into the colander.  Stir it around to encourage the liquid to drain.  Large seeds and/or pieces of pulp will stay behind.

Repeat with the puree in the fine-mesh strainer.  Stir it around so that the liquid will drain.

After most of the liquid has drained out, stir the lemon juice into the strainer.  The lemon juice will somewhat reconstitute the pulp and you'll be able to get the last remnants.

Discard the seeds.

Whisk the gelatin/water over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved.  This only takes a minute, as soon as the water heats up the gelatin will dissolve.  Don't let it boil!  

Whisk the sugar into the raspberry puree.

Whisk in the gelatin mixture.  Place the bowl into your refrigerator to chill until it starts to thicken.  This will take about an hour.

Step 3:  Assemble the cake!

Transfer the thickened puree into the bowl of your mixer.  Beat on the highest speed for about 3 to 4 minutes until it starts to look foamy.

Like this!

With the mixer on a low speed, slowly pour in the cream.  Once you have poured all of the cream into the bowl, beat on the highest speed for 5 minutes.

The consistency will not quite be as light and fluffy as whipped cream, but it will be much lighter and fluffier than the puree/gelatin mixture was.

To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake onto a cake plate.  Spoon the mousse onto the center of that layer.

Spread the mousse evenly, but leave approximately 1 inch around the perimeter to allow for oozing.

Place the second layer of cake onto the mousse.  Insert a dowel (or in my case, a plastic utensil--don't judge, hehe) into the center to keep the layers from sliding.

On the left, you can see the oozing mousse that I warned you about!  It looks like it's sticking its tongue out at me.

As long as you leave a perimeter, you shouldn't have to worry about the mousse oozing out and down the side of the cake.

Step 4:  The Frosting!

In the bowl of your mixer, using the wire whip attachment, whip the butter for 5 minutes on the highest speed.

Splash in the vanilla and whip until it's combined.

Add the confectioners sugar.  Mix at the lowest speed until the sugar is combined, then whip for 5 minutes at the highest speed.

I cover my mixer with a towel to prevent the powder from covering every surface in my kitchen.

Lastly, add the cream and whip for 5 more minutes.

After all of that whipping you should have some nice, light, fluffy buttercream frosting!

Before you begin to frost the cake, place a small spoonful of the frosting into a small bowl.  You will use this to frost over the hole that will be left when you remove the dowel (plastic utensil) from the center of the cake.

Frost that cake!  I start with the top.  Put a few large dollops of frosting onto the top. 

Spread the frosting evenly so that the top is covered.

And then frost the sides.  If the mousse filling has started to ooze out of the middle, swipe it off before you start frosting.

After you've finished frosting, refrigerate for at least an hour so that the mousse will set.  The frosting will also set as it chills.

When you are ready to serve the cake, you can remove the dowel/utensil and cover the spot in the center with the reserved spoonful of frosting.

Serve chilled or allow to come to room temperature for 1/2 hour.


1 comment:

  1. OMG! Fran, you need to sell, and to ship! Lol. I almost missed seeing this gorgeous cake. Sweet of you to share this great recipe. Might try it for hubby's birthday in April. :)


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