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Chocolate Cake and Frosting with Strawberry Mousse Filling

April 16, 2015

Yikes, this one totally got lost in the time. It goes way back to summer for Erin’s birthday. I don’t recall getting a specific request from Erin, but came up with doing a strawberry mousse filled layer, a new filling for me. Since it was so long ago I hope I didn’t forget any important details!

I cheated and used the same cake recipe as used in the Ninja Cupcakes and the same frosting recipe as Jeff’s Birthday Cake (note: I halved that frosting recipe since I didn’t frost the layers). I set out to find a strawberry filling recipe and came across this mousse one from Martha Stewart (although it’s for a much different cake). I thought using just the strawberry mousse between the cake layers would be too slippery so having sliced up strawberries to put in between the layers would be more stabilizing.

The cake turned out pretty good, but I think the strawberry mousse filling would be better used in a white cake, maybe my Vanilla Cake. I think raspberry goes better with chocolate as in my Nutella cake and Raspberry Tart.  I also recall the mousse being a bit more on the liquidy side.  I don’t think I had fully followed all the proper chill times as outlined below.

Frosted Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Filling Cake

Frosted Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Filling Cake

Difficulty: Medium for the mousse
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 4 hours or ideally over night
Total Time: 6+ hours
Yield:  4 layer 8-inch cake (2 layers split in half)
Taste: Good

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups plus 2 tbs good cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

STRAWBERRY MOUSSE:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved, plus 2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tbs fresh lemon juice, divided
8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbs confectioners’ sugar

FROSTING:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1.5 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbs half-and-half or whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

The Internals

The Internals

PROCEDURE

FOR CAKE:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

2) Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

3) In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

4) With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Add chocolate chips and with mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

5) Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

FOR MOUSSE:

1) Puree the 1 pound halved strawberries in a food processor. Pass through a very fine sieve into a bowl (you should have about 1 cup puree). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice; set aside.

2) Melt chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth; set aside.

3) Put 1/4 cup cool water into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top; let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

4) Stir 1/4 cup cream and the confectioners’ sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add gelatin mixture, and stir until gelatin has dissolved. Pour into bowl with the melted chocolate, and stir until smooth.

5) Whisk in 3/4 cup strawberry puree; reserve remaining 1/4 cup puree.

6) Put remaining 1 3/4 cups cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream using a large rubber spatula. Refrigerate 1 hour.

7) Stir 1 tablespoon lemon juice into the sliced berries. Fold berries into mousse; refrigerate 1 hour.

FOR FROSTING:

1) Place all frosting ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate, then process until the frosting is smooth.

FOR ASSEMBLY:

1) When cooled, slice the two chocolate layer cakes in half horizontally using a serrated knife.

2) Place one cake layer top side down. Spread about 1.5 cups of strawberry mousse in an even layer on the cake layer. Top with second cake layer, top side up. Spread with another 1.5 cups of mousse that results in an even surface. Place third cake layer top side up. Spread with 1.5 cups of mousse. Place fourth cake layer top side up.

3) Refrigerate at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).

4) Spread chocolate frosting on top and sides of cake.

Kind of a messy slice

Kind of a messy slice

Sources:

Chocolate Cake: Laura’s blog

Strawberry Mousse: Martha Stewart

Chocolate Frosting: Smitten Kitchen

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