Heavenly Chocolate Cake
Have I mentioned lately how much I love all of you who read Desserts Required? Many of you interact with me; here on this site and/or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and email. I treasure each one of our conversations.
Several weeks ago, Cheryl wrote me asking about Chocolate Delight from Icebox Café in Miami. After a couple of emails I realized that Cheryl was talking about a cake that I had tasted at Icebox Café on one of my Road Trips For Food. It was called ‘The Bomb’ and I mentioned to Cheryl that she can order this cake from the restaurant.
Cheryl told me that her daughter’s birthday is coming up and that she wants to make the cake….as in, this cake, rather than buy it. My memory is not nearly as good as I would like it to be. Fortunately, Cheryl emailed me a picture of the cake.
Think of heaven in one cake and that just about sums up this dessert – two layers of chocolate cake, two layers of chocolate mousse and one layer of cheesecake. All of this is wrapped in a delicious chocolate ganache. Coming up with the perfect name was challenging. Finally, I decided on Heavenly Chocolate Cake. It fits, don’t you think?
Heavenly Chocolate Cake really is a very easy cake to put together and the key to making it is to take each component one step at a time rather than just look at the list of ingredients and panic.
The first thing I made was the cheesecake, because I knew that I wanted that to be very cold when I transferred it to the final cake. The chocolate cake is a breeze to make and I chilled this in the refrigerator, as well, for easier handling, but this step may be eliminated if you are short on time. Just make sure the cake layers are cooled completely after baking.
I first thought I could assemble Heavenly Chocolate Cake in a springform pan until I realized, very quickly, that the cake was going to be much higher than the edge of the pan. Instead, I assembled the cake on a plastic wrapped cakeboard round.
When glazing the cake with chocolate ganache, be sure to do this in stages. To quickly set the ganache, place the cake into the fridge or freezer in between ganache applications.
The end result is a showstopper. I can just picture Cheryl’s daughter’s face blowing out the candles. Thank you, Cheryl, for inspiring today’s Heavenly Chocolate Cake post. I can’t wait to see from where my next inspiration will come.
|Heavenly Chocolate Cake|| |
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate cake:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ cups cake flour
- 1 cup milk
- Chocolate mousse:
- 8 ounces chocolate chips
- 5½ tablespoons sugar, divided
- 3½ tablespoons water
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 egg whites
- Chocolate ganache:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 5½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 16 ounces chocolate chips
- For the cheesecake:
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9” cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the cream cheese and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours.
- Line a cake board or large plate with plastic wrap. Partially fill the kitchen sink or a large roasting pan with hot water. Dip the bottom of the cheesecake pan into the water for 15-20 seconds. Dry the bottom of the pan and immediately cover the pan with the cake board or plate and flip the cheesecake onto the board. Remove the pan but leave the parchment paper on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- For the chocolate cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 – 9” cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place butter, shortening and sugar into large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add eggs, one at a time. Blend in vanilla, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add ½ of the flour. With the mixer running on low speed, mix in milk. Add remaining flour.
- Divide evenly between two cake pans. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Flip the pans out onto another cooling rack and then invert the cakes to cool completely on a rack. Leave the parchment paper on the cake until assembly time. Refrigerate the cakes for several hours, if time allows. This makes for easier handling when assembling the final cake.
- For the chocolate mousse:
- Combine the chocolate, 3½ tablespoons sugar and water in a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave until the chocolate is nearly melted. Start with less time than you think it will take so that the mixture does not start boiling. Stir until thoroughly blended. Set aside until the mixture has cooled completely.
- Place the whipping cream into a large mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites into large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually, add 2 tablespoons sugar, scraping the bowl down a couple of times.
- Whisk ¼ of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture in 2 or 3 batches. Gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the mixture in 2 or 3 batches. Set aside.
- For the chocolate ganache:
- Bring the cream and butter to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over the chocolate and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Slowly stir until the ganache is smooth.
- To assemble:
- Cover an 11” or larger cake board with plastic wrap.
- Level off the chocolate cake tops, if necessary. Peel the parchment paper off the bottom of one of the chocolate cakes and place the cake bottom side down onto the cake board. Spread ½ of the chocolate mousse over the top of the cake.
- Peel off the parchment paper from the cheesecake and place the cheesecake over the chocolate mousse. Press down lightly to release any air pockets. Spread the remaining ½ of the chocolate mousse over the cheesecake.
- Peel off the parchment paper off the other chocolate cake and place it bottom side up onto the chocolate mousse. Press down lightly to release any air pockets.
- Freeze for 15 minutes or until firm. Using a bread knife, trim the sides of the cake so that they are pretty even. The chocolate ganache will cover slight flaws.
- Transfer the cake to a cooling rack set over a wax paper lined baking sheet, to catch any drippings.
- Spread a thin layer of ganache over the entire cake by first dolloping a small amount of ganache near the top edge of the cake and working that ganache down the side of the cake. Once the entire cake is covered, place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
- Repeat this process 2-3 more times. The ganache will set a bit as time goes one. The last layer of ganache will be thicker and the cake will be completely covered.
- If you want a decorative edge, cut a small piece of one of the bottom corners of a small plastic freezer bag. Insert a decorative tip (I like a star tip) into the opening. Fold the opening edges of the bag back and place in a cup. Add ½ cup of the ganache to the bag, flip the edges back up and seal the bag.
- Pipe stars around the top or bottom edge of the cake.
- Temper the cake for at least 45 minutes before serving.