Chocolate layer-mousse cake with cognac and bittersweet chocolate curls

By • January 28, 2010 • 9 Comments


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Author Notes: A light and not-too-sweet chocolate layer cake. The recipe has many steps, but it is easy to make. Use good-quality baking chocolates like Callebaut, Scharffen Berger or Valrhona, and a cake leveler; and plan to make the cake ahead of time. A show-stopper of a dessert!Viviane Bauquet Farre

Serves 12

For the cakes

  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa – sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 8 large eggs – at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter – melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup strong coffee – cooled to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Cognac

For the milk chocolate mousse, white chocolate frosting & garnish

  • 9 ounces milk chocolate – coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces white chocolate – coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, as garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well blended.
  3. Place the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk at high speed until very pale, thick and ribbony (about 2 minutes). Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking at high speed until soft peaks form, another minute.
  4. Add half the flour/cocoa mixture to the whipped eggs. Fold in carefully. Add the melted butter and fold in carefully. Fold in the remaining flour/cocoa mixture, taking care not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter equally into the prepared molds. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the cakes have risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before un-molding.
  6. Cook’s note: The cakes can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead. Cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before assembling the cake.
  7. To make the milk chocolate mousse: Place the chocolate pieces in a double boiler. Melt the chocolate over simmering water, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm to the touch.
  8. Place the heavy cream, chocolate liqueur and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip at medium speed until thick, taking care not to overbeat or it will turn to butter. Pour the melted milk chocolate into the whipped cream and fold until well blended. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  9. To make the white chocolate frosting: Place the white chocolate pieces in a double boiler. Melt the chocolate over simmering water, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm to the touch.
  10. Place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip at medium speed until thick, taking care not to overbeat or it will turn to butter. Pour the melted white chocolate into the whipped cream and fold until well blended. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  11. To assemble the cake: Un-mold the chocolate cakes and cut in 4 even layers, about 1" thick (I use a cake leveler, it makes the job infinitely easier!). Place one layer of cake in the center of a serving platter. Line the rim of the platter with plastic wrap (this will keep the rim clean as you apply the frosting). Using a pastry brush, soak the cake with one quarter of the coffee and Cognac. Top with a third of the milk chocolate mousse and spread it evenly over the whole surface of the cake. Top with another layer of the chocolate cake. Repeat soaking with the coffee and Cognac, and spreading the milk chocolate mousse 2 more times until you have 3 layers. Top with the last layer of chocolate cake and soak with the remaining coffee and Cognac. Finish by applying the white chocolate frosting, first on the top, then on the sides. Save a little frosting for piping if desired: pipe a rim around the top edge. Remove the plastic wrap lining the platter and pipe the remaining frosting around the base of the cake. Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
  12. When ready to serve, shave the bittersweet chocolate using a vegetable hand peeler over the cake and around the rim of the platter.
  13. © 2010 viviane bauquet farre – food & style NY LLC

Tags: cake, chocolate, Desserts

Comments (9) Questions (1)

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Ozoz_profile

about 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

The mousse is now my go to for filling layer cakes, to resounding praise. Thank you!

Viviane_cropped_lr

about 2 years ago Viviane Bauquet Farre

Oh... thank you so much for your note! You just made my day... AND made me miss making chocolate cake! Happy baking :)

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over 3 years ago colormesunshine

hi...i would like to make this cake for my friend's baby shower. can i omit the cognac? also can i make this a few days early..like 2 days before?

thanks, you have lovely cakes..i'm a fan

Viviane_cropped_lr

over 3 years ago Viviane Bauquet Farre

Yes, you can definitely omit the cognac. The main thing is to soak the cakes with the coffee as it will contribute greatly to the lightness of the whole cake. You can also make it 2 days ahead... no problem there!

Have fun making it and do let me know how it turns out!

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about 4 years ago Maryse

If this is created by Viviane you're guaranteed to enter chocolate heaven: light and full of flavor. Enjoy!

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about 4 years ago All Weather

Oh. My. God.

If this is not the ULTIMATE chocolate cake then I'll eat my hat... (as long as Viviane is the one who cooks it!)

Simply stunning!!

Christine-28_small(1)

about 4 years ago cheese1227

This is georgous!

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about 4 years ago eatboutique

Yum!

Viviane_cropped_lr

about 4 years ago Viviane Bauquet Farre

I created this layer mousse cake for the holidays... but I love making it for any special occasion, like birthdays or a big dinner party! The thing I love the most about it is that it's neither too rich, nor too sweet! It just melts in your mouth...