Death by Chocolate Layer Cake

Layers of fudge brownie, mocha mousse, chocolate meringue and rich ganache make up this chocolate lover’s dream cake.  Death by Chocolate Layer Cake is the ultimate special occasion cake.

Death by Chocolate Layer Cake | The Suburban Soapbox #chocolatecake

Do you know what today is?  National Chocolate Cake Day!  I’ve been saving this recipe for just this occasion.  The first time I made it was to take to my new husband’s parents house for Christmas.  I saw this cake on a show called The Best Of back when The Food Network was still young.  The Best Of was my absolute favorite show.  It was like a classier version of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives….kinda like The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  The hosts toured the US for the best dishes at some of the most amazing restaurants and this cake….well, it took the cake.  It was etched in my memory.  I had to tackle it.  The pastry chef doing the demo made it look so easy and I knew I needed a bite.

Death by Chocolate Cake | The Suburban Soapbox #chocolatecake

This recipe calls for A LOT of chocolate so take inventory and make a list before you go to the store.  I, inevitably, short myself every single time and I just love that.  I don’t really. There’s nothing more frustrating than setting out to make a recipe and not having enough of whatever.  This recipe will also take a lot of time, not because it’s difficult but because you’re making a bunch of different recipes for the layers.  You can spread this out over a week or more which makes so much easier and manageable.  I would go to work during the day and come home and make a layer.  By the end of the week, all I had to do was assemble it.

Death by Chocolate Layer Cake | The Suburban Soapbox #chocolatecake

I have to share that the first time I made this cake I wasn’t so sure of myself in the kitchen.  This cake was definitely a stretch and there were times I thought I bit off more than I could chew. But I didn’t….and it was a success.  I presented this cake proudly to my new in-laws (we were married about a month at that point) and….then we ate it.  Did I win them over with my cake?  I’m not sure. 🙂  However, everyone I’ve made this cake for since then raves about it. It’s super rich and definitely made for sharing.  This might be how you throw a little fancy at your Super Bowl party this Sunday.  Or you could make it for Valentine’s Day and eat it for 6 weeks.  Your call.

Death by Chocolate Layer Cake | The Suburban Soapbox #chocolatecake

Death By Chocolate Layer Cake

Course: Baking, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 1280 kcal
Author: Kellie

Recipe adapted from the Trellis Restaurant. The ultimate Chocolate Layer Cake recipe for every occasion.

Print

Ingredients

  • For the brownie layer:
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces chocolate chunks
  • For the cocoa meringue:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa sifted
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For the chocolate mousse:
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • For the chocolate ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 22 ounces semisweet chocolate broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • For the mocha mousse:
  • 14 ounces semisweet chocolate broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa sifted
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. For the brownie layer:
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare the chocolate brownie layer. Coat a 9 by 1 1/2-inch cake pan with 1 teaspoon of butter. Flour the pan with 1 teaspoon of flour, shaking out the excess.
  3. Sift together 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt onto waxed paper. Set aside.
  4. Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 4 tablespoons butter, and 2 ounces semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler tightly cover top with film wrap. Heat for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes, remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.
  5. Place 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on high speed until slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk on medium for 30 seconds. Add the sifted ingredients, whisk on low for 10 seconds, then on medium for 10 seconds. Add the sour cream and whisk on medium for 5 seconds.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine ( also add and combine 4 ounces chocolate chunks ).
  7. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared cake pan, spreading evenly. Bake the brownie for 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan at room temperature for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a cake circle and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the brownie from the refrigerator. Keep the brownie at room temperature until needed.
  8. For the cocoa meringue:
  9. reheat oven to 225 degrees F.
  10. Using a 9-inch cake circle as a guide, with a pencil trace a circle on a sheet parchment paper cut to fit a baking sheet. Turn the paper over and with trace mark down, place on a baking sheet.
  11. Place 4 egg whites, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on high speed until soft peeks form, about 45 to 50 seconds. Gradually add 1 cup sugar while continuing to whisk on high speed. Whisk until stiff about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in and thoroughly combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Fill a pastry bag (with no tip) with cocoa meringue. Fill the traced circle with meringue: start in the center and pipe a 3/4-inch wide spiral towards the outside of the circle. Place the meringue in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees F. and bake for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cocoa meringue to cool on baking sheet for 45 minutes before handling. Adjust the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  12. For the chocolate mousse:
  13. While the meringue is baking, prepare the chocolate mousse. Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 6-ounces of semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly, about 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth keep at room temperature until needed.
  14. Place 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a well-chilled balloon whip. Whisk on high speed until peaks form, about 1 minute. Set aside for a few minutes until needed.
  15. Whisk 3 egg whites in a large stainless-steel bowl, until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Add a 1/4 of the whipped cream to the chocolate and whisk quickly, vigorously, and thoroughly, then add to the egg whites. Now add the remaining whipped cream. Fold all together gently but thoroughly. Refrigerate the chocolate mousse until needed.
  16. For the chocolate ganache:
  17. Prepare the ganache, heat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of butter in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Place 22 ounces of semisweet chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Keep at room temperature until needed.
  18. For the mocha mousse:
  19. Prepare the Mocha Mousse. Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium high heat. Place 14 ounces semisweet chocolate, 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 1/2 cup water, 4 tablespoons of instant coffee, and 2 tablespoons cocoa in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap. Heat for 6 to 7 minutes, remove the film wrap, and stir the mixture until smooth. Keep at room temperature until needed.
  20. Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Continue to whisk while gradually adding 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk until stiff, about 30 seconds.
  21. Whip 3/4 cup heavy cream in a well-chilled stainless-steel bowl until stiff. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the melted chocolate mixture, then fold in the whipped cream now fold in the remaining egg whites. Hold the mocha mousse at room temperature.
  22. To assemble the cake:
  23. Place a closed 9 by 3-inch spring-form pan on a baking sheet. Set the chocolate brownie inside the pan top side up. Ladle 1 1/2 cups of ganache into the pan over the chocolate brownie. Trim the cocoa meringue with a serrated knife so that it will fit tightly into the pan. Place the trimmed cocoa meringue, top side up, inside the pan on top of the ganache, pressing down gently on the cocoa meringue to eliminate air pockets.
  24. Spoon the mocha mousse on top of the cocoa meringue spreading evenly. Chill the cake in freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 1 hour.
  25. Remove from the freezer and cut around the edges to release from the spring-form pan. Pour the remaining ganache over the cake and use a cake spatula to spread the ganache evenly over the and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the ganache.
  26. Fill a pastry bag with a star tip with the chocolate mousse. Pipe a circle of stars (each touching the other) along the outside edge of the top of the cake. Continue to pipe out circle of stars until the top of the cake is covered. Refrigerate the Death By Chocolate for at least 4 hours and preferably 12 hours before cutting and serving.
Nutrition Facts
Death By Chocolate Layer Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 1280 Calories from Fat 792
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 88g 135%
Saturated Fat 52g 260%
Cholesterol 169mg 56%
Sodium 310mg 13%
Potassium 1042mg 30%
Total Carbohydrates 113g 38%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 83g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 28.8%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 17%
Iron 60%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

3 comments on “Death by Chocolate Layer Cake”

  1. Oh yes! Sign me up for this!

  2. Oh my! This cake looks absolutely amazing. How wonderful it would be with a cappuccino! Love it!!

  3. Oh my… I might die from deliciousness before I die from chocolate! YUM! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.