Posts tagged ‘chocolate cake’

December 25, 2011

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Every year (for 30 years – which means before I was even born) we go to our prior neighbors from Jersey the week before Christmas to help decorate their tree. I look forward to this day every year. Aunt Pat always makes bacon wrapped cheese hot dogs in their buns and bacon baked beans. We always bring a (chocolate) dessert.) Over the past few years it has become my job to make the dessert. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with (finding) a delicious new dessert every year.

Merry Christmas 2011

But, I am not sure I will ever be able to top this dessert though. This Chocolate Mousse cake is rich and decadent and sweet and moist and just perfect! Start with a mousse-like flour-less cake, top with a rich chocolate mousse, and finish the whole thing off with a white chocolate/peanut butter mousse. Throw on some extra chocolate shavings and you are in Cake Heaven!!

This cake looks a lot more difficult than it really is. There is a little bit of time to put into it (but not really – especially considering your end result). Plan to make this the night before you want to serve it and when you serve it be prepared for the “oohs” and “ahhs”. But I do warn you that once you make this cake, it will be hard to top it the next time you want a delicious chocolate dessert.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

adapted from Annie’s Eats – serves at least 10

bottom layer

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or bittersweet chocolate chips)
  • ¾ tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

middle layer

  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 Tablespoons hot water
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or those baking chips)
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt

top layer

  • ¾ tsp. powdered gelatin (like Knox)
  • 1 Tablespoon) water
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups heavy cream

Chocolate curls or cocoa powder

Bottom Layer –  butter (or crisco) the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, then line the bottom of the pan with a parchment round for easy removal later. Center rack in the oven and preheat to 325˚ F.  Combine the butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water (or microwave for 30 second intervals on 1/2 power until combined).  Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the vanilla and egg yolks.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Crumble half of the brown sugar into the mixing bowl to remove any lumps.  Beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds.  Add the remaining brown sugar and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes more.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake until the cake has risen, is firm around the edges and the center has just set but is still soft (should spring back after pressing gently with a finger), about 14-18 minutes.  Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour.  Do not remove the cake from the pan.  (If not making the second layer right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to proceed.)

Second Layer – whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl; set aside.  Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth (or melt in microwave at 1/2 power in 30 second intervals).  Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly, 2-5 minutes.

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and salt on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds.  Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, at least a minute or two.  Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture until smooth.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  Pour the mousse into the springform pan over the cooled cake and tap gently on the counter to remove air bubbles.  Gently smooth the top with a spatula.  Wipe the inside edge of the pan to remove any drips.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while preparing the top layer.

Top Layer – sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes to soften.  Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl.  Bring ½ cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved.  Pour the hot cream mixture over the white chocolate and let stand about 1 minute.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Cool to room temperature, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken.  Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, at least a minute or two.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  Spoon the white chocolate mousse into the pan over the middle layer.  Smooth the top with an offset spatula.  Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours.

When refrigerating, do not place Saran on top until it is set to avoid messing with the top. When you are ready to serve, grate (in large curls) some good quality chocolate on top (I forgot this step since I left the chocolate at home when this traveled with me). To serve – carefully cut around the edge of your springform to loosen the edges. Then release the springform and careful remove it. Because of the parchment – it will be a little hard to cut, but it goes pretty well. Serve with a glass of milk or a nice cup of coffee – ENJOY!

One year Ago – Chocolate Mousse Cups & Candied Orange Peels, perfect Christmas Goodies

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what tradition do you have in your life & does it have a food related to it?

…and all I want for Christmas this year is for you to follow me on Facebook and continue to read my blog & maybe even leave some comments

August 16, 2011

Chocolate (Mocha) Ice Cream Cake

It’s Celebration Time!!

My Dad’s Birthday was last week and Ice Cream Cake (the kind with real cake and without those little crunchy things) is one of his favorites – that and the Chocolate Mocha Cake that I  made for his retirement.

Dad’s birthday should (and is) reason enough to celebrate – but we have another reason to celebrate here at Teacher by Day – Chef by Night!

One year ago: August 17, 2010 I posted my very first blog post. I have come so far in this year… taking the plunge getting pictures posted on FoodGawker, gaining readers, being willing to experiment more, and the list goes on.

Now I have to look to the next year! In the next year I hope to continue to get images posted on FoodGawker, increase my readership, gain sponsors, get my own URL, and most of all continue to experiment & have fun in my kitchen!

While we reflect on my goals and look forward to the year ahead, I give you:

Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Cake

cake from my Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Celebration cake, originally found on Sugar Cooking.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper (do not skip the paper on the pans).

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely & then freeze overnight or at least 2 hours to proceed with the cake.

Ice Cream

I just used Store-Bought, you could make you own if you were feeling up to it! I used about 1/2 of a gallon – it was not quite enough, you should should at least 3/4 of a gallon or go all out and use the whole gallon! The better the quality Ice Cream you use the better your cake will be (look for the full-fat ones without additives like gum – the best ice cream is either homemade or made with just cream/sugar/eggs)

We were going for Mocha Cake so I used a layer of Coffee and a layer of Vanilla Ice Cream (so Mom could sleep and she just skipped on the Coffee). This would be awesome with whatever flavor Ice Cream you love (chocolate, mint chocolate chip, vanilla banana, etc)


Mocha Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1 pint Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Instant Coffee (I used Decaf)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (?) Sugar

Put your heavy cream into your mixer. Allow to get thick, then add your coffee/cocoa. Combine that fully. Once your Whipped Cream is almost thick – add your sugar. TASTE at this point and see what you think – add more sugar if you want it sweeter. Allow your whipped cream to get nice and thick with stiff peaks.


Bake Layers, Allow to Cool (completely – freeze for at 2 hours after they are cooled to help them firm up as well). When you put your layers in the freezer, wrapping each one in saran individually will allow for assembly to be the easiest. Also – make sure you have room in the freezer to stack all of these with a little wiggle room all around so there is a ‘safety zone’ once it is frosted!

Take your ice cream out of the freezer about 10 minute before you are ready to start. You want to put it into a seperate bowl so you can smoosh it around to make it smooth and ready to spread. Once you have a thick/spreadable Ice Cream take out your layers and place one on your cake platter (or your cardboard cake thing or whatever you make your cake on – I personally love to use the bottom of my springform pan!). Spread your ice cream onto the cake & top with another layer, pushing down to make it flat. Return to the freezer

About an hour later – repeat with the next layer of ice cream and top with your 3rd cake layer. Return this to the Freezer again. (now is a good time to make the whipped cream)

Take out your cake & ice it (haha – you are icing and ice cream cake!). I iced my cake in two steps, about 1/3 of the icing in a “crumb coat” but since it was frozen it didn’t really need it. Allowing the icing to set up for about 20 minutes in the freezer allowed me to get a much smoother top coat of my whipped cream on the cake. I top with some shaved chocolate, allowed to set again and then finally just piped some more whipped cream around the edge.

This cake is worth the time/effort that goes into it!

I hope that you have enjoyed my first year of blogging as much as I have – and if you are just visiting for the first time, I hope that you stick around and help me see where the next year will take us!

And I leave you with a Question… What suggestions/advice do you have for me as I enter my 2nd year with this blog?

August 3, 2011

Chocolate Mocha Cake

My dad’s FAVORITE cake is Chocolate Mocha Cake (from Susan’s Catering) but I knew that I could at least attempt to make a cake to equal it, and that dad would appreciate a home-made cake over a store-bought cake any day, even if it did not turn out perfectly. For my dad’s retirement party (yay, so proud of you dad – the guy that taught me it’s ok to experiment in the kitchen and who loves to cook but does not enjoy reading & doesn’t even read my blog. But its ok – mom does, hi mom!) I knew that making this cake for him was the only option!

A few years ago my Aunt Pat gave me Death by Chocolate Cakes – and wow is there good stuff in there (great cookbook for all you chocolate addicts – get it, seriously), so I knew thats where I had to go to find this cake (which I had sticky-noted immediately after receiving the book). The recipes in the book are not quick or easy, but they are totally worth the time that they take!

This cake took me two days to make (although I could have made it one really long day) – so be prepared for a minor time investment, but trust me that the results are worth it. Dad actually retired a few months ago, but after devoting so much time to creating the cake, it took me a little bit to take the time to get ready to type this recipe in. My Aunt Sandy has not stopped talking about this cake since I made it and has been bragging about it & begging me to finally post it – so here we go, get ready for a lot of reading and once you read it: you might not be able to resist the urge to make it!

“Excessively Expressive Espresso Ecstasy”

recipe taken directly from Death by Chocolate Cake by Marcel Desaulniers!


  • 5 oz unsalted butter (cut into 1/2 ounce pieces plus 1 T melted)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 6 oz semisweet baking chocolate (coarsely chopped)
  • 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup instant expresso powder (or instant coffee)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 T pure vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 and lightly coat four 9 inch nonstick cake pan with the melted butter & the place a round of parchment (or wax) paper & then lightly coat that with more melted butter

Combine (& sift) flour, baking powder, & salt. In another container melt the chocolates and the rest of the butter either in the microwave OR in a double boiler. (to melt in the microwave: use 1/2 power and microwave for just 30 seconds at a time).

Place the sugar, eggs & expresso powder in your electric mixer. Beat on medium heat for 2 minutes until thick. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides. Add the melted chocolate mixture and mix on medium to combine (about 30 seconds). Keep mixer on low while adding your (sifted) dry ingredients, about 30 seconds. Add the sour cream & vanilla for about 20 seconds. Remove from the mixer and finish combining with a spatula.

Immediately divide the batter into the prepared pans (about 1 1/2 cup into each) and spread evenly. Bake in the top/center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, about 22 minutes (warning: mine was done at this point & was slightly dry – so check at 20 minutes). For more even baking: rotate 1/2-way through baking time. Let cakes cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then invert the cakes to finish cooling. Peel paper from the bottom of the cakes. Place layers in the fridge to cool until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 oz semisweet baking chocolate (chopped coarsely)
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (chopped coarsely)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 T granulated sugar

Place your chocolates into a large bowl. Heat the heavy cream & sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil (continue stirring lightly to avoid burning). Pour boiling cream over chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes then stir with a whisk until smooth.

Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the ganache to a baking sheet with sides and spread evenly. Set aside the baking sheet and the bowl at room temperature to use when needed

Expresso Mousse

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup instant expresso powder (or instant coffee)
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (chopped & melted: bowl at half power in the microwave, stopping to stir at 30 second intervals)

Put heavy cream, sugar, and expresso powder in the bowl of your electric mixer with a balloon whisk. Run on medium-high heat for 2 minutes until firm (but not still) peaks for. Take 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream and add it to the melted chocolate. Use rubber spatula to fold together until combined. Add the combined cream/chocolate with the remaining whipped cream and fold together until combined.

Assembling the cake

Remove the cake layers from the fridge. Use a cake spatula to spread about 1 1/2 cups of the mousse evenly/smoothly over the top  of 2 of the layers. Transfer the ganache from the baking sheet to the top of a 3rd cake layer and use cake spatula to spread evenly over top (refrigerate the rest of the mousse until the end of cake assembly process).

Place one of your Mousse Layers on your cake plate. Place the ganache layer on top of the first mousse layer. Top with the second mousse-coated layer. Place the final (plain) cake layer on top of the stack. Press down on the layers gently so you have an even, beautiful, cake! Refrigerate for an hour until the layers have firmed

Once cake has set take out the cake and spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes. If you didn’t transfer the cake to a serving platter, you can do so at this point.

Now it is time to decorate! Use a mixture of expresso beans (food processed to make chunky beans) and sliced (crumbled by hand) almonds around the outside of the cake (just lightly pressing around the outside). Then fill a pastry bag with a large star tip  with mousse and pipe evenly spaced stars around the cake. Top the cake with a few chocolate-covered espresso beans. Place in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. To get the best slices: heat the blade of your serrated slicer and heat/wipe clean between slices.

And I leave you with the question of the day… What have you spent hours doing for a loved one just because you knew they would love it?

May 20, 2011

Chocolate Mug Cake

Microwave Chocolate Cake

5 – Minute Chocolate Cake

10 – Minute Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Mug Cake

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

How many of you love those Warm Delights by Betty Crocker, but cant’t bring yourself to spend the money to spoil yourself on them? (Or you just get them when they are on sale/you have a coupon & you wish you could have them more often since molten warm goey chocolate cake is too good to not have whenever you want it)…. Ok – thanks, put your hands down!

This is the make at home, do it yourself, whatever, whenever, whoever, version of those ‘instant’ cakes and they are just TOO GOOD! You are now just 10 minutes from warm Chocolate Cake.

Wait, let me repeat that… “You are now just 10 minutes away from fresh warm Chocolate Cake.” Did it sink in that time?

10 Minutes: the time it takes to put on your makeup, the time time it takes to make a pot of coffee, [less than] the time it takes to make a pot of pasta, the time it takes to walk a mile, OR the time it takes to make a fresh, from scratch chocolate cake!!

Remember, just because you can have something this delicious in just 10 minutes [every day] doesn’t mean that you should (that is a reminder from me to both of our waistlines, feel free to check out Calorie Count as a reminder as to why you do not need this every day & that yes, it is still cake).

A photo of the e-mail print-out my mom gave me…


  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • optional: 3 T chocolate chips
  • 1 large mug
Add all your dry ingredients to the mug & mix well. Toss in your egg and mix thoroughly (you may want to mix your egg in another container before putting it into the mug). Then add your milk, applesauce, & oil to combine that. (I mix my wet in another container & then put them into the mug to make sure its mixed well) Once it’s all combined, add your vanilla and any mix-ins you are putting it.

popping with goodness

If you are cooking just one mug at a time it should take about 3 minutes in a 1000-watt microwave. The mug will “explode” over the top but should not spill over, don’t worry! Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy right out of the mug (or make another dish dirty and spill it out onto another plate).
The “original” recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of oil, but when I looked up the nutrition facts of it that way I almost died, so decided to do a 2 to 1 ratio of applesauce to oil: feel free to make this with whatever ratio of oil/applesauce you want!

asking to be eaten

Nutella Version – I’ll have to try this one! AND – while we are making variations on this dangerous cake… why not try adding a tablespoon or two of PEANUT BUTTER to change the flavor, or some CARAMEL, or add different flavored chocolate chips!?

Have funbut just don’t eat this too often (there:  I said it again  – now I can’t be blamed for any weight gain for this easy to make cake!)

Oh yeah – HAPPY 100th POST TO MEin honor of my 100th post, I made myself my own personal chocolate celebration cake!! And I made a 2nd one to treat my man & favorite photographer: Mr. Rich Alborn, NJ Wedding Photo!

what are you waiting for?

April 18, 2011

Chocolate Cake Cheesecake


Chocolate Cheesecake Cake - layers in motion

The is just one problem with loving to cook, starting a food blog, improving your cooking skills, and dating someone who loves to eat my cooking. That is: when I offer the world for his birthday, he decided to take it and challenge me to get an awesome birthday cake this year. I love a challenge, so was ready to try making Chocolate Cake Cheesecake (you know kinda like the Cheesecake Factory’s classic dessert) when that was what Rich requested. After some Foodgawker searching I found Erin’s Food Files version that she recently made and decided I was up for this birthday challenge. Since last weekend I made a chocolate-peanut butter cake (and Rich didn’t want a peanut butter frosting) I decided to search for a different frosting (Rich requested a fudge-like chocolate frosting) and decided to roughly base my frosting on Beantown Baker’s Chocolate Frosting.

pre-frosted cake or oversized Oreo!?

cake plate hand-painted by my wonderfully talented Aunt Pat

Be sure to set aside some time (cheesecake the day before) to make this cake – but once all of your parts are ready it is a fast assembly! The cheesecake layer is nice and smooth not a super solid cheesecake so it fits perfectly with the soft layers of the cake. Feel free to decorate however you want (I went with sprinkles since it was a birthday!) and just enjoy this cake for a special occasion [or whatever].

Happy Birthday Rich


Recipes adapted from Erin’s Food Files & Beantown Baker


  • 1 1/4 pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Boil a pot of water. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight, then on day 2 take out of the springform (leaving bottom on) and wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.


  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour [plus more for pans]
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large or large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee OR Guinness warmed up (since Rich loves our Guinness cake but it not a coffee drinker)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

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. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.


  • 8 Tbsp butter (1 stick)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a block)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk (or Baileys) – I did a 50/50 mix & used Vanilla Almond Milk

Cream butter and cream cheese and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Slowly add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency, then beat another 5 minutes until creamy.

Place first layer of cake on cake stand. If desired, frost with a little frosting. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom of the pan, then be sure to peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the cake. If the cheesecake is wider than the cake & its necessary to to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a layer of frosting (crumb coat). Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost the remaining frosting. Top with shaved chocolate, chocolate chips, or decoration of your choosing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

... make a wish

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