Happy Friday, Chitlins! I made you a cake! For no reason other than I had a snow day this week and I felt like making a really pretty cake. I think I succeeded, don’t you?
There’s something about cake that makes me all squealy inside. Maybe it’s because I’m “wedding planning”, and I use that term very loosely, but staring at stacks and stacks of beautifully frosted and decorated cakes has really put me the mood to make my own sugary confection.
Also, I’ve been dying to make a pretty cake for awhile. And also, I don’t need to explain myself to you, I run a baking blog. I should be allowed to make cakes whenever I want. Thankyouverymuch.
Anyhoodle. This one is a mashup of a million different recipes. I was feeling wild on Tuesday. I highly suggest you let this sit at room temperature assembled for a few hours before serving. It really allows the amaretto to soak through the cake and improves the flavor exponentially. I assembled, frosted, photographed, and then ate my slice all within about an hour and was sort of meh about it. Then when I had a slice on Wednesday I couldn’t stop eating. It was like manna from heaven, as one co-worker put it.
I used one of the recipes from The Cake Bible from the inimitable Rose Levy-Beranbaum and allow me to say, that book is exactly what it claims to be. A bible of cake. I have made several of her recipes now and I have never had an issue with my cakes. They release perfectly from my (well greased and floured) pans, they rise, they don’t sink. It’s magic.
The mousse is from Hershey’s, I only changed up the chocolate used to something a little better than chocolate chips. The mousse has gelatin in it to help stabilize. I wanted something that would hold up to being quashed between two layers of cake without getting all runny. I am happy to report this made it all the way to work without falling apart or sliding into pieces. Success!
Enough jibber jabber, let’s bake!
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup whole milk
- 4 oz dark chocolate (56% cacao or more), chopped fine
- 4 oz milk chocolate, chopped fine
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 150g (1½ cups) cake flour, sifted
- 150g (3/4 cup) sugar
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 150g (10 tbsp) butter, softened
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup heavy cream, divided
- ¾ tsp vanilla (or ½ tsp vanilla ¼ tsp hazelnut extract)
- 2-3 tbsp amaretto (such as Disaronno or Frangelico)
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2.5 tbsp heavy cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2.5 tbsp flour
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, soft but cool, cut into tablespoon-sized chunks
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp hazelnut
- splash of amaretto
- In a medium sauce pan whisk together the sugar and gelatin.
- Add the milk and let stand two minutes to soften. Heat the mixture over medium heat until bubble appear at the edges and milk is steaming.
- Remove from heat and add the chocolate all at once, stirring until melted and smooth.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Once chocolate mixture has cooled whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture. Place in an airtight container and chill until set, about 2 hours.
- Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 6-inch cake rounds. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Add the butter, in chunks, and 6 tbsp of the heavy cream to the dry ingredients and beat on medium for 2 minutes until thoroughly incorporated and fluffy.
- Meanwhile, in a large two cup measuring cup mix the remaining 6 tbsp heavy cream with the yolks and vanilla.
- Turn the mixer to lower and add half the yolk mixture. Beat on medium for 20 - 30 seconds until fully incorporated.
- Add the remaining half of the yolk mixture and beat on medium until fully incorporated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth to the edges.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden and spring back to the touch, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges just begin to pull away from the pan. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before inverting and removing from the pans.
- In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan whisk the flour and sugar.
- Add the milk and heavy cream and cook until boiling and thickened, about 5 - 10 minutes.
- Pour in a stand mixer and beat on medium-high until cool to the touch, about 7 minutes.
- With the mixer running on medium add the butter chunks all at once. Turn the speed up to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-4 minutes. If at any point it looks like the mixture is separating keep beating on medium-high until fluffy. Sometimes it takes awhile.
- Add the flavorings and beat to incorporate.
- Level the cakes. Using a large pastry brush dab the amaratto on the cut surface of the cakes until fully soaked.
- Place the bottom layer on a cake stand or turn table, cut side up.
- Dollop about ½ to ¾ cup of mousse filing on the center and spread to within ¼inch of the edge.
- Center the top layer cut side down (so the bottom of the cake is now the top) over the bottom mousse layer.
- Drop 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake and gently spread to the edges coming down over the sides. I used almost all the frosting, except for maybe a ¼ cup to frost my cake.
- If you want to get super smooth edges you can use an offset spatula dipped in hot water and wiped dry. It'll take a few rounds to get it smooth.
- Decorate with your preferred sprinkles. I used edible gold star sprinkles!