Tuesday, March 10, 2015

An Anniversary Cake - Dark Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Mousse Filling & Chocolate Ganache

I cannot believe that our one year anniversary is upon us, it seems like yesterday we were celebrating with friends and family (while simultaneously freaking out about moving to a new town). One year later and things aren't that different, yet again we're packing up all our things and moving to a bigger, better, completely foreign city.
For a couple of hours we decided to take a little break from work/packing/travel craziness and take part in a little chocolate indulgence. While it might not be the prettiest cake (I packed most of my baking tools, hence the sloppy ganache..we'll just call it "rustic") I gotta say this is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe.
I've said it before how much I love using coffee in my chocolate cake recipes - it makes such a difference in flavor to me, bringing out that rich chocolate flavor while adding some moisture. This was also my first time making strawberry mousse which has become my go-to filling - not only is it refreshing and delicious but you also get that pretty natural pink color without having to use artificial additives.
I gotta say it's been a semi crazy year, there were definitely a lot of firsts and it was not without it's challenges but I am super excited about moving to a big city and all of the culinary adventures that are to come!

For the cake...

recipe adapted from Ina Garden

Butter, for greasing the pans (or non stick spray)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans.

2.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 extracts. 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.

For Strawberry Mousse...

1 cup finely chopped strawberries
Splash of orange juice
1/4 to 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream (chilled)


1.Add strawberries, oj, and sugar in a blender and pulse until almost a liquid but still a little chunky. You can strain to get rid of the seeds but you honestly don't notice them anyway.
2.In a mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in strawberry mixture and serve. (note: some might suggest adding gelatin to the strawberry mix but I found it wasn't necessary).

For ganache...

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
3-4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Constantly stir until chocolate is silky and smooth in texture.

To assemble:
1.Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with mousse. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the remaining mousse evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Place in the fridge for at least 30 min.
2.Once cake is cool, using a ladle, carefully spoon ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.


  1. Loved it! It was delicious and light - surprisingly!

  2. When assembly the cake it says spread with chocolate frosting , which isn't listed on the ingredients ?

  3. Hey, sorry about that - it was a poor choice of words on my part. By "frosting" I meant the strawberry mousse and then once that is cool, carefully cover with the chocolate ganache.


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