Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cake Slice: Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake

I know, I know, it doesn't look like a cake, does it? Well, it started out as cake and ended up as a trifle. (I believe "trifle" translates roughly to "cake that falls apart and is beyond saving". Or at least in this case anyway)

This month, the Cake Slice Bakers made the Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake from the book "Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.

(If you want to see what this cake was supposed to look like, please visit the other Cake Slice Bakers.)

The cake was made up of three parts, one of which I messed up...

1) a really moist and delicious chocolate cake, which came out perfectly.

2) a sour cream chocolate frosting, which was darned good and very chocolatey.

3) a white chocolate mousse filling. This is the part that led to the cake's ultimate demise. It was made with white chocolate, whipped cream, and meringue. I tried using a pasteurized egg white product for the meringue since I didn't want to use raw egg whites. Normally I'm not too worried about egg whites but one of the folks that was to eat the cake is in poor health. Anyway, against my better judgement I used a portion of the poorly whipped egg whites (they didn't even make it to the soft peak stage) which led to a really soft filling, which ultimately led to the cake falling apart as I was icing it.

I just didn't have the time to fuss with it, so I pitched the whole thing in a bowl, chopped it up a bit, and then layered it in a second bowl with whipped cream and raspberries.

Apparently the baking gods were smiling on me because it tasted awesome. I was so glad because this was supposed to be a birthday cake and I was slightly embarrassed to show up with cake in a bowl.

Although the cake didn't end up as planned, it wasn't a total lost cause. At least I learned that you can't make meringue using "Just Whites" egg product.

OK, that's all for now. Stay tuned for next month's Cake Slice post on October 20, when we bake our first cake from the book "Southern Cakes" by Nancie McDermott.

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake

Makes a 9-inch triple layer cake; serves 12 to 16
from Sky High Irresistible Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup milk
1 ¼ cups hot, strongly brewed coffee
2 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise (not low fat or fat free)
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups sugar
White chocolate mousse (below)
Sour cream chocolate icing (below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 9 inch round cake pans. Line the base of each pan with parchment.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the milk to a simmer. Pour the hot coffee and milk over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute, then whisk until smooth. Let the mocha liquid cool slightly.

In a mixer bowl, beat together the eggs, mayonnaise and vanilla until well blended. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the dry ingredients and mocha liquid alternately in 2 or 3 additions, beating until smooth and well blended. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out almost clean. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 10-15 minutes before un-molding onto a wire rack and carefully peeling off the paper. Leave to cool completely.

White Chocolate Mousse

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg white
1 tbsp sugar

Melt the white chocolate with ¼ cup cream in a double boiler. Whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and let the white chocolate cream cool to room temperature.

When it has cooled, beat the remaining ¾ cup cream until soft peaks form. In a clean bowl whip the egg white with the sugar until fairly stiff peaks form.

Fold the beaten egg white into the white chocolate cream, then fold in the whipped cream until blended. Be sure not to over mix.

Sour Cream Chocolate Icing

12 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup
¼ cup half-and-half at room temperature
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature

Melt the chocolate with the butter and corn syrup in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and whisk until smooth.

Whisk in the half-and-half and sour cream. Use while still soft.

To Assemble

Place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Cover the top evenly with half the white chocolate mousse, leaving a ¼ inch margin around the edge. Repeat with the second layer and the remaining mousse. Set the third layer on top and pour half the sour cream chocolate icing over the filled cake. Spread all over the sides and top. Don’t worry if some of the cake shows through. This first frosting is to seal in the crumbs, and is known as a crumb coat. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes.

After this time cover the cake with the rest of the icing, smoothing it down the sides. It should be the consistency of mayonnaise. Use a palette knife or the back of a spoon to swirl the frosting around the cake.


Steph said...

Good save Jacque! I guess with the trifle, you don't have to worry as much about slicing and sliding.

Megan said...

You finished the book already? Wow - must have been a small book. I think the cappuccino chiffon was my favorite - but I'll have to try this one and let you know!

symphonious sweets said...

Brilliant! A great save for your cake! I had problems with the mousse using a regular egg white.

Snooky doodle said...

Even as a trifle it looks delicious! I make trifles with leftovers from cakes :)

Monica H said...

But you made it work and I'd totally eat this! This is also great for those who can't be bothered to frost a cake :-)

Great job!

Anonymous said...

At least it tasted awesome and the trifle looks gorgeous too.

Mary Ann said...

The trifle looks wonderful and seems a bit more appropriate for the end of summer than a 3 layer cake in my mind.
I learned the hard way about those eggs whites not making meringues a year and a half ago. Nice save though!

Jo said...

Haha, your pic really caught me by surprise. But what a "saving" act - great job on it.

Katie said...

Your cake trifle looks amazing! I don't think you should be ashamed of it. It shows how good a baker you are that you were able to adapt to the situation and turn it to your advantage. Looks fantastic!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I like trifle better than regular cake anyway! Looks great!

Cathy said...

I agree that trifles are more fun than cakes! This looks incredible!

Lauryn said...

it looks amazing as a trifle!! And it sounds incredibly delicious!

Juliana said...

Your triple looks the different layers and nothing wrong with scooping :-) instead of slicing ;-)

Grace said...

hah--ya gotta love the trifle-save! it certainly came to the rescue here, and there's no way it couldn't be delicious!

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love the way you 'saved' your delicious cake ! It looks beautiful !

GBH said...


Next time, instead of the pasteurized liquid egg white product, you may want to try a dry meringue powder. Powders are fully pasteurized in the processing, but
don't typically have the same issues with fluffing up and retaining air properly that the liquid products have.

I know Wilton (the cake decorating company) makes them and most of their products are available through craft and fabric stores, if you can't find them anything acceptable at you local supermarket.

Good Luck,

steph- whisk/spoon said...

trifle is one the most delicious desserts, so i think that was a pretty good save!

Jennywenny said...

It still looks delicious! I dont know if you live near a fresh and easy, but I always buy my egg whites there, since they are pasteurized but still whip up to a stiff peak...