Here’s the recipe for a layer cake that I made for my daughter’s birthday in June. The cake layer is super soft and fluffy and I used an extra tall pastry ring to help me with the layering. It is recommended that you use a scale to weigh the amount of mousse for each layer. It makes the cross section of the cake much more visually appealing. My other tip for you is on cake slicing. As this cake is super soft, the cake has to be thoroughly chilled before slicing. Chilled cake is firmer so is much easier to slice as there will be less cake crumb and is less likely to tear. I also like to cut a hole in the middle of each cake layer other than the bottom one for air to escape. When I place the cake layer over the mousse, I gently press onto the cake layer until I see some mousse layer running out from the middle hole. This is how I could tell all air that is trapped in between the mousse and cake layer has been expelled.
I got the idea from naked cake, but it is up to you whether to reveal the cake layers or not. If you do, make sure your cake pan is slightly larger than the pastry ring as the cake would shrink a bit in diameter after chilling. If your cake pan and pastry ring are of the same size, then there will be a gap between the cake layer and the ring and the mousse will seep through. For more naked cake ideas, feel free to visit my other blog posts, Semi Naked Chocolate Cake with Fresh Fruits and Whipped Cream and Semi-Naked Drip Cake with Fresh Fruits and Whipped Cream.
Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake
For 6″ extra tall pastry ring
For the Chiffon Cake (Tang Mian Method)
80 g cake and pastry flour
A pinch of salt
40 g grapeseed or vegetable oil
50 g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
3 large egg whites
1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (I use Korean apple vinegar)
50 g granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
Notes: the eggs I use each has a net weight of 50 – 55 g.
For the Chocolate Mousse Filling
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse
6 g unsweetened cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
30 g hot water
6 g gelatin powder
30 g water (add to gelatin)
100 g couverture chocolate (I used Lindt Piccoli 58% chocolate)
50 g whipping cream (add to chocolate)
10 g unsalted butter
180 g whipping cream
調溫朱古力(EC用Lindt Piccoli 58%朱古力) 100克
For the Cake 蛋糕體
Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Heat oil in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave until it reaches 140 – 150ºF/60 – 65ºC. Immediately pour warm oil into the flour mixture and stir with a pair of chopsticks or a spatula to form a smooth paste (i.e. the tang mian or cooked dough). Stir in warm milk in two batches and then the vanilla until it becomes a soft dough. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Batter will be glossy, smooth and of a thick syrup consistency.
麵粉和鹽放鋼盆中拌勻備用，把油放小鍋中小火加熱至140 – 150ºF/60 – 65ºC(或使用微波爐加熱)，加入乾粉中用筷子或膠刮攪拌成順滑燙麵糊，分兩次拌入暖牛奶和雲尼拿攪拌成軟麵糰，之後逐顆蛋黃加入攪拌均勻(每次要完全拌匀才加另一顆)，此時蛋黃糊應光滑無顆粒並像琵琶膏的流動狀態。
In another impeccably clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites and vinegar with a hand mixer using medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks form. Change to low speed to minimize the air bubble size toward the end of the beating stage. When you lift up the whisk, the peak will hold its straight and pointy shape but the tip will fall back only very slightly.
Add one third of the meringue to the yolk batter and fold with a whisk to lighten. Add mixture back to the meringue and fold gently and thoroughly first with a whisk then with a spatula until homogeneous.
Pour batter into an unprepared 6” round cake pan (minimum 3” tall) with a removable bottom. Tap the pan against the kitchen countertop several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Smooth top with an offset spatula. Rest pan on a baking sheet then bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes at 300℉/150℃. Increase temperature to 320℉/160℃ and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more to dry and brown the top. The cake is fully baked when it has reached its maximum height and decreased in height slightly. Every oven is different so adjust baking time accordingly while using the browning and height reduction as a hint. Drop cake pan on the kitchen countertop at a distance upon removal from the oven. This will release any gas trapped in the cake cells and minimize shrinkage. Invert pan on a wire rack to cool completely before unmolding. Refrigerate for at least half a day before slicing as the cake is delicate. Slice the chilled cake horizontally into 4 to 5 layers. Only 4 layers are required and the cake layers should fit snugly in the cake ring without any gap around the side.
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse 黑朱古力慕絲
Chill mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes before start. Mix cocoa powder, salt and hot water in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Bloom gelatin by mixing it with water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or over hot water until gelatin liquefies. Set aside.
Make ganache by melting chocolate, whipping cream and butter In another bowl over a pot of simmering water (or melt in the microwave with medium power). Stir until mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in cocoa powder mixture and liquefied gelatin until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
With a hand mixer, whisk whipping cream in the chilled mixing bowl with slow speed until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the abobe chocolate-cocoa powder mixture in two batches until homogeneous.
For the Assembly 組合蛋糕
Wrap bottom of the cake ring with plastic wrap. Place a cake layer inside the ring. Pour or pipe a layer of chocolate mousse over the cake layer (I used a scale to make sure the layers of filling are all even). Smooth top with an offset spatula. Before placing on another cake layer, poke a hole in the middle of each cake layer for air to escape. Repeat the same process and fill the cake ring with four alternating layers of cake and mousse until the ring is full, pressing down the cake layers each time until the chocolate mousse starts oozing out from the middle hole and to make the layers even in height. Refrigerate overnight or until the mousse has set.
Transfer the thoroughly chilled cake to a cake board. Remove the bottom plastic wrap and release the cake by gently warming the sides of the ring with a hairdryer. Decorate the top with fresh fruits. Keep refrigerated until serving.
The layers looked awesome.