Ingredients for Chocolate Cake:
1 3/4 cups All-Purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup coffee
Ingredients for Chocolate Mousse:
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
4 large egg whites (room temperature)
1 cup heavy whipping cream (cold)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon brandy
Preheat the oven to 350F.
For the chocolate cake, mix all of the dry ingredients together so they are evenly distributed. Add the wet ingredients one at a time as listed, until full incorporated. This ensures the batter comes out nice and smooth. Take a springfoam pan like the one pictured below or a standard 9-inch round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pour the batter about 3/4 of the way, leaving room for the cake to rise when baking. Place in the oven for 35 minutes, you can check the doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle, if it comes out clean it is ready. Allow to cool and place in the freezer. (This makes the cake easier to cut)
For the chocolate mousse, place the chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler as pictured below. Simply heat water in a large pot at medium heat and place a mixing bowl over it. This helps you melt the chocolate and butter without burning it. Be cautious of letting the water boil, it could potentially get inside the bowl with the chocolate and butter and that is a BIG no-no. Once melted and mixed thoroughly, set aside and cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until they are firm and hold peaks and add the sugar. Be careful not to over whip the egg whites, they should be shiny and smooth, not chunky. Also make sure the bowl you are whipping your egg whites in is dry and contains no water or any liquid — this ensures that your whites will form peaks or else you’ll be whipping until your arm falls off with no results.
Mix the melted chocolate with your egg whites in a folding motion — you do not want to over mix or you will flatten your egg whites and that will make your mousse “goopy”. Whip the cream and when partially stiff add the vanilla. Once it is thick fold it into chocolate egg white mixture. Set aside.
For the Chocolate Ganache, heat the cream and butter in medium sauce pan at medium heat. Add the brandy once the cream begins to bubble and pour over chocolate chips. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Take the cake out from the freezer. If you are using a spring foam pan fill it with the chocolate mousse to the top and place it back into the freezer.
If you are using the standard 9 inch pan flip it upside down onto a flat surface with parchment paper. If you have a torch, torch the sides and bottom of the pan, this will release the cake from the pan. If you do not own a torch, take a paring knife along the edges of the pan and firmly tap the pan upside down, the cake should pop out. Then cut the cake in half horizontally — the easiest way to do this is to trace where you want to cut first around the edges of the cake and then cut into it the rest of the way. I use to just cut it without tracing and ended up with uneven, unhappy cake pieces.
Another reason why you place the cakes in the freezer is so that the ganache frosting comes out nice and shiny. If the cake is warm, the icing comes out dull. Place one of the cake halves onto a wire rack and spread the top with chocolate mousse and place the other half on top. It is important that the cake is on a wire rack so the ganache can drip through. Carefully pour the ganache ontop of the cake, starting from the center and allowing it to drip down the sides.