Last Sunday we had my little brother and his adorable wife over for some dessert. Seeing them reminds me of when Ryan and I were pushing through our undergraduate degrees together. It was such a busy time, but such a fun time for us. I thought we'd be in college forever, but looking back, those 4 years blew by so quickly! It's kind of the same deal with Law School - I thought it would never end, and here we are at Ryan's final semester only 3 years later. I can't wait for the next phase to begin, but I'm reminding myself to slow down, savor the journey, and soak up every moment left in our "student mode" phase of life.
Little cakes are kind of adorable, and a bit easier to doll-up than a full-sized one. This one, however, was a bit more work than anticipated. But after taking a single bite of the end result, it was all worth it. The chocolate cake was spiced by a bit of cinnamon, each layer was slathered with creamy whipped mousse, enveloped in smooth butterscotch frosting, and crusted in a layer of sweet chocolate sprinkles. It was certainly a mouthful, but each texture played a beautiful part in the overall experience. Yes, this cake was an experience.
The chocolate mousse was easy enough, but I had a bit of trouble with the butterscotch mousse. It was prepared the same exact way, but for some reason, it curdled. Both times. I ran out of butterscotch chips, and wasn't about to head to the store on a Sunday to buy replacement ingredients. And I know very well that after mousse has curdled, you can't uncurdle it. But why let it go to waste, eh? I added some powdered sugar, and slowly brought it back to life. It made a delicious frosting, and I kind of preferred it that way.Chocolate Mousse Cake with Butterscotch Mousse Frosting and Chocolate Sprinkles
makes a 6-layer 8" small cake - about 8 rich servings
3/4 C + 1 t all-purpose flour
1/3 C + 1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/3 C unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 C sour cream
1 1/2 C whipping cream
8oz bittersweet chocolate - finely chopped, about 3/4 C
1 1/2 C whipping cream
8oz butterscotch chips
*powdered sugar if mousse doesn't turn out
To make cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 small cake rounds (6-8'') pans or small springform pans. Mix 1 t each flour and cocoa powder, dust pans and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium high for 30 seconds. Then add your sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, then bean in sour cream and flour mixture. Pour batter in pans (working in batches if needed), spread evenly.
4. Bake 22-25 minutes (depending on how small your pans are) until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pans on wire rack, and remove from pans to cool on rack. Use serrated knife or cake slicer to cut cakes in 3 layers (be careful, and very patient).
To make chocolate mousse:
1. Place cream and chocolate in saucepan. Sir over low heat until mixture is smooth and fully blended. Transfer mixture to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of mixture. Refrigerate chocolate mousse for at least 30 minutes.
2. Remove from the fridge and transfer to a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on low, gradually increasing the speed every minute. Beat until light and fluffy - DO NOT OVER BEAT - or your mixture will appear curdles and will suck.
To make butterscotch mousse/frosting:
1. Place cream and butterscotch chips in sauce pan. Stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and fully blended. Transfer mixture to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of mixture. Refrigerate butterscotch mousse for at least 30 minutes.
2. Remove from the fridge and transfer to a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beating on low, gradually increase the speed every minute. Beat until light and fluffy - DO NOT OVER BEAT - or you will end up with curdled mousse like I did.
*3. If mousse doesn't curdle - congratulations. You win. Stop here.
*4. If mousse does curdle - welcome to the club. Add in powdered sugar and make it a frosting.
To assemble cake:
1. First spread down a small layer of butterscotch on plate/platter. Lay down first layer and spread with a layer of chocolate mousse (and alternating with butterscotch (if it's in the mousse form, if not, only use chocolate mouse as filling). Repeat with remaining 5 layers. Cover entire cake with butterscotch mousse/frosting. Coat sides with chocolate sprinkles.
Recipe source: baker's royale via bhg