It's Crazy Cooking Challenge time again. In December, I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, and last month I made Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup. This month's challenge was Chocolate Cake. This is perfect for Valentine's Day. Since this week at What's Cooking, Love? is chocolate strawberry week, I decided to make a Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Mousse Filling. I found this great recipe over at Carolynn's Recipe Box. Her blog has lots of great recipes, make sure to go check it out!!
I usually don't make cake from scratch, I usually use a box mix and add something to it to spice it up. I'm all about simplicity and spending as much time with my family as possible, while still making good food. However, since this was a challenge, I figured I should challenge myself and make the cake from scratch. I am also going to include a recipe for how I would simply this cake using store bought products.
This cake was SO delicious!!! I think I did a good job making the cake part, but I did have a little bit of trouble with the mousse. After a couple of tries, I got it to work. At the point when I poured the mousse all over the cake, the mousse was more liquid than solid and I thought it would make the cake soggy and that it wouldn't set. After refrigerating it (I did it over night), the mousse set perfectly. I also thought it would be strawberry overload, but the lightness and airyness of the mousse was really balanced out by the chocolate cake and the chocolate ganache. By the way, I have never made ganache before, and it was really easy to make and tasted so so good!!
This cake was so good, I highly recommend it!! It was the perfect amount of strawberry mousse and it was perfect with the chocolate cake. My husband was planning to take most of the cake to his school for his co-workers to have, but it was so good that I demanded he keep the cake at home and then I proceed to have two pieces the first night!!
Make sure to stop by the other participants and see what they made for the Crazy Cooking Challenge!!
Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Mousse Filling
(Recipe adapted from Carolynn's Recipe Box)
1/2 cup butter
3 (1 ounce) squares of unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soy milk (can substitute regular milk)
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two 9 inch round pans.
2. In a small saucepan melt the butter together with the unsweetened chocolate over medium heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Cream together the sugar and eggs until light in color. Then add the chocolate mixture to eggs and temper the mixture by beating well. Add 1 cup of boiled water (still warm) and blend well. The mixture will be very liquidy.
4. Mix together the flour, baking, soda, and salt. Add this mixture to the chocolate mixture and blend well.
5. Mix together the vinegar and milk and stir into the chocolate batter. Split the batter into the two 9 inch round pans.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to completely cool before filling.
Strawberry Mousse Filling
1 pound of frozen strawberries, thawed (can use fresh strawberries as well)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
5 strawberries, quartered
1. In a blender or food processer puree the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until it is stiff. Gently mix the whipped cream with the strawberry puree.
3. In another mixing bowl beat the egg whites with salt until stiff. Mix one cup of egg whites into the berry and cream mixture and then gently fold the mixture into the egg whites. (The mousse will be liquidy, but will set as refrigerated).
4. Place the first layer of cake in a spring form pan or a pie plate (something with sides works well because of the liquidy mousse). Place the quartered strawberry slices on top of the first layer. Then pour the mousse over the strawberries until they are covered.
5. Place the second layer on top and cover it with more mousse. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until the mousse sets.
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Place the chocolate chips into a large bowl. In a small saucepan, pour the cream in and bring it to a boil. As soon as the cream boils up to the top of the pan, quickly remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate chips. Let it stand for a minute or two then whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla until well blended. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and cool at room temperature.
2. Take the cake out of the refrigerator and take any excess mousse on the sides of the cake and spread it on the sides. Once the ganache is cool, but still warm enough to pour, cover the chocolate cake with the ganache.
* One shortcut would be to skip making the chocolate cake from scratch and to prepare a chocolate cake mix by the directions on the box.
* Another shortcut would be to skip making the strawberry mousse from scratch and to use a box mix to make the strawberry mousse.
Chocolate Strawberry Week Recipes:
* Sunday: Nutella and Strawberry Heart Cookies
* Monday: Strawberries and Cream Brownies
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