This simple chocolate cake is my favorite. The base layers are our moist Mom’s Chocolate Cake. The right balance of espresso and chocolate make the mocha mousse unforgettable, and the dark chocolate ganache adds flavor and elegance. Garnish it with raspberries or chocolate shavings and you’ll have a beautiful homemade cake to surprise your mother with at her celebration.
Makes one 9-inch cake
¾ cup whole milk
⅓ cup canola oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups granulated sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup boiling water
9-inch cardboard cake circle
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup brewed espresso (or very strong coffee)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Brush the sides and bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with canola oil. Line the base with a parchment circle. Dust the oiled edges with flour to prevent sticking.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, canola oil and vanilla. Set aside.
Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a stand mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute to combine the ingredients. Add the egg mixture in three additions, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl between. After the third addition, the mixture should be smooth.
With the mixer on low speed, add the boiling water in a slow stream, taking approximately 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for an additional minute.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake on the center rack for 30 to 35 minutes. When finished, the top will be set and the sides should pull slightly away from the edges. Let cool for 1 hour.
To remove the cake, run a knife around the edge of the pan, then invert it gently onto a piece of parchment. After the cake has completely cooled, cut it horizontally into three equal layers. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the semisweet chocolate chips, espresso and unsalted butter. Remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer bowl, whip the cream to a soft peak using the whisk attachment. Add the sifted powdered sugar. Continue whipping until the mixture forms medium firm peaks.
Remove the bowl. In three additions, fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the whipping cream to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips. Whisk to make a smooth glaze. Let cool to room temperature (it will thicken slightly).
Sprinkle a little sugar onto the 9-inch cake circle (or cardboard cut to size and covered with aluminum foil). Top with the first cake layer and spread with one third of the mousse. Repeat this process with the second layer. Then cover with the last layer of cake. Make sure the sides line up and the top layer is flat. Adjust if needed. Then spread the last third of the mousse evenly over the top and sides until it is smooth. Chill the cake for 30 minutes.
Place a 9-inch cake pan upside down on a rimmed baking sheet. Center your chilled cake on the inverted cake pan. Pour half the ganache over the top of the cake so that it is covered evenly. Allow the excess to spill over the sides. Add remaining glaze to the sides and smooth for a nice presentation. The chilled cake should allow you to model the glaze to a smooth surface.
Garnish as you like. Sugar sprinkles, flowers, fresh fruits, berries and chocolate shavings are some of our favorites. Enjoy!