Ghirardelli's Chocolate Espresso Mousse Layer Cake


Chocolate espresso cake:
6 ounces Ghirardelli bittersweet
chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature, separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee, cooled

Espresso soaking syrup:
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water

Chocolate espresso mousse:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee beans
9 ounces Ghirardelli bittersweet
chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
11/2 cups heavy cream

Chocolate glaze:
8 ounces Ghirardelli bittersweet
chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate covered espresso beans


1. Make the cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch round cake pan. Line bottom of pan with circle of parchment paper. Dust sides of pan with flour and tap out excess.

2. Melt chocolate according to directions. Set aside to cool until tepid. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt and whisk until blended. Set aside.

3. In bowl of electric mixer, using paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat at high speed until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract, then egg yolks one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add sour cream, then melted chocolate and mix until blended. On low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with coffee in two additions and beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until blended.

 4. In a clean dry bowl of electric mixer, using whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.

5. Using rubber spatula, gently fold beaten whites into chocolate batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Bake cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until edge has pulled away slightly from side of pan and center of cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack, peel off paper and cool completely.

6. Make soaking syrup: In small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to high and bring syrup to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in espresso mixture. Cool.

7. Make mousse: In small saucepan, combine milk and ground coffee; heat over medium-high heat until scalding. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Pass milk through fine-mesh sieve and return to saucepan.

8. Place chocolate in bowl of food processor. Process just until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Place milk over medium-high heat until scalding. With food processor running, pour hot milk through feed tube and process until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add vanilla extract and process until blended. Scrape chocolate mixture into large bowl.

9. In bowl of electric mixer, using a whisk attachment, beat cream on high speed until medium-firm peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture in three additions.

10. Assemble cake: Using a long serrated knife, slice cake horizontally into two layers of equal thickness. Place one layer in bottom of 91/2-inch springform pan. Using a pastry brush, brush cake layer with half of Espresso Soaking Syrup. Scrape half of mousse on top of cake layer in pan. Use a small metal spatula to smooth mousse into even layer, letting it fill gap between cake and side of pan. Place second cake layer on top of mousse. Brush cake with remaining syrup. Scrape remaining mousse on top of cake, spreading it evenly. Cover pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours (or up to 2 days) until firm.

11. Make glaze: Place chocolate in medium bowl. In small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream and corn syrup to a gentle boil. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds. Gently whisk until chocolate is melted and glaze is smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract.

12. Glaze cake: Remove cake from freezer and uncover. Dip a thin-bladed knife in hot water and wipe dry. Run knife between cake and side of pan, re-dipping and wiping as necessary to keep knife hot. Remove side of springform pan. Place cake on wire rack and set rack over piece of parchment or wax paper to catch drips. Pour glaze over top of cake, letting it drip over sides. Use a small metal spatula to smooth glaze over cake, covering it completely. Transfer cake to serving plate. Scrape any leftover glaze on paper into a small, sealable plastic bag or parchment cone. Snip a small hole in corner of bag and drizzle glaze diagonally over top of cake. Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours before serving to thaw. Garnish cake with  chocolate-covered espresso beans.

This recipe developed by Chocolatier magazine.