Tiramisu and Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake

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“Happiness is knowing there is cake in the oven”

Who likes tiramisu? Mascarpone frosting? Chocolate Mousse? Chocolate Ganache?? If you like at least one, or all of these – you will love this cake! This is a little 6-inch cake, perfect for your little birthday needs.

Tiramisu Cake (2 6-inch cakes)

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup +2tbsp sugar

1/4 cup espresso

2/3  cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with electric mixer and half of the sugar. When frothy, add in 1/4 cup of cooled espresso. Continue mixing until it thickens and color becomes off-white. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy and then add in  the rest of the sugar. Beat until you get stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the yolks. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Sift dry ingredients into the egg mixture until you do not see any loose flour. Do not over mix. Spoon batter into two well-buttered baking pans and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven – cakes should spring back when touched (this is a sponge cake). Let cool completely.

Mascarpone Frosting

8 oz mascarpone cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp Kahlua

2-3 tbsp. heavy cream

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine cheese and powdered sugar until thickened, add vanilla, Kahlua, and heavy cream and mix well. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

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Chocolate Mousse

1.5 tbsp water

1.5 tbsp sugar

1.5 egg yolks

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine water and sugar in saucepan over medium heat until boils and becomes a bit thicker. Remove from stove and turn off heat. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks in a large bowl until frothy and then add in the sugar mixture while whisking. In a separate bowl, microwave the chocolate until it melts, in about 30 second intervals. Combine the slightly cooled chocolate with the egg-sugar-water mixture. In a stand mixer beat the cream to soft peaks. Fold this into the chocolate-egg mixture.

Chocolate Ganache (make after cake is assembled)

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Heat cream on stove until it starts to just bubble a bit. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove, pour over the chocolate in a separate bowl. Mix until combined and smooth.

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Assembly

Place 1 tiramisu cake into a 6-inch springform pan, and line the sides of the pan with an acetate cake collar. Spread the chocolate mousse out evenly over the tiramisu cake layer in your cake pan and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Remove from refrigerator and remove side of cake pan as well as acetate collar. Spread a thin layer of mascarpone frosting over the mousse layer, and then top with second tiramisu cake layer. Now frost whole cake with mascarpone frosting (this is thinner than a buttercream frosting, and the cake will appear somewhat “naked” frosted, but you will still have the great mascarpone taste – don’t worry!) Now make the chocolate ganache and let it cool a bit. Pour over the cake evenly with a spoon, and top with desired fruits/meringues/berries. Enjoy!

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Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkin & Chocolate Halloween Cake

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“There is magic in the night…when Pumpkins glow by moonlight”

Just wanted to do a quick little post to help you out if you’re still looking for something to bake on Halloween. This is a layered cake, made with two layers of chocolate cake, and two layers of pumpkin cake, filled with cream cheese frosting, and covered with buttercream frosting and candy ganache. The chocolate and pumpkin play great off of each other, and the cake looks amazing when you cut into it with those contrasting colors.

Pumpkin Cake

1 cup flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

7.5 ounces (1/2 can) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350F and butter two 6 inch springform pans. Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix together butter, eggs, and buttermilk in your stand mixer. Add in the dry ingredients in 4 parts. Next mix in the pumpkin puree. Split between pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

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Chocolate Cake

1 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk +1/2 tsp. white vinegar (let stand 15 mins)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup French Vanilla Coffee

1/8 cup Bacardi Rum

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter two 6-inch springform pans. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, whisk, and set aside. Combine oil, milk/vinegar, eggs, and vanilla in stand mixer and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts and mix together. Next add coffee and rum and mix well. Bake for 40 mins-1 hour, depending on your oven – just make sure a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter

8 oz cream cheese

1 tsp clear vanilla extract

4.5 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp heavy cream

Orange food coloring

Place butter in stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend until combined. Add the heavy cream and beat until fluffy frosting consistency. Add food coloring until desired orange color is achieved. Use this frosting to layer the cakes and crumb coat the 4 layer cake. Then place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you make the buttercream.

Buttercream

1 cup butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp clear vanilla extract

1 Tbsp heavy cream

Orange food coloring

Black food coloring

Beat butter and shortening in stand mixer until smooth. Add sugar to this and beat until smooth. Next add vanilla and heavy cream to desired consistency. Add orange food coloring, and make sure you have a bit of frosting leftover to dye black for the Jack O’ Lantern’s face. Completely frost your crumb coated cake in your orange buttercream. Place in fridge to harden for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile make your candy ganache

Green Ganache

1/2 bag of dark green candy melts

1/4 cup heavy cream

Place candy in microwave safe bowl. Heat heavy cream in microwave until hot. Pour heavy cream over candy melts and mix until thickened liquid. If not melting enough, it’s okay to place in the microwave for a few seconds at a time. Let the ganache cool a bit but not too much because you still want it to be able to drip down the cake to represent the pumpkin’s leaves.

Spoon ganache over the top of the cake, making sure to leave an area on the side open for the face. Place a chocolate candy on top to represent the stem. Use your black frosting and a small round tip and piping bag to pipe on a Jack O’ Lantern face. And…that’s it! Happy Halloween!

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Best Chocolate Cake!

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“Put ‘eat chocolate’ at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.”

True story. If you do only one thing this weekend – it should be to make this chocolate cake. It’s seriously moist, sweet, and amazingly chocolate-y. There’s no need to waste more time – here it is – now go bake!

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Chocolate Cake

2 1/2 cups flour

2 3/4 cups sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup milk +1 tsp. white vinegar (let stand 15 mins)

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup French Vanilla Coffee

1/4 cup Bacardi Rumchoco1

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter six 6-inch springform pans (I made two 3 layer cakes). Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, whisk, and set aside. Combine oil, milk/vinegar, eggs, and vanilla in stand mixer and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts and mix together. Next add coffee and rum and mix well. Bake for 40 mins-1 hour, depending on your oven – just make sure a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely before adding the frosting.

 

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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup heavy cream

strawberries (for layering)

Beat butter in stand mixer until smooth. Combine sugar and cocoa in a separate bowl, then add in 1/2 cups to butter while mixing. Add vanilla and heavy cream, and mix until smooth.

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Assembly

Frost a thin layer of chocolate buttercream on the first cake layer. Then use a large round tip to pipe a circle all the way around the first cake layer. Fill in with fresh, thinly sliced strawberries. Cover with more buttercream. Place second layer on frosting and repeat with frosting and strawberries. Top cake with third layer, and cover whole cake with a crumb coat of buttercream frosting. Place in the fridge and allow to harden a bit, at least 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and do a final smooth coat of chocolate buttercream. Place back in fridge and allow to harden. Meanwhile, create your decorations. choco15

Once the ganache is cooled enough, but not too much, pour it over your cake and allow it to drip a bit. While it is still wet, place your chocolate leaves, swirls, strawberries on top. I also piped some little buttercream kisses with a small round tip around my leaves and swirls. I then added some more gold touches with the paintbrush.

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Chocolate Ganache

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Heat cream on stove until it starts to just bubble a bit. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove, pour over the chocolate in a separate bowl. Mix until combined and smooth. Allow to cool so that the ganache is thicker before pouring over the top of the cake.

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Cardamom and White Wine Poached Pear Cake

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“So glad to live in a world where there are Octobers.”

To continue my Fall recipes, I’m bringing you guys this yummy cake today. The pears are poached in white wine and cardamom and all the good Fall spices. I could just eat the pears all on their own (I had to stop myself). Then they’re baked into a cake with fresh apples and pears grated right into it. I’m sure you’ll love Fall after making this cake!

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The Pears

3 Bosc pears, peeled

1/2 bottle pinot grigio

4 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat for a half hour. If the pears are not completely covered, make sure to spoon the liquid over the pears every few minutes and turn them as well. Remove and allow to cool on a plate before cutting off a bit of the bottom to make sure they stand up straight in the cake.

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The Cakes

(makes 2 six inch cakes)

1 apple, peeled and grated

1 pear, peeled and grated

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Spray two 6-inch  springform pans with non-stick baking spray. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Combine butter and sugar in stand mixer until smooth. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and almond extract and mix in. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 parts while mixing. Add in the grated fruit until combined. Pour into prepared pans. Take the three poached pears and place into the batter in one of the pans – make sure they are touching the bottom of the pan and can stand on their own. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. My cake without the pears took 50 minutes. My cake with the pears took a little over an hour. Don’t worry if your cake with the pears appears lighter and more moist on top – it’s because of the moisture coming out of the poached pears.

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Chocolate Buttercream

2 sticks unsalted butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup heavy cream

Beat butter in stand mixer until smooth. Combine sugar and cocoa in a separate bowl, then add in 1/2 cups to butter while mixing. Add vanilla and heavy cream, and mix to desired consistency. Should be smooth and strong enough to hold its shape for piping.

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Assembly

Use the closed star tip to pipe one layer of small swirls of the chocolate buttercream on the cake without the pears, starting from the outside, going in. Once that is done, place the second cake (the one with the pears), on top of the other. And you’re done! If you’d like to decorate a bit, I just topped with some powdered sugar, dried rose petals, and a bit of white chocolate ganache drip.