Monday, January 9, 2012

World’s Best Chocolate Cake (IMHO)

(modified from Hershey’s Fiesta Fantasy Cake Recipe)
BY: Sam Parks (August 2010)

World's Best Chocolate Cake
So after being on hold with tech support for over an hour, I needed something to kill time.  Which brought me to my unfinished recipe folder.  Today's lucky winner was a cake that I originally made over a year ago for a friend's birthday, but never actually got around to publishing it. 

The almond flavored mousse sets this cake apart from its overloaded chocolate-pumped cousin produced in the Hershey test kitchens.  However, the real star of this rich and luscious dessert is the velvety smooth icing.  Pairs nicely with praline ice cream and a pint of double-chocolate stout!

Eat good food.  Drink good beer.  And above all, stay classy!

 2 cups sifted cake flour or 1-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch Processed Coco (I used the Ghirardelli brand dark processed coco and chocolate)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened (preferably unsalted butter)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur or strong coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 container (8 oz.) dairy sour cream
3/4 cup boiling water
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (recipe follows)
CHOCOLATE FROSTING (recipe follows)


Heat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside

Beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl on low to medium speed of mixer until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in coffee liqueur or coffee and vanilla. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to sugar mixture, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in boiling water until blended. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Prepare CHOCOLATE MOUSSE. Split each cake layer horizontally, to make four layers total. Place one layer on serving plate; spread with one-third of the mousse (about 1 cup). Repeat layering with two of the remaining layers and remaining mousse (try not to eat too much of the mouse you still need some for the cake!). Place remaining cake layer on top.

Prepare CHOCOLATE FROSTING; frost cake top and sides. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

INGREDIENTS (Chocolate Mouse)
 2 12-oz. packages semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons white, granulated table sugar
¼ cup coffee flavored liqueur
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips in a food processor bowl; cover and process until finely ground. Mix 1/3 cup whipping cream and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is just boiling. With food processor running, pour hot cream through feed tube, processing 10 to 20 seconds or until chocolate is completely melted. Scrape side of food processor bowl. Add 1/4 cup coffee liqueur or strong coffee and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract through feed tube; process 10 to 20 seconds or until smooth. Pour into large bowl; cool about 10 minutes or until mixture is room temperature. Beat 1 cup whipping cream in chilled medium bowl on high speed of mixer just until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Makes about 3 cups.

INGREDIENTS (Chocolate Frosting)

1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 ½ cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 2/3 cup sifted cocoa powder in medium bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups whipping cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat on low speed of mixer until stiff peaks form, scraping side of bowl constantly. (Mixture will be very stiff.) By hand, stir in milk, one tablespoon at a time, to make desired spreading consistency. Makes about 3 cups.

Yield: 16 servings.

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