Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Raspberry Mousse Cake

Sometimes a challenge is good thing.  Pushing yourself to try something new or step out of your comfort zone can be completely and totally frightening while at the same time be totally exciting.  Yes, I am talking about baking here.  (I mean I also totally have on my mind that in less than two weeks I am supposed to be lacing up my running shoes and trying to run 26.2 miles with thousands of other people.)  First things first though was the challenge excepted with making this birthday cake.  I admit that I totally brought this on myself.  I picked the recipe from a list of four different options, all of which the birthday girl said she would be happy with.  This was the recipe she "thought I would throw in there anyhow..."  I saw it, and thought hey why not give it a try even though it could be an epic fail.  (It wasn't...but it had serious potential to be.)

This is the breakdown of this cake.

I followed this recipe to a "T," not wanting to modify anything in fear of totally messing this cake up.  Although it took a while to make, it was totally worth it.  If you don't have a day or long afternoon to make this cake; here is how I broke down my time over a day and half.

Monday night:  Bake layers of chocolate cake.  Once they have cooled, leave in their pans (only if you have parchment paper on the bottom) and wrap tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil.

Tuesday morning:  Made raspberry filling and layered between the cake.  Made caramel mousse, poured over cake and let set.

Tuesday night:  Made raspberry glaze and poured on cake to let set.

Wednesday afternoon: Served and enjoyed!
This is definitely a yummy and different combination of flavors, and although the mousse's texture was slightly off it had awesome flavor.  Definitely a challenging and delicious dessert; plus the birthday girl loved it, which is really all that matters.

First Day 1: Time to make the cake layers...cocoa powder and water, whisked together until dissolved.

Then butter, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.

Creamed butter and sugars meet egg.

Wet and dry ready to hangout...dry ingredients alternate with...

Cocoa mixture.

And into the oven we go.

Day 2 in the morning: Beginning to assemble once cakes are cooled

Raspberry filling...

Making the caramel for the caramel mousse.

Prepping the gelatin for the mousse.  It is then mixed in with the caramel.

The final step for the mousse is gently folding in the whipped cream.  Then you pour on top of layer cakes and set in the refrigerator to set.

Day 2 in the evening:  Prepare raspberry glaze and then let cool to room temperature.  Once it is at room temp. pour over cake and let it set back in the refrigerator.

So ready to eat this!

Chocolate Caramel Raspberry Mousse Cake: (recipe from HuffPost Taste)
For cake:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch-process)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 teaspoons water

For mousse:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup water, divided
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (less than 2 packages)

For raspberry glaze:
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons water, divided
1 cup raspberry jam (almost all of a 12-ounce jar)
Equipment: 1 (9-inch) round cake pan; 1 (10-inch) springform pan
Garnish: fresh raspberries (optional)


Make the cake:
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a round of wax paper or parchment. Butter paper, then dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.

2.  Whisk together cocoa and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Set aside.

3.Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl. 

4.  Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until it is creamy, then add sugars (brown and granulated) and beat mixture until it is very well combined.
5.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing on low speed until cake batter is smooth. Scrape down sides and mix well again.

6.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in middle of oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes.

7.  Turn cake out onto rack, then re-invert cake to cool right side up, at least 1 hour.

Make the raspberry filling:
8.  Melt 3 tablespoons raspberry jam with water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, then force jam through a sieve set over a bowl to remove seeds. Keep raspberry jam warm.

9.  When cake is completely cool, cut it in half horizontally and spread one cut side evenly with the raspberry jam. Reassemble cake. 

10.  Flip bottom of springform pan so that raised lip on bottom is facing down, then lock side of pan back on. Lightly oil bottom and sides of pan.

11.  Arrange chocolate cake in middle of springform pan. 

Make the mousse:
1.  Heat sugar in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over medium heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt along the edge. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork (sugar will form clumps in pan and on fork), until sugar and clumps are completely melted and smooth and the color is a deep golden caramel. Remove pot from heat and add 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup cream (mixture will bubble up and steam and caramel will harden). Return pot to heat and slowly simmer mixture, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and mixture is smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla and salt and keep warm.

2.  Sprinkle gelatin over remaining 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and let it soften 1 minute. Heat mixture over medium-low heat until gelatin is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes, then whisk into caramel mixture.

3.  Transfer caramel mixture to a large metal bowl and set it in an ice bath. Stir caramel mixture just until it is room temperature (do not let it begin to gel) and remove it from ice bath.

4.  Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks and, using a large whisk, gently fold and stir cream into caramel mixture. Pour caramel mousse over chocolate cake in springform pan, covering it completely. If necessary, smooth top with a rubber spatula. Rap pan on counter twice to release any air bubbles and chill cake, uncovered, until mousse is set, at least 2 hours.

Make the raspberry glaze:
1.  Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin over 3 tablespoons water to soften for 1 minute.

2.  Melt raspberry jam with remaining 3 tablespoons water over medium heat, stirring, until smooth. Add softened gelatin and bring just to a simmer, stirring, until gelatin is dissolved. Force raspberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Cool to warm.
3.  Pour raspberry glaze over chilled mousse, tilting pan slightly to cover it completely in an even layer. Chill cake, uncovered, until glaze is set, at least 1 hour.

For serving:
Let cake stand at room temperature 30 minutes to soften slightly. Wet a kitchen towel with hot water and wring it out, then wrap it around the side of the pan for about 15 seconds. Run the tip of a thin knife around the edge of the pan, then gently release and remove the side of the springform pan.

Garnish cake or plate with fresh raspberries, if desired. 

Notes: Make ahead: Cake can be prepared 2 days ahead and kept chilled. Loosely cover with plastic wrap after glaze is set (use toothpicks to keep plastic wrap from touching glaze.)

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