Almost Death By Chocolate

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So my mission was to make a cake that had enough chocolate flavor to satisfy the  most discerning chocolates in my family but not overboard so that you could actually eat a whole piece.

so here’s the saga of “Almost Death by Chocolate”

Jennifer Thompson-Kersting


For the Cake:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup finely chopped dark chocolate

Note: if you do not have Cake Flour – measure out 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, remove 3 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 tablespoons of corn starch.  Sift the flour and cornstarch thoroughly five times and you have just made your needed cake flour


For the Mousse:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces, alternately use chocolate morsels
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Butter Cream:


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.



Directions for the cake:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.  Mix in chopped chocolate

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Divide batter between the prepared pans, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Reinvert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up. Tip: Refrigerate cakes for 2 hours until very cold to make assembling the cake easier.

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Directions for the Mousse:


Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap and allow to heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.


Transfer the melted chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed.


Place heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a well-chilled balloon whip. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a hand whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together. Set aside in refrigerator

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Directions for the Butter Cream


In small saucepan cook flour and milk until it forms a ball, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature.  Tip: Place the thickened mixture in a shallow dish and place in the refrigerator to cool.

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With an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar until well combined.  Add the cocoa and beat until fluffy.  Do not skimp on this step, you need to keep beating this until you can barely feel the sugar crystals when you rub your fingers together, the smoother it is, the better the frosting will be

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Add the cold milk and flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a tim on high speed until fluffy and smooth.. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour, until it is of spreading consistency.

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Assemble Cake:

Arrange one of the cake layers in a 9-inch springform pan, evenly spread half the mousse over the cake and top with the second layer. Add remaining mousee and top with the remaining cake layer. Chill 2 hours. Remove cake from springform pan and coat sides and top with buttercream. If desired, coat sides of cake with grated chocolate, cookie crumbs of chopped nuts.  Cool cake completely for at least 4 hours before cutting.


  1. Run your hand around the edges of each of the cooled cakes to remove any obvious crumbs that may sneak their way into your frosting.
  2. Before placing bottom layer on cake board or plate, place a dollop of frosting so the cake won’t slide around

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The finished product!  Voila!  Add candles, decorate with writing or just plain enjoy