It was my birthday a couple weeks ago. Usually my sweetie makes me a cake, but my parents were here and things were crazy, and it slipped by without an actual cake getting made. So, a couple days after, when I was home and all my family was gone, I decided to brighten my own day by making myself a cake. Instead of baking and frosting one giant one that I knew we would never get through, I decided to make a couple individual size cakes.
I still made a large sheet cake, but cut out circles and made mini layer cakes. Fun! Plus, I ate the scraps of the cake much faster since all I had to do was grab a chunk and chow down, without all that extra frosting fluff to weigh things down. Hehheheh...
The result was perfectly tasty! It was lovely to have a bitty cake to share with my honey, with all the tasty toppings, but not have to worry about having tons left over. I made my favorite Deep Dark Chocolate Cake for the base. It's my aunt's recipe, and I've made it since I was a kid. I haven't found a richer, more moist cake yet! The only change I made to her original recipe was to use buttermilk instead of regular milk and coffee instead of water. The coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor. Lovely!
Then I made a vanilla-brown sugar mousse for the filling, and to finish it off a nice, shiny chocolate ganache. The mousse was perfectly creamy and dreamy, and the ganache provided the perfect dark chocolate finish. So much better than a typical buttercream!
Then I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on the top. I love, love, love the pairing of chocolate and cinnamon!!! The cinnamon brings such a great warmth to the chocolate, and just complements it perfectly. Mmmm.
Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake
1-¾ cup Flour
2 cups Sugar
¾ cups Cocoa
1-½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2 whole Eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ cups Oil
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup hot coffee
Vanilla Brown Sugar Mousse
1 1/2 cups of cold whipping cream
1 small package of vanilla pudding
3 tbs brown sugar
Beat cream until stiff peaks form. Mix in pudding and brown sugar until smooth.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of chocolate chips
Warm chips and cream over a double boiler until melted. Add cream as needed to thin ganache to smooth, pourable consistency.
To assemble Mini-Cakes:
Use a round biscuit cutter to cut even layers for your cake. Place a cake layer on plate, spread with mousse, and repeat twice more. Frost the entire cake with mousse, including the top. Next, spread ganache over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top liberally with cinnamon.