birthday boy and the best ever chocolate cake

Jared turned 28 today. We almost feel like adults!

A favorite neighborhood treat is the Princess Cake from Crumbs Bakery. I did my best to recreate it.


Best Ever Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. (8 squares) Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, divided
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-o instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round baking pans. Chop 2 of the chocolate squares; set aside. Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil and water in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 min. Stir in chopped chocolate. Spoon into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 min. Loosen cakes from sides of pans. Invert onto racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.

This is where I change the recipe. Make chocolate mousse using the recipe below. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Place frozen whipped topping and remaining 6 chocolate squares in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth, stirring after 1 min. Let stand 15 min. to thicken. (First of all, the whole cool whip thing scared me because I think the stuff is gross. The frosting actually turns out to be quite good - a ganache-type consistancy. Second, I don't have a microwave, but a double boiler works just as well).

Place one cake layer on serving plate; top with chocolate mousse and second cake layer. Spread top and side with chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Mousse (via Alton Brown, Food Network)

1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces espresso or strong coffee
1 tablespoon dark rum
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin
Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.

In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to "bloom" for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.

In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two doses. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.



dlb said...

Hey, I thought I was the only one who didn't have a microwave and thinks cool whip is gross
; >

steph said...

One of my coworkers made this cake and brought it to work. Pretty good!

Calico Cat Press said...

Now we now why you've been absent since Valentine's Day. I was having Jill withdrawals. Happy Birthday Jared! The cake looks scrumptious. I wish I had smellivision.

Lynette said...

The cake looks divine! And I'm just do you survive without a microwave??? We still talk about the day my mom got her first microwave. (Ya, I'm that old.) What a fun site you have! Can't wait to try your ideas. Keep them coming!

jess said...

Wanted to extend birthday wishes to Jared. I also turn 28 this month, on the 28 too. Any way, I love your blog and it's been an inspiration to me in getting a blog started to share my projects. Thanks again and keep up with your creative projects!!

Rachel and Jared said...

I know you don't know me, but I love your blog! And that cake looks so delicious! I noticed that you have a "You are Special" plate! My mom always brings that plate out on birthdays or special occassions! Great memories!

M Henrich said...

YUM. Happy Birthday Jared--hope you got the message from the boys. We love you.

coryshay said...

So, the question is... Is it the best chocolate cake ever??? Because it sure looks it! (I love!) Now I really want to make that for dinner (not dessert after dinner, just dinner-can you tell I'm pregnant!!)

Audrey said...

I found your blog on the blogger blog roll. I'm such a chocoholic, great recipes you have listed here.

BreAnna said...

oh wow that looks like serious goodness!! We almost feel like adults to, not quite yet though! (Bry turns 29 in May, maybe that will do it? who know?)

Jill said...

coryshay - it is pretty darn good! Dangerously good.

lynette - it is possible to live without a microwave, but not that convenient. Ours broke over the summer and we just haven't gotten around to buy a new one.

Thanks for the birthday wishes - Jared feels the love.

Inspired Tokens said...

I'm out and about visiting in blogland today. 28!, gosh you guys are just babies! My husband was 28 when we got married! The cake looks devine...oh, I'm soooo hungry now. Well, I'll return later...Happy Birthday to the 'Birthday Boy'!

JenMarie said...

OMGosh, can't wait to try this!!!

Erin said...

Looks yummy Jill! If you like carrots, or maybe if you don't, I bet you would love the pecan-carrot pie I made the other day. The recipe is on my blog! Would love to know what you think.

babelouise said...

Yay! Someone else who doesn't microwave! I thought we were the only ones!!
The cake looks yummy, by the way! Happy Birthday to Jared!

Alison said...

I love that you have the "You are Special" plate!!! Some really great friends of the family gave me one when I married my ex-husband. He's such a poo-poo, he thought it was lame. I'm glad I married a real man, Round 2, who will appreciate such things!!! I LOVE that plate!

Alison said...

P.S. For Christmas, my mom gave me a book of recipes to make little single serving cakes in the microwave. Who knew that you could make cake in the microwave?!?! I still love good old fashioned cakes made from scratch IN THE OVEN, though. hungry now.

tammiemarie said...

I love that chocolate cake recipe - but I usually fill it with whipped cream & crushed oreos. It's the one my family requests for all birthdays now. And I use mini chocolate chips in the batter instead of chopping the chocolate, because I'm lazy...

love your blog!

20 Something Superhero said...

I don't cook... or bake.. really at all. But I am going to try this next weekend for my bf's bday. Just wondering if there is something you would substitute for the coffee flavoring as it makes me sick. Thanks!

Jill said...

I actually don't drink coffee (or alcohol), so I substituted hot chocolate for the expresso. I don't remember if I added anything in place of the rum - maybe vanilla?