Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chocolate Cake Fixings

I've been making my mom's chocolate cake recipe for years.  I don't believe the recipe is here, but I know exactly where it is, so I never have a hard time finding it to making it.

However, as time as gone by, I've played with the icing and filling.  Since I don't make cakes on a regular basis (and even less now that I am teaching), I wanted to put my filling/frosting options in the same place.  This will prevent me leafing carefully through my binder of recipes that I've gleamed from online, cooking magazines, and who knows where else.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Filling (for between chocolate cake layers)
(for a three layer cake)
from Food and Wine magazine

1 t unflavored gelatin
1 T water
1 c chilled heavy cream
1/4 c coffee or coffee liqueur
4 large egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl (this is not the bowl you will end up using for the filling), use a handheld mixer to whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Refrigerate until chilled or until you ready for it. (at least 10 minutes)

In a small microwave safe bowl, heat the coffee liqueur until hot.  Stir in the softened gelatin until it is dissolved.

In a second medium bowl (this bowl will contain the finished mousse), beat the egg yolks with the sugar and salt until a ribbon forms (it should be pale and thickened), about 5 minutes.  While beating the yolks, gradually add the gelatin mixture.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Beat in the melted, cooled chocolate.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream in 2 additions.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

Peanut Butter Frosting
(enough for 1 1/2 doz cupcakes or the filling of a three layer cake)
from Ina Garten

1 c confectioners sugar
1 c creamy peanut butter
5 T butter, at room temperature
3/4 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
1/3 c heavy cream

Put the confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-low speed using an electric mixture until creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth