I know the title is a mouthful, but I couldn’t think of any other way to fully encompass everything that makes this cake so great. Layers of fluffy raspberry mousse sandwiched between layers of soft and delicate chocolate cake, all topped off with rich and creamy Nutella icing. Yum!
Definitely a celebration cake, which was fitting since it was my sister’s birthday on Friday. There’s just something about making a cake specifically for someone that sets it apart from making other cakes. I look forward to making cakes for all the special people in my family, for birthdays, or mother’s day, or any sort of celebration. I look forward to the opportunity to think up extravagant creations tailored to that person’s specific tastes for every occasion.
This cake definitely fits that bill. When I asked my sister what type of cake she wanted she said something with chocolate cake, raspberry jam, and Nutella buttercream. After researching a couple recipes, we decided that the traditional recipes out there are all a bit heavy- chocolate cake, with layers of Nutella buttercream and raspberry jam. Perfect for winter, but she wanted something a bit lighter for the summer.
So I suggested raspberry mousse to go in between the cake layers instead of icing and jam…something I’ve never made before, so I knew it would also be a challenge! Again, I did some research and decided on this mousse recipe by Dede Wilson, and followed that up by watching this YouTube video. Both were tremendously helpful, and I recommend them if you’re thinking of attempting making a fruit-based mousse.
The cake layers are made using my go-to recipe, which you can find posted here. I made the full recipe this time, which makes three 9″ layers, or three 8″ layers if you want a very tall cake.
The Nutella buttercream, also required a fair bit of research as there are numerous delicious looking recipes out there on the Internet. In the end though, with my sister’s help, we decided to try one that used more Nutella than anything else. A full cup of the stuff, so there’s no mistaking the Nutella flavour!
The assembly requires some finesse, as you need to make sure to pipe a line of buttercream around each layer of cake to be filled in with your mousse. After all the cake layers are stacked, make sure you fill in any holes where you can see pink shining through. This will prevent any mousse from leaking out of the assembled cake.
After everything is assembled, simply frost the cake as you would a regular layer cake- focusing on the sides first and then the top of the cake. While I had enough frosting to cover the cake, I think that next time I would 1.5x the recipe to ensure that there was plenty to cover the cake.
In the end, everyone enjoyed the cake! It was the perfect end to a great day spent celebrating my sister’s birthday! I’m sure it would make a great addition to any special occasion.
Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Mousse and Nutella Buttercream
For the cake:
I used the same recipe for chocolate cake cake that I used to make these cupcakes.
I greased three 9″ pans with non-stick spray, divided the batter evenly (I made the full recipe), and baked them for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
For the Mousse:
12 ounces unsweetened raspberries (defrosted, if using frozen berries)
3/4 cup cold water, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
1 Tbsp unflavoured gelatin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
Pour defrosted raspberries (or fresh) and any juice into the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade. Turn on machine and process until berries are pureed and fruit is completely smooth. Strain the puree in a medium-sized bowl, pressing though to remove any seeds.
In a small sauce pan, pour 1/2 cup of water, and then sprinkle gelatin over liquid, stirring to combine. Let sit to soften for 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup liquid and sugar, and heat over low-heat until the gelatin is melted and the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Add melted gelatin mixture to raspberry puree.
Place bowl with puree over another bowl filled with ice and cold water and stir until thickened. This may take as long as 30 minutes- you want your puree to reach the consistency of raw egg white.
Whip cream until soft peaks form and fold thoroughly into cooled raspberry puree. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow puree to set before assembling the cake.
(Adapted from here)
For the Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup Nutella
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
Beat butter until smooth and then add the Nutella and beat until combined.
Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue mixing. Add 1 Tbsp of milk. Add another tablespoon if necessary in order to reach the desired consistency.
(Adapted from Live Love Pasta)
Place one cake layer on serving platter and pipe a ring of icing along the edge of the cake. Fill this area with chilled mousse making sure not to exceed the height of the piped icing.
Place second layer of cake on top of mousse. Repeat the method of piping a ring of icing and filling with mousse. At this point you WILL have extra mousse, don’t try to use it all or it will leak out the edges.
Top with third layer of cake. With your piping bag, go around the spaces between layers and pipe extra buttercream into any areas where you can see pink mousse showing through. This will prevent any mousse leakage.
Frost the rest of the cake using the remaining icing, stating with the sides and then moving to the top of the cake with a knife or off-set spatula. Decorate as desired!