Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, that’s what I like for Valentine’s Day and this cake delivers. The chiffon cake and the mousse are both surprisingly light, so even though it’s indulgent, the cake won’t weigh you down. If you’ve never made a cake in a mold before, yes, you will have cake scraps once you assemble! And if you hate leftovers like I do, freeze them and make rum balls at a later date or just snack on them when no one is looking. You can also make this in a circular ring mold or a springform pan if you don’t have a heart mold or aren’t into the novelty shape. I used this mold and lined it with acetate to make it easier to unmold.
Make one 8-inch cake, serves 6 to 8
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
- 1/2 cup (56 grams) cocoa powder
- ¾ cup (177 grams) boiling water
- 2 cups (228 grams) cake flour
- 1 3/4 cups (347 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ cup (120 grams) vegetable oil
- 6 large eggs (300 grams), separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (240 grams) cold heavy cream
- 3 large egg whites (90 grams)
- 3 tablespoons (66 grams) granulated sugar
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
- 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (240 grams) heavy cream
- White or pink piped chocolate hearts (optional)
Make the Chiffon Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Grease a half sheet pan and line with parchment. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the cocoa and pour the boiling water over and mix until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium mixing bowl fitted for an electric mixer or a regular mixing bowl with a hand mixer, sift together the flour, 1 1/2 cup of the sugar and baking powder.
- Add the oil, egg yolks and vanilla to the cocoa mixture and then add all to the flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined.
- In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until frothy and while still whisking, add the balance of sugar in a slow stream. Continue whisking until firm peaks.
- Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture until no streaks remain.
- Pour into the prepared pan, gently coaxing it into the corners. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the middle springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely in the pan before removing.
Make the Chocolate Mousse:
- In a bowl set over simmering water or in a microwave using 20 second increments, melt the chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- In yet another bowl, whisk the cold cream until medium peaks form. Fold the cream into the chocolate until mostly uniform.
- Fold the egg whites into the mixture, being careful not to deflate the mixture, until no large streaks remain.
Assemble the Cake:
- Using the 8-inch mold of your choice, cut out 2 cake layers from the sheet pan. Layer one layer of cake in the mold on a cake round.
- Layer half of the mousse, another layer of cake, and then the remaining mousse, smoothing out the top as much as possible. Refrigerate to set, about 4 hours.
Make the Ganache:
- Place the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium high heat until simmering. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for 30 seconds to a minute before whisking until smooth. Let cool slightly before assembling the rest of the cake.
Finish Assembling the Cake:
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and unmold. Cover the top and sides with a thin coat of ganache to seal in the crumbs. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to set.
- Remove the cake, place on a wire rack set over a clean sheet pan and pour the rest of the ganache over the cake, coaxing it over the sides to cover. Decorate with chocolate hearts if desired. Allow the cake to set in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cake can remain in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.