Chocolate Overdose Cake

Now that April is here and my insane schedule has begun, I have plenty of wonderful recipes saved up to share with you all.  The biggest problem now is just deciding which to post when, because they are all delicious and I love them!  Of course, it was pretty much no contest when this cake was added to the mix.  Say hello to my new favorite cake.  This cake is far better than any super-duper chocolatey restaurant cake I have ever tried.  With a brownie base, chocolate mousse layer, chocolate cake layer, and then a thick covering of chocolate ganache, no other cake really stands a chance.  Each component was delicious on its own but combined to make something truly spectacular.  

I have wanted to make this for months, but really wanted to make it for someone who would truly appreciate it.  Recently a friend and fellow choc-aholic had a birthday and I knew that this would  be the perfect cake for her.  Not only did she love it, but so did the rest of my family, including even my dad who claims he isn’t much of a chocolate fan.  With nearly 2 pounds of chocolate you might consider feeling guilty, but this cake is so good that any little twinges of guilt were easily silenced with another bite of cake 🙂  This earns even more points with me because I love multiple-step desserts that require some assembly.  I made one minor change concerning the method of assembly and lining the pan with parchment, but otherwise this is not too difficult – it just takes some time.  I made this over a couple of days and it worked out well.  But you NEED to try this.  There is no question.  Get thee to the kitchen and make this, now!

Chocolate Overdose Cake
For the brownie base:
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. cake flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the chocolate mousse filling:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-oz. pieces
1 7/8 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar

For the chocolate cake:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 cup hot water
7/8 cup sugar, divided
7/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, soft

For the ganache:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
18 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-oz. pieces 

To make the brownie base, line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper and spray the sides with nonstick cooking spray.  Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, salt and baking powder.  Stir with a fork to mix.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

When the chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually whisk in the sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined.  Whisk in vanilla.  Add in the flour mixture in two additions, folding with a rubber spatula until completely homogenous.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.  Set aside, prepare the cake batter, and bake the two layers at the same time.

To make the cake, line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with a round of parchment paper.  Grease and flour the sides of the pan.  Combine the chocolate, cocoa and hot water in a medium heatproof bowl; set the bowl over a saucepan containing 1-inch of simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.  (Note: at this point, my mixture was pretty thick and I thought I had ruined it, but mixing in the sugar was like magic and it made it smooth and liquidy again.)  Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.  Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.  Add remaining sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes.  Replace whisk with paddle attachment.

Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30-45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed.  Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition.  Add about one third of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds).  Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.  Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.  Pour into prepared pan; smooth batter to edges of pan with an offset spatula. 

Bake the brownie and cake layers at the same time: the brownie for 25-30 minutes and the cake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean.  Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack.  Allow the brownie to cool completely in the pan.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto the wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Once the brownie layer has cooled, run a knife around the edges to separate it from the pan.  Remove the sides of the springform but leave the brownie layer on the springform base.  Form a ring of parchment paper around the brownie layer and extending up the sides of the springform pan – reclose the springform so that the parchment is fitted tightly to the sides. 

To make the chocolate mousse filling, place a stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer or fridge.  Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat.  Place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler.  Tightly cover the top with plastic wrap and allow to heat for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.  Transfer the melted chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed. 

Place heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the chilled whisk attachment.  Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the mixer.  By hand, whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated.  Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together. 

Spread the mousse over the top of the brownie base evenly.  Use an offset spatula to smooth the top.  Place the cooled cake round over the mousse, pressing down lightly.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the ganache, heat the heavy cream and the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl.  Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  Chill 1 cup of ganache for 1 hour.  Allow the remaining ganache to come to room temperature (about 40 minutes).

Remove the springform ring and parchment collar from the assembled cake.  Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter, removing the springform base and parchment round.  Use a spatula to smooth the room temperature ganache over the cake top and sides, covering evenly.

Place the chilled ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a shell tip and pipe a shell border around the base of the cake.  Pipe 12-16 rosettes around the top of the cake to indicate servings.  Serve chilled and store leftovers in the fridge.  Cut the cake with a hot, dry knife.

Source: adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

43 Responses

  1. Are you kidding me with this??? Well, there goes my plan to lose a few pounds before the baby’s baptism next month. This looks SINFUL.

  2. I’m not a chocolate lover (I’m a carob fanatic), but DAMN does that cake look good.

    Best of luck with your insane schedule!!! Hang in there!!!

  3. Oh my! I think a slice of this cake would surely cure my winter blaahs.

  4. If I made this I probably would die of a chocolate overdose. This looks too good for words!!

  5. Wow, that is a lot of chocolate! 🙂 Looks amazing!

  6. Oh man, the only person I know who would truly appreciate this is my brother-in-law, and that makes yet another reason I hate living so far away from the rest of my family.

  7. That cake has long been on my list to make. I can’t wait for a good opportunity. Seeing it again has convinced me that maybe I just need to create the opportunity myself 🙂

  8. I made this cake almost a year ago when I first saw it on Shawnda’s site. It is amazing!

  9. Oh my gosh Annie, I seriously just made this last week for my sister’s birthday! I’ve had the recipe saved since it was posted! My post is written and scheduled for later this month (like you I’m trying to space things out) and my picture of the cake slice is eerily similar to yours (although I didn’t pipe the ganache for decoration). Just wanted to give you a heads up so you didn’t think I was copying you! Your version looks beautiful! 🙂 And I totally agree with your note about the thickness of the chocolate/hot water mixture – I was prepared to start over, but the addition of the sugar amazingly fixed it!

  10. I love how it has a brownie and cake layer! Looks incredible!

  11. This cake looks awesome! I plan to make this someday very soon.

  12. So far the Reeces cake has been my favorite and I thought nothing could top it. But this is on my list of cakes to make next! Thanks for inspiring me!

  13. Wow! That sounds and looks incredible!

  14. Whoa, is this decadent! I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.

  15. Oh my, that looks DIVINE.

  16. OMG – I can’t wait to try it!

  17. sweet Jesus! now THAT’S a cake! =D

  18. […] Chocolate Overdose Cake at Annie’s […]

  19. […] Chocolate Overdose Cake Now that April is here and my insane schedule has begun, I have plenty of wonderful recipes saved up to share with you […] […]

  20. Your photos make me wish I was fond of chocolate. Guess I’ll save this one for the chocolate lover in our family’s birthday!

  21. Wow, this definitely sounds amazing! I bet my co-workers would go crazy over it.

  22. I’m bowing to the gods/desses of chocolate – this cake looks ridiculously good! Cake and mousse and ganache, oh my 🙂

  23. Oh, I can’t wait to have some chocolate-crazy kook to make this for!

  24. yummmmyyy!

  25. There is no such thing as a chocolate overdose but this certainly comes close. I like the different textures and all that chocolate.

  26. Does the whipped cream hold up well in the middle of this?? Have you ever made stabalized whipped cream with geltain? I wonder what that would be like….
    My SIL’s birthday is at the end of the month and she is a HUGE chocoholic.. I think I may attempt this! 🙂

    • Hi Ryley,
      This is actually chocolate mousse, not whipped cream, so it holds up very well. It is designed to hold up just right in this cake. You definitely don’t need to worry about adding gelatin or anything.
      🙂 Annie

  27. I came across this recipe the other day and immediately decided I wanted to make it. I have all the ingredients and I’m getting started really soon.

    Also, I have fallen in love with!

  28. Wow so much of chocolate…Amazing..

  29. How do you transfer the cake without it falling apart when placing it on top of the mousse?

    • Hi Abby,
      As long as you have lined your cake pan appropriately and let the cake cool completely before transferring, you shouldn’t have any trouble moving the cake layer. I just pick it up with my hands and top the mousse – nothing special. This is not a particularly delicate cake and I’ve made it a few times without issue. I suppose you could try using a really wide spatula if you are having trouble.
      🙂 Annie

  30. So I finally got the excuse to tackle this cake. I think this was my first time making a cake from scratch (besides bundt type cakes). It was DELICIOUS! So fun to make – definitely time consuming but fun! I made it for my MIL’s birthday (a choc-o-holic). I served it with whipped cream on the side. Forgot to send leftovers home with her so gave out slices to friends, family who visited later so I didn’t end up eating the whole thing by myself! Everyone emailed me or called me later telling me it was the best chocolate cake they’d ever had (my sister even dreamed about it last night). Guess this will be going in the family favorites file!

  31. Hi Annie

    How do you measure 7/8 cup of flour, sugar etc.

    • Jackie, 1/4 cup is equal to 4 tablespoons. So, 1/8 cup is 2 tablespoons. There are lots of conversion websites you can use as well to answer these kinds of questions.

  32. I just finished making the cake and it didnt work out completely due to my aunt rushing me to finish it and I put on the top cake layer over the mouse when it was still warm causing the moose to turn to almost a cream. A bit disappointing since I put in so much effort but I’m sure it is going to be just as delicious. Im excited to try it non the less, so thanks for the recipie.

    ps. I added a bit of bourbon onto the top cake layer for an extra pizazz.

    • Oh no! Yes, rushing the chilling of the mousse can be a fatal error. I hope it still turns out well.

  33. I am so excited to try this cake but I’m nervous too. I’ve decided to make this for Mother’s Day this year for my chocaholic of a mother, I know she’s going to love it! I’m still learning my way around the kitchen though and just hope that everything comes together in the end. I’m sure it will though, with your excellent directions!

  34. i turn 29 next week and this may just need to be the cake i make myself for my birthday!! my husband will thank u:)

  35. Hi Annie, I made this cake in stages-cake and brownie on Monday and finished off with mousse and ganache on Tuesday and served at a party yesterday-Wednesday. Cake was great,lots of compliments but I have a few questions. 1.The recipe doesnt call for peeling of the bottom parchment, do you serve with the parchment on? 2. The cake didnt keep together well, it fell apart (the cake and mousse layer kept together but the brownie layer separated)when it was cut and served. How can I prevent this? Will it help if I peeled or scraped of the dry top layer of the brownie after baking to allow the mousse to adhere better? Please advise-I loved this cake and would love to keep baking it for family and friends.

    • Kavie,
      You can remove the parchment if you wish. I find leaving it on helps me transfer the whole cake to a platter, but that’s your call. When you slice the cake, it stays on the platter. As for the cake not staying together, I don’t really have any suggestions. I have made this cake multiple times and all the layers stayed together with no problems. The coating of ganache on the outside seems to help with that. I wouldn’t recommend scraping off part of the brownie, that just sounds like it would make a mess and I’m not sure it would help.

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