I realized that I haven’t put a ton of chocolate cake recipes on my blog and thought it was preposterous! So I thought I would add this lovely Chocolate Cuddle cake for you all to enjoy! It is a moist chocolate chiffon cake that is covered in chocolate ganache and topped with a sweet caramel whipped cream and chocolate curls. Each bite is so soft and delicate. So all my chocolate lovers out there, do yourself a favor and make it!
MOther's Day is coming!
Here is Wisconsin we are still in quarantine! Hopefully, not too much longer, but only time will tell. Unfortunately, I had to spend my 40th bday and now mother’s day in lockdown, which blows, but at least baking is keeping me from not killing the kids!
I love chocolate and I went to Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Baking Bible to create this cake. It was super time consuming and is not one that you can whip up in 30 minutes, but so worth the wait. After making my own Mother’s Day dinner, I will be sure to serve this as the dessert!
Most of you are probably thinking why in the hell doesn’t your husband take care of the dinner and dessert? No way, I was to eat something that is edible!
Tips and Tricks for the chocolate cuddle cake
- Extra time is needed to make this cake, so prepare for that!
- Using unbleached all-purpose flour strengthens the structure of the cake just enough to prevent it from deflating significantly.
- Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack (sprayed with non-stick spray) for 1.5 hours.
- Make the chocolate ganache at least 3 hours in advance so it has time to cool down to a frosting consistency.
- When making the caramel, be sure syrup becomes a deep amber color but remove it from heat once it reaches 380F as the temperature will continue to rise once removed. Be careful not to burn!
- Lining the springform cake pan’s sides with baking strips or parchment paper results in the most even surface of the cake and also prevents the slight shrinking in toward the top of the cake.
Storage of the chocolate cuddle cake
- Chocolate Ganache: keeps in an airtight container for 3 days at a cool room temperature, 2 weeks refrigerated, or 6 months frozen. To restore to frosting consistency, defrost, if frozen, and reheat in a microwave at 3 second bursts. You can also put over a double boiler over hot water (not simmering) stirring gently to ensure that it does not overheat or incorporate any air.
- Caramel sauce: Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Caramel whipped cream: Lasts for 6 hours at room temperature or store in refrigerator for 10-12 hours.
- Assembled cake without the whipped cream: in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, refrigerated 5 days and frozen 2 months.
Chocolate Cuddle Cake
- 9x 3 in spring form pan
- 2 cake strips
- Parchment paper
- Stand Mixer with whisk attachment
- Food processor
- Oster hand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Off set and silicon spatula
- Fine mesh strainer
- Glass bowl
- Cake Stand
- Sauce pan
Chocolate Cake Batter
- ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- ½ cup water boiling
- ¼ cup vegetable oil can use canola or safflower as well
- ¼ cup egg yolks
- ½ cup egg whites plus 2 tbsp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour sifted and leveled off
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cream of tartar plus ⅛
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate 60% cacoa, chopped
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1½ tbsp Kahlua or additional heavy cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ cup heavy cream hot, plus 2 tbsp, divided
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Whipped Cream (Caramel)
- 1 cup heavy cream divided
- ½ tsp gelatin powdered
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup caramel made in previous step
Chocolate Cake Batter
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Make sure the oven rack is in the lower third of the oven.
- In a small measuring bowl, whisk together the cocoa and boiling water. Whisk in the oil and let the mixture cool until no longer warm to touch. Whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on a low speed for 30 seconds. Make a well in the center. Add the chocolate mixture to the well and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until very thick, about 1½ minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Sift the remaining sugar (½ cup) onto a piece of parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Pour the remaining sugar into the meringue. Continue beating until glossy and stiff peaks form when the beater is raised, about 1 minute.
- Using a large silicon spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter into three parts, folding until partially blended in between and then folding until completely incorporated after the last addition. With the silicon spatula again, scrape the batter back into the pan. Run a small off-set spatula in circles through the batter to prevent air pockets and smooth surface. The batter should fill a 3 in high pan.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes. The cake will dome about 1 inch above the top of the pan and split in the center and a little at the sides. Avoid opening the oven door before the minimum baking time because the fragile cake could fall. Watch carefully. When the cake lowers slightly and a knife inserted near the center into the moist split comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven.
- Let the cake sit on a heatproof counter or on an uncoated wire rack for about a minute, just until the center is no longer domed. Set coated wire rack on top of the cake and invert the cake and rack onto supports. Let it cool for about 1½ hours, or until the outside of the pan is cool to touch.
- Remove the cake strips and the sides of the springform pan. Slide a thin bladed knife or long metal spatula between the cake and the bottom of the pan, pressing firmly against the bottom of the pan to release the bottom of the cake.
- In a food processor, process the chocolate until very fine.
- In in small sauce pan over medium heat and stirring often, scald the heavy cream (heat until boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery).
- With the food processor motor running, pour the cream in a steady stream into the chocolate. Process for a few seconds until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. Pulse in the extra cream and vanilla (or Kahlua). Press the ganache through a strainer and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Then cover it with plastic wrap and let it cool for about 2-3 hours or until the mixture reaches a soft frosting consistency.
Caramel Whipped Cream
- For the caramel: In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water until the sugar is completely moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and let the syrup boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber (380° F). Remove it immediately from the heat because the temperature will continue to rise, or remove it slightly before it reaches temperature and, as soon as it does, slowly pour in ¼ cup of hot cream. It will bubble up furiously.
- Use a silicon spatula to stir mixture gently; scraping the thicker part that settles on the bottom. Return it to a very low heat, continuing to stir gently for one minute, until the mixture is uniform in color and the caramel is fully dissolved.
- Remove it from the heat and gently stir in the butter until incorporated. The mixture will be a little streaky, but becomes uniform once cooked and stirred.
- Pour ½ cup of the caramel into a glass measure. Store any remaining caramel for future use.
- In a custard cup set in a saucepan surrounded by simmering water (stirring often), scald the remaining cream (as done before with chocolate ganache). Remove it from the heat and whisk in the cocoa. Stir in hot caramel mixture until uniform in color. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool for 40 minutes.
- For the whipped cream: Into a medium bowl, pour ¾ plus 2 tbsp of heavy cream and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- In a 1 glass measuring cup, stir together the remaining 2 tbsp of cream and the gelatin and let it soften for 3 minutes. If it will sit longer, cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.
- Place the cup in a pan of simmering water for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin is dissolved. The gelatin will thicken slightly. Remove it from the heat, cover, and let it cool for about 20 minutes until it is 85° to 90°F (if cooler, the gelatin will set and will need to be reheated). Stir in the vanilla.
- In a chilled bowl, whip the cream with a handheld mixer just until traces of the beater marks begin to show. Scrape the caramel mixture and use a chilled whisk to whip the cream by hand, just until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, While whisking, add the gelatin mixture and continue whisking just until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Composing the cake
- Frost the sides of the cake with ganache, bringing it up a little higher than the top to create a border to contain the caramel whipped cream. Alternatively, bring the ganache just to the top, scrape the remaining ganache into a pastry bag, and then pipe half shells around the edges to create a border.
- Lightly whisk the caramel whipped cream to restore the smooth texture, and spoon dollups on top of the cake. Use a small metal spatula to create swirls. The whipped cream will keep at cool room temperature for up to 6 hours. If desired, decorate with chocolate curls.
Fun fact of the day!
It’s against the law to slap an old friend on the back in Georgia! Who the hell makes up these laws? Can you imagine telling someone that you went to jail for that?
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