Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake

"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already." - Dave Barry

 A cooking catastrophe is almost always preceded by a lack of time.

At least, I find that to be true in my case.

Case in point, last Wednesday, I had a little under 2 hours to bake, fill and frost one chocolate mousse layer cake. I was short on time because I'd spent the entire morning hunched in front of the computer, making frantic phone calls to my cousin in Idaho, and sending off copious torrents of emails to my uncle in California - all in an effort to book flights for my impending West Coast Pilgrimage.

The flight-bookage was eventually successful, and I flew from the computer to the kitchen and started measuring cake flour and sifting cocoa like a madwoman.

 All was going relatively well, I thought. The kitchen only looked like a few tornadoes had whisked through, rather than, well... a monsoon, or something hugely disastrous. I shoved the cake into the oven and ran to shower while it baked.

When it came out, I sliced it horizontally in 3 layers, and popped each layer in the fridge to cool - opting against the organic "cool on metal rack for 1 hour, or until completely cool". And then I made the chocolate mousse.

Or tried to.

It was a little runny, but, nevertheless, I layered the cake and mousse in the springform pan, per the directions.

My chocolate mousse didn't look like those model-pictures from Fine Cooking, just in case you were wondering.

It was one of those disasters wherein my family seemed unable to tear themselves away from the spectacle. Siblings hovered. My mother looked on with raised eyebrow. I had 3 minor breakdowns.

And then my little brother screeched, "UH, I think it's LEAKING!"

I had another 3 breakdowns - only these were not minor. Then I decided to keep my cool and work with what I had - runny mousse, an oozing springform pan, and 8 minutes before I had to leave for work.

I swathed that puppy in 37 pounds of foil, stuck it in a cake carrier, and carried it to work with me. No matter that I had to apply my makeup at stoplights. When I got to work, I crammed the cake into the fridge with a wish and a prayer that the mousse would firm up a bit.

It did.

Right about now, you might be wondering why there is no au-natural Photography by Abbie in this post. And I'll tell you why - it was a birthday cake for my pastor's wife. And the poor thing, trying to diet - what did I do but waltz in, soaking wet from the sudden downpour, bearing one chocolate mousse layer cake containing enough calories to sustain a small village for two weeks.

But let me tell you, it was worth it. 

As soon as I work up my nerve, I'm baking another cake for family consumption.

Click here for the recipe!



P.S. I think, were I to create my own Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake recipe, I would title it Chocolate Moose Layer Cake, just to be different. And to remind people not to take themselves too seriously in the kitchen.

But that's just me.

Happy Cooking!

1 comment:

  1. I laughed all the way through this. I'm sorry to say, but you sound a lot like my older sister. She baked a cake for my last birthday (hey, I think it had mousse involved!!) and had a few minor breakdowns and some interesting happenings while baking. But it all worked out and it was a delicious cake. Don't give up though! I love baking (I mean, who wants chicken when you can have cake?) and to me, it is really relaxing. My big problem is not checking to make sure I have all of the ingredients before starting. :/ That has caused disasters a few times.