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Bake a Classic Chocolate Cake with Bakery Nouveau in Burien, Washington
William Leaman
Bakery Nouveau, Seattle

Photography by Clare Barboza.

Posted by A Bite To Eat Published See A Bite To Eat's 257 projects »
  • Step 1

    Building the cake:
    Slice the cake horizontally into three rounds using a sharp knife or good serrated knife. 
    Place the base layer of the cake in a springform pan and spread with approximately 250 grams of chocolate mousse. Place down the second layer and spread with a layer of mousse, then place the top on. If the mousse is really soft at this point, place the cake, covered, in the freezer for approximately 2 hours to firm the mousse back up and make it easier to frost.

    Release the sides of the springform pan and frost the cake with room temperature butter cream using a spatula or off-set spatula. 

    The cake can be stored covered in the fridge for up to two days. 

    To slice, let it warm up for about 30 minutes and then cut with a sharp knife, wiping the blade down between cuts. If the butter cream is cracking, let it warm up a little more. 

    Pro Tips:
    ~ fresh seasonal fruit or food safe flowers make gorgeous decorations for the top of the cake

  • Step 2

    Chocolate Cake
    (2 layer cakes)

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Spray the insides of two round 8” springform pans with with non-stick or baking release spray. Cut out and place an 8” round of parchment in the bottom of each pan, and then spray the parchment. 
    Mixing the cake batter:
    Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda together.

    Using a stand mixer, add the oil and sugar to a mixing bowl, and stir on low to medium speed. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined. Alternate adding the sifted dry goods and buttermilk, mixing until combined (start with the flour, and finish with the last of the buttermilk)
    Pour 1kg of batter into each pan. Divide any leftover batter evenly between the two pans.

    Bake at 350°F, checking for doneness at 35 minutes. The cakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
    Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

    When cool, run a thin knife between the sides of the cake and pan to release the sides and make it easier to remove the cake. Remove the cakes from the pans.

    Pro Tips:
    ~If the center of a cake rises during baking, it can be cut off once it has cooled so the surface is flat
    ~Remove cake from the pan by pushing the bottom plate out, or gently tapping the cake out


  • Step 3

    Chocolate Mousse Filling

    Place the chocolate in a mixing bowl and set aside.

    Combine the milk and egg yolks in a pan. Over medium heat, bring from cold to 85°F, stirring continuously with a spatula once it begins to heat up to avoid the yolks getting scrambled.

    Once the mixture reaches 85°F, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds to a minute, and then stir to combine. The chocolate should melt into the mixture. Let the chocolate mixture cool.
    While the chocolate is cooling, whip the cream into soft peaks using a stand mixer. Once the chocolate is cooled to the touch, fold in the whipped cream. Chill until ready to use.
    The chocolate mousse can be stored, covered in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

     Pro tips:
    ~ let the mousse come up to room temperature before spreading
    ~ this recipe makes enough for two cakes
    ~ the mousse can be used for piping, just put in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low until smooth

  • Step 4

    Vanilla Butter Cream

    Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, until it reaches 240° F.
    Once the sugar and water reaches 225°F, whip the egg whites to soft peaks in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth. 

    When the sugar mix reaches 240°F, slowly stream it into the egg whites with the mixer on medium high. Whip together until cooled slightly. Scrape the vanilla bean into the mixture and add the chocolate—this will make the meringue collapse— add the butter pieces, mixing until fully incorporated —this will bolster the consistency of the butter cream.

    The butter cream can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bring up to room temperature before using to frost the cake.
    Pro Tips:
    ~ this all-purpose, not too sweet, butter cream is good for frostings and other finishing work 
    ~ the butter cream is quite firm when chilled, but softens up as it gets close to room temperature
    ~ make the butter cream chocolate by adding 40 g of bittersweet chocolate to the recipe, along with the white chocolate
    ~ chocolate can be melted in the microwave (30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir, until melted—if it’s mostly melted but has some solids left, stir while it finishes melting, or go 10 more seconds)

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