Chocolate Trilogy

Recipe: Chocolate Trilogy


For the bottom layer:

  • 7 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
  • 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 3/4 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated yolks from egg whites
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

For the middle layer:

  • 5 Tbs hot water
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp table salt

For the top layer:

  • 3/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • Shaved chocolate for a garnish


You must make this cake in order and wait the specified time between layers for this cake to turn out properly.

First, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare a 9 ½ inch spring form pan by using 1 Tbs of butter and grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Next cut the remaining butter into 6 Tbs and melt the remaining 6 Tbs of butter with chocolate and the espresso powder in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, or a double boiler if using one and stir occasionally until smooth.

Remove the melted chocolate mixture from the heat and cool mixture for about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in vanilla and egg yolks and then set aside. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at medium speed until frothy, and then add only half of the brown sugar and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. Once incorporated then add the remaining brown sugar and beat at high speed for one minute. Scrap down the sides of the mixer using a rubber spatula and then continue to whisk for another 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated and soft peaks have formed.

Now use a whisk and transfer 1/3 of the beaten egg whites and whisk into the chocolate mixture. This will lighten the chocolate. Now use a rubber spatula and gently fold in the remaining beaten egg white mixture into the lightened chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain.

Transfer the batter to the buttered spring-form pan. Tap the pan gently against the counter to remove any air bubbles and transfer to the oven to bake for 13 to 18 minutes. Make sure not to over cook as the center will be set but very soft. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before proceeding to the next layer. The cake will fall as it cools and remember not to remove the cake from the spring-form pan as all three layers will be prepared in the same pan in order.

After one hour it is safe to prepare the middle layer. This is chocolate mousse layer. Start by using a small bowl and combine the 5 Tbs of very hot water and 2 Tbs of cocoa. Use a fork to whisk together and incorporate and set aside.

Next use a double boiler or place a heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water and melt 7 oz of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. It is important to not allow the chocolate to burn so as soon as it is melted remove from the indirect heat and set aside.

Now pour the hot water/cocoa mixture onto the melted chocolate and whisk until combined well and set aside. In a stand mixer combine 1 ½ cups heavy cream and 1 Tbs sugar and whisk until thick and soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate to lighten it and the fold in the remaining whipped cream using a rubber spatula until no white streaks remain.

Pour the mousse on top of the cake layer and tap gently against the counter to level to remove any air bubbles and place in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes while the white chocolate mousse is being prepared.

To make the white chocolate mousse: Place 6 oz of finely chopped white chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the gelatin and 1 Tbs of tap water. Whisk to dissolve the gelatin and set aside to thicken. In a small saucepan just bring 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a simmer. Once the cream is simmering add it to the gelatin mixture and whisk to incorporate. Once incorporated with the gelatin pour the gelatin/cream mixture over the white chocolate. Allow the hot cream to melt the white chocolate by leaving it sit for 30 seconds before whisking to incorporate. Whisk until the white chocolate is fully melted and incorporated with the cream mixture and set aside.

In a cleaned stand mixer add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and whip using the whisk attachment until thick and soft peaks form on the whisk. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream in the white chocolate mixture and then using a rubber spatula fold the remaining cream into the white chocolate mixture. Pour the white chocolate over the middle mousse layer and again tap against the counter gently to remove any air bubbles. An off set spatula may be necessary to level this layer and refrigerate for at least 2 ½ hours.

When you are ready to serve shave chocolate on the top before removing from the spring from pan. Remove the cake from the spring-form pan while it is very cold and use a knife to run it around the edge to have a clean removal. If the layers are little streaked when the pan is removed it can be cleaned by using a frosting knife or a butter knife to gently along the outside edges to remove and imperfections. Dental floss is the perfect knife to slice this cake. It is so delicate a knife will smear the layers but dental floss will slice cleanly. Allow the sliced pieces to sit a room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Return the un-served cake to refrigerator.

Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Copyright © Andicakes 2010.
Recipe by yumm yumm yumm.
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