Mocha Mousse Marshmallow Cake. Or you could just call it mmm cake because it is so delicious it really needs no extra description. Okay fine if you need more of a description, here it is: Moist mocha-flavored chocolate olive oil cake, layered with rich and creamy chocolate mousse, and topped with fluffy white marshmallow frosting. This is totally perfect for Valentine’s Day, or someone’s birthday, or a Thursday because this is exactly what you’ve been craving, and then you make it and it is exactly what you’ve dreamed, and then it becomes dinner, and then you don’t log anything in My Fitness Pal the rest of the day because you certainly ate 5,000 calories today. How’s that for a description?
This is not an easy cake. Well, the cake part is easy. The mousse and the frosting require a bit more kitchen skill. You can definitely accomplish this cake and you’ll be so excited. Just know that it will take some extra effort, time and patience.
Mocha Olive Oil Cake. Wow. I have seen people making olive oil cake for a very long time, and honestly, I thought it sounded not so great. David had some at a hippy dippy healthy restaurant recently and I thought it was just okay. So I’ve never really tried making or eating olive oil cake. I went to make this cake the other day, and because we just moved, I didn’t have any neutral oil to use. I thought about using melted butter because that is amazing, but I was going to use the butter in the mousse and the frosting so I decided against the butter, silly I know. (I actually didn’t end up using butter in any part of this recipe!) So I turned to the internet. I Googled olive oil cakes and read a few different people’s opinions on what olive oil brings to a cake. I decided I would give it a try. Also, I wanted to make cake, not drive to the store. The olive oil definitely brings a little something extra to the overall flavor profile. Coffee also brings a little something to chocolate. So these three flavors combined caused even my non-chocolate-lover of a fiancee to say that this cake was very tasty. He said, “It’s better than any chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. There’s a better flavor past the chocolate, but I don’t know what it is.” SCORE! (Its the coffee and the olive oil.)
Chocolate Mousse Cake Filling. I mean, it’s chocolate and cream and sugar and delicious! After I whipped this into shape, I tasted it, and so badly wanted to just spoon it into ramekins and eat it all by itself. I had a job to do, and that was to make a beautiful cake, so instead I just ate several spatula-fulls of the mousse and then used the rest for the cake. This mousse stays soft, even after some time in the refrigerator, so I really like this version for a cake filling.
Marshmallow Frosting! Oh yeahhhhh! This is actually an Italian Meringue, which is the most stable sort of meringue, but I have always thought it tastes like marshmallows, so that’s what we’re calling it. Mocha Mousse Marshmallow Cake sounds so much better than Mocha Mousse Meringue Cake, right? Right. I also ate several spatulas of frosting before, during, and after the frosting of this cake. This will take quite a bit of time and patience to make, but it is so completely worth it! There is something so therapeutic about slowly mixing all the ingredients together while watching Dance Moms and eating Chocolate Cake crumbs off the counter. Really though, the effort is worth it, and I think the effort it takes to make things like this just help them to become that much more special and delicious.
Take your time in the kitchen. Read the recipes fully before beginning. You can even make the chocolate cakes and the mousse a day ahead of time so that you are doing less all at once. You really could even layer those two together, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator overnight. Then all you have to do before serving is patiently make the frosting. The frosting should be used immediately after whipping, but the frosted cake can stand at room temperature for several hours.
Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!
- For the Cake:
- 10 ounces (2 cups) all purpose flour
- 2.5 ounces (about 3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 15 ounces (2 cups) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
- 5 ounces (about 1/4 cup) instant espresso powder
- 6 ounces (2/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 recipe chocolate mousse (below)
- 1 recipe marshmallow frosting (below)
- 8 ounces (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 large egg yolks plus 1 large whole egg
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1.5 ounces (about 3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 16 ounces (about 2 cups) granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (about 6) large egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round baking pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Measure the milk into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and whisk in the espresso powder to dissolve.
- Add the milk, olive oil, and vanilla to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (you can also use an electric or stand mixer).
- Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue to whisk until the batter is smooth and glossy.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
- Cool the cake in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- When the cakes are completely cool, place one on a cake stand, spread half of the mousse on it in an even layer, top with the second cake, and frost with the remaining mousse.
- Use the marshmallow frosting to make a crumb coating, and then frost the entire cake with the marshmallow frosting. If desired, use a kitchen torch to lightly toast parts of the frosting.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream and the vanilla until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the eggs and salt in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until they are foamy.
- Place the sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium heat and boil until it reaches 235F, or soft ball stage, on a candy thermometer.
- Remove the sugar from the heat and, with the electric mixer running, slowly drizzle the sugar into the eggs. This is a great time to have a helper in the kitchen or use a standing mixer.
- Continue to mix the eggs and sugar until they are pale yellow, and they hold in ribbon stage for 3 seconds.
- Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture (do this by hand. Do not use the electric mixer.)
- Fold in the whipped cream, and store the mousse in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use.
- Place the sugar, water, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture reaches 235F, or soft ball stage, on a candy thermometer.
- While the sugar is coming to a boil, place the egg whites in a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer.
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer running, very slowly, drizzle the sugar mixture into the eggs. Continue to mix until you have used all the sugar mixture, and the frosting is thick, smooth, and glossy. Use immediately to frost a cake.
Before beginning this recipe, make sure the cake you will be frosting is assembled and ready. You will need to use this as quickly as possible. Once the cake is frosted it can sit at room temperature for several hours, or in the fridge overnight.
This frosting is actually an Italian Meringue, but I think it tastes like marshmallows.