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Fair Food Recipes: Chocolate Mousse Cake

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Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship || MacKenzie Davidson of Winston-Salem, Top Finalist, 2012 Dixie Classic Fair

Chocolate Fudge Mousse Cake


  • 4 sticks butter, plus more for greasing
  • 8 heaping tablespoons Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, plus more for dusting
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 whole eggs, beaten

Chocolate Mousse:

  • 1/2 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/8 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Fudge Frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 (1 ounce) squares Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar


Ghirardelli White & Milk Chocolate Bars

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease and dust 3 square 9-inch pans with butter and Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar and salt. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder and stir together. Add the boiling water and allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds and then remove from heat. Pour over the flour mixture and stir lightly to cool. Combine the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and beaten eggs. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour/chocolate mixture. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Chocolate Mousse: In a small bowl, soften gelatin in the cold water. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder. In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Then gradually add the sugar mixture and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form and then stir in the gelatin mixture. Cover and chill for 4 hours.

Fudge Frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate squares, butter and vanilla, stirring until melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Sift together the Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar and then whisk into the cream and butter mixture. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

To Assemble: Place first layer of cake on a cake board/cake plate. Using a serrated knife, slice the top off to make layer level if needed. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate mousse on top of the cake. Add next cake layer and spread the rest of the mousse on top. Add the last cake layer. Using an offset spatula spread a thin crumb coat on the cake. Let rest for about 10 minutes, and then spread on rest of icing. Using a cheese slicer make curls and a grater to make shavings with Ghirardelli milk and white chocolate bars. Garnish top of cake with chocolate curls and sides of cake with shavings.

Yields: Approximately 36 servings.