Chocolate Valentines Day Cake

One of the fondest memories I have of my father is sitting around the dinner table listening to Bill Cosby.   My father had always been a very caring man, and while he  may not have always told you how he felt, you could always tell from his expressions just how much he loved you.

He had been to hell and back in World War 2 and then again in Korea, so much so that he never spoke of it, and we knew better than to ask.  Of course at that age I had no idea what exactly had happened to cause that much pain, I just knew there were movies we couldn’t watch and things we didn’t say.   But to be able to look  back on those times, and to remember my father and how he laughed as we listened to Bill Cosby was how I will always remember him, without a care in the world, with his family by his side.

The old man had his favorite routines but nothing ever struck home more than “Chocolate Cake for Breakfast”  and it wasn’t until my senior year in  high school when I had friends staying over,  that I found out Chocolate Cake wasn’t a breakfast really a breakfast food after all.   Well at our house it was, and I’m happy to say that Lisa doesn’t seem to mind my addition to our breakfast table one little bit!

Chocolate Mousse Cake 2

We keep telling ourselves its a European thing!

Chocolate Mousse Cake slice 2

With Valentine’s Day almost here, I decided to make a special cake.  I love my chocolate olive oil cake, but it’s been seen too many times here, so I opted for a regular chocolate cake.  But I wasn’t in the mood for a total chocolate attack, so I decided that a strawberry mousse filling would be just the right touch, with a mascarpone chocolate butter cream to finish it off!   It was as good it as it looked, and the strawberry mousse was light and flavorful and offered enough of a distraction from the chocolate to keep everything balanced.

Chocolate Mousse Cake slice

4.9 from 8 reviews
Chocolate Valentines Day Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
  • 2⅔ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
Strawberry Mousse Filling
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups sliced cleaned strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 envelope gelatin
Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate chopped
  • 16 ounces Mascarpone
  • 4 cups 500 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips to garnish top of cake
Instructions
Chocolate Cake
  1. Prepare 4 cake pans using parchment circles in the bottom of each pan and lightly coating the sides and paper with butter
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. Blend flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa and sugar together, set aside
  4. Make sure all of your wet ingredients are at room temperature.
  5. In the bowl of your mixer whip softened butter and yogurt together .
  6. Add the eggs one at a time fully incorporating before adding another, and remember to scrape down your bowl in between each addition.
  7. Add vanilla and mix until blended
  8. Add the dry ingredients and mix just enough to blend them into the wet ingredients.
  9. Divide between 4 cake pans,spreading batter evenly using an offset spatula
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  11. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan to continue cooling.
  12. Sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup water in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes.
Strawberry Mousse
  1. In a food processor, puree 2 cups sliced strawberries and ½ cup granulated sugar until smooth.
  2. Transfer strawberry mixture to a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and add gelatin to strawberry mixture, stirring constantly until gelatin dissolves.
  3. Cover and chill until slightly thickened about 30 minutes, stir the mixture every 10 minutes
  4. Whip cream at low speed until foamy; gradually increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form.
  5. Fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture until well blended. Cover and chill 30 minutes or just until mixture has thickened enough to be used as filling
  6. Spread about 1 cup Strawberry Mousse between each cake layer, cover and chill 3 hours or until mousse is set.
Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
  1. In a double boiler melt chocolate, set aside.
  2. Add Mascarpone to a large bowl and beat with confectioner’s sugar in three additions until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and gradually add the melted chocolate.
  4. Whip frosting until light and fluffy and frost cake immediately, before chocolate can set.
  5. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top of cake.
  6. Refrigerate cake until serving, but allow it to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

 

Have a Happy Valentines Day and no matter what you serve  your Valentine, remember the important part of the day will be the time you spend together with that special someone that makes your life complete!

Comments

  1. That Bill Cosby skit is one of my favorites! And this cake??? I’d take it around my breakfast table, my lunch table, my dinner table, or for a snack.

    • Thanks Jen! It’s nice to know that others remember that skit, other than Noah, it was always my favorite

      • Hi Chef D,
        Noticed the mentioning of the Korean war. Do you know about the Korean War Veterans Association?

        • hi Ansie

          When my father was alive, he belonged to many of the organizations supporting veterans, I’m sure he was part of that group. He did spend most of his time working with the VFW though

          thanks for thinking of me
          Dennis

  2. I grew up listening to that same comedy routine… and the chocolate cake for breakfast is one of the best. Happy Valentine’s Day, my friend!

  3. Chocolate cake for breakfast sounds divine.

  4. A cake to fall in love with.

  5. This Thursday is when I plan to have this cake, I know it will be a hit. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  6. Gorgeous cake!

  7. This is such a beautiful cake!

  8. Wow! Beautiful cake and ingenious to add the strawberry! Think I may need to adapt your Dad’s habit of cake for breakfast in my house!

  9. Chef, this is truly a lovely cake inspired by loving memories of a man and his cake for breakfast legacy. The story is a fine example of how we carry on and preserve the essence of those who are dear, delivered slice, by glorious slice. Spot on post and recipe my friend. Happy Valentine’s to you & yours!

  10. Aww your dad sounds wonderful <3 This cake looks amazingly delicious and I know my boyfriend would looove it (he loves strawberry+chocolate)!

  11. I love that Bill Cosby sketch, too. :) Although I’m not in the mood for sweets in the morning (the only time of the day when you’ll hear me say a thing like that!), Brian totally is. And we both like having a little fruit cream to lighten up the total chocolate attack of a chocolate cake. So, he would eat half of this for breakfast and I will polish off the rest after dinner. I don’t know what you and Lisa are going to eat. ;)

  12. Looks divine !

  13. Chocolate cake for breakfast is the ultimate in romance!! Happy Valentine’s!

  14. Whenever there was cake in our house it was eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everyone of course denied that they touched it at breakfast but we all knew we had. I mean really, is it any different than having a cinnamon roll? There is always one way to rationalize it-or not! And this looks great!

  15. this cake is gorgeous – and I can’t help but laugh thinking about Bill Cosby, a staple growing up in our house too – and the line he did about dad feeding the kids breakfast, and so he gave them chocolate cake for breakfast, and all the kids were singing “dad is great, gives us the chocolate cake” until mom wakes up, coming down the stairs, wild eyes with fire coming out ready to burn a hole in his stomach – hahahaha – i can still hear his voice telling it – so funny. my sister and i STILL sing that song – good times.

  16. Your Dad sounds so wonderful…you must miss him. Isn’t it amazing how seemingly incongruent things are the very ones that we associate our near and dear ones by even long after they are gone? A world war hero and chocolate cake…..so touching. Thank you for sharing this little tit bit with us.That is such a delicious looking cake!! Mascarpone frosting too! I can have that for breafast any day!

  17. Oh my goodness, it is so hard to look away from this chocolate cake. And what a great story about your dad. It made me feel nostalgic for my own parents. Thanks for sharing this cake, Chef Dennis. Bookmarked it, will bake it soon.

  18. what a beautiful cake! love the strawberry touch, perfect for valentine’s. thanks for sharing about your dad…we aren’t a military family, but i’ve wondered, watching movies and seeing so much casual violence how that might affect those who’ve actually witnessed those things in real life. makes you less likely to cheer when all the faceless ‘bad guys’ get gunned down…

  19. Cake for breakfast sounds just perfect to me! Love the chocolate mascarpone frosting!

  20. I well remember the Bill Cosby skit about cake for breakfast. Still makes me laugh. The cake is nothing to laugh at, though. A marvelous new creation.

  21. Truly a heartwarming story, Dennis. Wonderful cake, too! Happy Valentine’s Day to you & your wife.

  22. This cake looks absolutely divine! Love the strawberry mousse to offset the chocolate and that mascarpone frosting… That sounds amazing! Lovely cake.

  23. Looks like a jummy cake but is it possible to replace the gelatine with something sutable for vegetarians?

    • hi Elena
      probably the easiest substitution would be Agar-Agar, or Kosher Gelatin, most of them are Vegan.

      Here are recommendations I found for Agar-Agar:
      This flavorless gelling agent, derived from cooked and pressed seaweed, is available flaked, powdered, or in bars. For best results, grind the agar-agar in a coffee grinder or food processor and then cook it, stirring it regularly until it dissolves. When used in a recipe, agar-agar sets in about an hour and doesn’t require refrigeration to gel. For a firmer gel, add more agar-agar, and for a softer gel, add more liquid. And don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time—you can fix a faux pas simply by reheating the gel. Here’s a general guide on how to use agar in recipes:

      • Substitute powdered agar-agar for gelatin using equal amounts.
      • 1 Tbsp. of agar-agar flakes is equal to 1 tsp. of agar-agar powder.
      • Set 2 cups of liquid using 2 tsp. of agar-agar powder, 2 Tbsp. of agar-agar flakes, or one bar.
      • Keep in mind that highly acidic ingredients, such as lemons, strawberries, oranges, and other citrus fruits, may require more agar-agar than the recipe calls for. Also, enzymes in fresh mangoes, papaya, and pineapple break down the gelling ability of the agar-agar so that it will not set. Cooking these fruits before adding them to a recipe, however, neutralizes the enzymes so that the agar-agar can set.

  24. Victoria says:

    Hello! This cake looks wonderful!
    But I have a question, what size cake pan did you use or which should I use?

    • hi Victoria

      I used 9″ rounds for my cake. Let me know how it turns out

      Dennis

      • Hi!
        I had trouble with the cake because adding the liquid ingredients into the dry, I could not beat well.
        And when I baked the cake got! : (
        I have another question, is there to put the cake in the refrigerator once baked?
        I’ll have to try again!

        • hi Victoria

          If you had a problem blending everything together, you may want to try starting with the wet ingredients first and blending them all together first then adding in the dry. Also make sure all the wet ingredients are at room temperature, the butter should be soft but not mushy, but let the eggs and yogurt warm up longer so they are at room temp. That will help keep everything together. One of the problems is when cold products hit softened butter it starts to firm it back up.

          I wouldn’t put the cake into the referigerator after baking unless you were going to wait to finish it. If you don’t have time to make the cake, you can also freeze the layers until you have time. Once completed with the mousse you’ll have to keep it refrigerated.
          Dennis

  25. Dear Chef Dennis,
    I have never worked with gelatin before. Was I supposed to add the gelatin packet to a couple tablespoons of cold water before I added it to the strawberry puree? It got all clumpy on me. The cake is gorgeous & thank you for sharing your story! =)

    • hi Julee

      if you’re not use to using gelatin, then adding it to a little cool water first will make it easier, it can be a little tricky adding it into hot ingredients you have to whip it in quickly.
      Thanks for the feedback and glad you enjoyed the cake and my story!

      Cheers
      Dennis

  26. I’m so glad I follow you on google + and thought to look here for a strawberry mousse filling! I’m making a pink champagne cake and think this will be lovely in it. Thanks so much! Sharon

  27. I made this cake yesterday, and it turned out beautifully. I am now eating a piece for breakfast in honor of your dad.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
    -Melissa

  28. Can I cut down the sugar both for the cake and filling? My family like cakes, but the sugar-taste from most of cakes recipes always cover the taste of the cake itself.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis: Chocolate Valentines Day Cake [...]

  2. […] to take out for dinner. But I want them to remember I’m gone, and miss me, just a little. Chef Dennis reminded me of Bill Cosby’s skit “Chocolate Cake for Breakfast.” I love Bill […]

  3. […] Day! The first excuse  occasion of the year to make a cake. I saw this cake on  Chef Denise’s Google+ post and knew that Chris Henry would love it (and I still have a […]

  4. […] 5) Slowly beat in half the vanilla mixture into the fluffed up mixture and then beat thoroughly until combined. 6) Then tip in the rest of the vanilla mixture and beat for around 30 seconds until a slightly runny batter is achieved. 7) Puree the strawberries and strain to get rid of the seeds and other lumpy lumps. 8) Mix well into the cake batter. 9) Pour into two eight inch cake pans and bake for 30 – 40 minutes on middle rack.   Recipe for the marbled cheesecake: Adapted from: https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=5083&name=Chocolate-Marble-Cheesecake 3/4 cups of sugar 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 3 eggs 24 ounces or 680 grams of cream cheese 1/2 cup of soured cream 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour 1/4 cup of strawberries   Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius / 350 degrees celsius. 1) Beat together the sugar, cream cheese and soured cream until smooth. 2) Add the flour and stir well. 3) Crack in the eggs one at a time and stir thoroughly after each addition. 4) Drizzle in the vanilla and mix. 5) Puree the strawberries in a food processor and then pour into a bowl. Keep adding enough cheesecake batter into the puree until it is pink. 6) Pour the vanilla cheesecake batter into the eight inch greased cake pan first and then drizzle the strawberry cheesecake batter over it. Run a knife through the mixture several times to achieve a marbled look. 7) Bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. and then bake for 40 minutes to an hour at 120 degrees celsius. 8) After cooling for fifteen minutes, remove from pan and place it into a refrigerator until chilled through. Recipe for the crème au beurre: Adapted from: http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2011/10/professional-style-buttercream-frosting.html 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar 1/2 cup of water 6 egg yolks 1 pound of cold butter, cubed (I used about two ounces less) 2 teaspoons of vanilla or strawberry extract 1) Beat egg yolks for 8 minutes until pale and doubled in size. 2) Whilst you are beating them, tip the sugar and the water into a saucepan on medium high heat so that reaches around 234 – 238 degrees fahrenheit. 3) When it has reached the desired temperature, remove from heat and quickly drizzle the sugar syrup into the beaten egg yolks, beating with an electric mixer thoroughly. 4) Keep beating until it is around room temperature or cool to the touch. 5) Whilst the beater is still stirring, throw in a few cubes of butter at a time until all the butter is combined with the custard. 6) Whisk in the extracts and you are done! Recipe for the strawberry flavoured blossoms:100 g of strawberry flavoured chocolate 2 tablespoons of liquid glucose (I’m sure that corn syrup or golden syrup would work here too) 1) Melt the chocolate in the microwave using 30 second blasts. 2) When melted, stir until cooled to room temperature. 3) Add the liquid glucose and stir quickly to combine. 4) Roll into a ball and place inside the fridge for an hour or so. 5) Take out of the fridge and when it has warmed to room temperature, roll it out into a thin sheet. 6) Get out your blossom cutters and cut out different sizes of blossom. Recipe for the strawberry mousse: Adapted from: http://www.askchefdennis.com/2013/02/chocolate-valentines-day-cake/ […]

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