Layer that cake

It was a friend’s birthday recently, and so I decided to make a cake for her. =) However, I didn’t want to make a regular cake. I think cakes are boring, and I personally don’t like cakes, so I went on a few blogs that were into Japanese cakes.  If you didn’t know, Japanese cakes tend to be very fancy/elaborate, with layers of cake and whipped cream or mousse and more layers of general yumminess. Since I loved mousse, and should practice it before I start teaching my baking class, I decided to go for it.

So then I had this coffee cake in mind that I had book marked and wanted to make before. However, when I told the friend arranging the party that I would make a cake, she replied, “I suggest something disney themed (if you’re putting a design on it) preferably minney/mickey mouse… or something chocolate flavored.”

I kind of didn’t know how to react, to laugh it off or be appalled. Disney themed!? Do I look like a cake designer to her? If I was so good I wouldn’t be in school; I’d be working in a cake store in New York! Geez. But anyway, the chocolate thing I could do, I suppose. Luckily, blogspot blogs have a “You might also like:” at the bottom of each post, which led me to a passion fruit chocolate mousse cake the same person did. But wait… passion fruits are expensive here… why don’t I go with raspberries instead, which are in season, and commonly paired with chocolate? Bingo, I had my cake.

Cake, final product (Photo Credits to David Hsu)

I did 3 layers, so I will separate them so.

Original recipe from Yue’s Handicrafts.

First Layer: Chocolate Cake


  • 4 eggs
  • 65 g sugar
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 20 g cocoa powder
  • 30 g butter, melted
  • 35 g milk


  1. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until thick. Fold in melted butter.
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder. Add to your egg yolks along with the milk and fold until smooth.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the two components together in 3 installments and until the batter comes together.

    Slight fail where the egg whites on the edges are over beaten =(

  4. Pour into a greased 8″ pan (VERY IMPORTANT, GREASE GENEROUSLY) and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

    Pierce with knife to make sure the cake is done

Note: I forgot to do this step, but I would have added a raspberry cake syrup to the cake too, using 2 tbsp water, 1tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp Chambord.

Second Layer: Chocolate Mousse


  • 350 g whipping cream
  • 190 g 70% dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp sugar


  1. Melt your chocolate
  2. Whip heavy cream and sugar into soft peaks. Fold together.

Third Layer: Raspberry Mousse


  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 150 g whipping cream
  • 100 g raspberries, smashed
  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 g water
  • 8 g gelatine, or 1 packet
  • 2 tbsp Chambord


  1. Add your gelatine to cold water and let it bloom for 10 minutes. Heat the water (I used a microwave) and completely melt the gelatine.
  2. Whisk cream cheese and sugar until smooth.

    I looove cream cheese/cheesecakes

  3. Whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  4. Fold the cream into the cheese, then the mushed raspberries, the Chambord, and finally the gelatine.

    All the components of the raspberry mousse, before folding

Putting it together

  1. Using a mold (or form a mold from aluminum foil), place the cake at the bottom.

    Aluminum foil mold with cake at the bottom

    Ghetto mold using tape to hold it together

  2. Brush on syrup generously.
  3. Pipe or dump the chocolate mousse on top and try to smooth this out. Put into fridge to set.

    Chocolate mousse on top of the cake

  4. Pipe or dump the raspberry mousse on top and smooth it out. Allow the mousse to set, preferably overnight. The resulting mousse should be firm to the touch, and not sticky. Garnish with raspberries before it sets if you would like.

End result, with melted chocolate writing

I actually ended up taking the raspberries off and eating it because I only put them on after the mousse had set

A few more things I would like to add: the original recipe called for cutting the chiffon cake layer into half, making one disk into a 7″ circle, and placing that on top of the set chocolate mousse before piping in the raspberry mousse layer. I didn’t feel like the  cake layer was thick enough to do so, so I omitted this step. But it was a bad move to do so. The mousse layers are definitely very heavy, which crushed the chocolate cake layer and made it very dense. It would have been better if the cake layer was thinner, so I would suggest splitting the cake and adding that extra cake layer on top.

Also, piping is suggested for the mousse layer because when I took off the aluminum foil, the layers were not pretty! I probably would have helped if I actually did the white chocolate decors on the side, but I don’t have any confidence in tempering chocolate. Icing it would have been excessive because most of this cake was a mousse anyway…

Birthday girl with a slice and her own chocolate covered strawberry as garnish (Photo Credits to David Hsu)

Overall, I think this recipe was okay. Would I do it again? Probably not. The construction of the cake is actually very easy, despite the layers, but I think the chocolate mousse doesn’t hold up well in the fridge. As in, the texture was very, very different from what I tasted the night before: creamy, light, chocolate-y became course/gritty, and not light. The chiffon cake layer too, wasn’t amazing due to it being compressed. However, the raspberry mousse was amazing, and I might make that just by itself someday.

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One thought on “Layer that cake

  1. Christine says:

    Ooh — what a lucky friend! I’ve never had anybody make me a cake before, especially not one with mousse and chambord and all that other delicious stuff! :)

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