Tag Archives: birthday cakes

Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse Cake

A lot of my favourite foods or flavours are associated with some fond childhood memories. The combination of chocolate and orange is one of them. Have you ever tried Jacob’s Club chocolate orange biscuits? Growing up in Hong Kong, it was such a precious and delicious treat for me as a kid and I would eat it as slowly as possible, trying to cherish every single bite ! This food nostalgia has also given me the idea to make this mousse cake ! I made them into three layers…. cake, mousse and a ganache on top. It does require more time and work, but it’s worth it. Not only do layered desserts look sophisticated, the different textures make every bite more enjoyable.

I made these in minis, but the recipe is good for a six inch cake too. If you don’t have ring molds, spring-form pans will work, but run a warm knife or spatula around the cake before releasing the spring, otherwise the cake may crack.

For the cake

Makes 4-5 three inch mini cakes

  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 150 g cake and pastry flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 6 g baking powder
  • 3 g baking soda
  • 3 g salt
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 mL buttermilk
  • 120 mL vegetable oil
  • 60 mL fresh orange juice
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ml pure orange extract
  • 120 mL hot water

  1. Preheat oven to 350o F
  2. Lightly grease a 9″ x 9 ” square pan or a similar size baking tray and line the bottom with parchment paper
  3. Sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside
  4. In another mixing bowl, hand whisk together granulated sugar and eggs until frothy
  5. Mix in buttermilk, oil, orange juice, orange zest, and extracts
  6. Slowly combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients
  7. Add in hot water, a little at a time, mix until just blended, do not overmix
  8. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes. (To help keep the cake moist, you can bake it on top of a cooking sheet filled with hot water, but handle very carefully)

For the Mousse

  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 375 ml cold whipping cream
  • 2 gelatin sheets (1 g each)
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 2.5 mL pure orange extract
  1. Chill the mixing bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  2. Place gelatin sheets in cold water for a few minutes to bloom
  3. Heat about half a cup of whipping cream in a pot over medium heat until just starting to boil, turn heat off
  4. Squeeze gelatin sheets to remove excess water, add into heated cream and stir until dissolved
  5. While it’s still hot, pour over dark chocolate, stir until smooth
  6. Mix in extracts and let cool
  7. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk remaining whipping cream in the chilled mixing bowl until stiff peak is formed
  8. Gently fold in chocolate mixture, do not over mix

To assemble

  1. Trim top of sheet cake with knife or wire cake cutter to about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick
  2. Cut out individual cake using 3″ ring molds and place each, with the ring, on a small piece of parchment paper
  3. Pour mousse on top of cake and smooth with a spoon, do not fill to the top, leave some space for the ganache
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours to set
  5. Prepare ganache when mousse is set

For the ganache

  • 90 g dark chocolate
  • 75 ml whipping cream
  • 2.5 ml pure vanilla extract
  1. Heat chocolate and whipping cream in the microwave for about 30 seconds (Since we only need a small amount of ganache, it’s easier to heat it up in the microwave)
  2. Stir until smooth, add vanilla and let cool
  3. Pour ganache on mousse cake and refrigerate for another 2 hours
  4. To serve, remove molds by using a kitchen torch and gently heat around rings or carefully run a warm knife or spatula around the cake

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

It is my daughter’s birthday today! She has been my biggest helper and biggest fan for my baking. Can’t believe she is 8 now ! Where does the time go? This is what she specifically ordered, vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Happy Birthday my little baby!

For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (150 g), at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1+1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside
  3. Add lemon juice into milk, let sit for 5 minutes
  4. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until blended
  6. Mix in half the milk, then half the flour mixture
  7. Add the remaining milk and flour mixture, mix until just blended, scraping sides of bowl, 
  8. Pour into lightly greased paper cups, only up to about 2/3 full
  9. Bake in tins for about 18-20 minutes, toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the middle
  10. Cool completely before frosting
  11. Decorate with sprinkles

For the chocolate frosting

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (150 g), at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  1. Sift together icing sugar and cocoa powder
  2. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy
  4. Add milk and vanilla
  5. Add sugar and cocoa powder in 2-3 portions, mix well after each addition, scraping sides of bowl
  6. Add melted chocolate, mix until smooth

Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

My son turns 11 today! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. My little boy is now a little man! He eats way more than I do and beats me in arm wrestling every single time! Happy Birthday my little man !

Makes about 12

For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder, set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment at medium speed, mix together eggs, sugars, coconut oil and vanilla extract
  4. Mix in half of flour mixture and half of buttermilk
  5. Add the other half, mix until just blended, do not over mix
  6. Pour into slightly greased paper muffin cups, about 1/2 full
  7. Bake in muffin tins for about 18 minutes (toothpick should come out clean when inserted into middle of cupcakes)
  8. Cool completely before frosting

For the frosting

Makes about 2 cups

  • 3/4 unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar,sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, blend sugar and butter until smooth
  2. Add vanilla, mix well