Posted by: kriscdub | January 27, 2010

Nothing Proves She Raised You Right Like Chocolate Cake

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Garrick and I owe a lot to our mother, especially where this blog is concerned. Mom’s been letting us help with the cooking since we were little, and it’s still something that we love to do together. Now that we’re big and (sometimes) do our own dishes, we like to impress her every once in a while with our culinary creations, and what better time than her birthday? Putting aside sibling rivalry (mostly), Garrick and I worked together to make our lovely mother the best birthday cake we could. Garrick baked the cake using the recipe he just posted for chocolate peppermint cupcakes, and I was on frosting duty.

We agreed that it should be something with Nutella, since Mom loves it- and really, who doesn’t? That stuff is crazy delicious. Garrick suggested a buttercream, but I wanted something lighter and not so sweet. I looked over a few recipes for inspiration and eventually came up with this one for Nutella mousse. It’s got a touch of cream cheese tartness and is only lightly sweet. You could just serve this stuff up in bowls and no one would complain. And if they did, you could rightfully throw the ungratefuls out of your house, and good riddance. Whichever way you serve it, this mousse is smooth, light, and nutellalicious.

In all the hullabaloo, I forgot to take an ingredients picture, so just imagine a block of cream cheese, a carton of heavy cream, and a jar of Nutella along with this cake:

The cake, again, is the chocolate cake recipe from Garrick’s chocolate peppermint cupcakes, baked in three buttered and parchment lined 9″ cake pans (or two 9″ cake pans and one 9″ springform pan. That one hides as the middle layer.). Combine nutella and cream cheese (full fat, please please pretty please) in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment.

While that’s mixing, whip your cream until it is fluffy and- well, until it’s whipped cream. Normally you’d add a bit of sugar to make whipped cream, but since the Nutella is already sweet, I chose not to. If you’re going for a sweeter frosting, you could sweeten your whipped cream. I suppose you could also use that frozen abomination, but why eat whipped oil when you can have the real thing, baby?

By the time your cream is whipped, the cream cheese and Nutella should be combined. It looks a little weird. I know. Just wait.

Now fold the whipped cream into the Nutella mixture. Use the lowest setting on your mixer, since you don’t want to beat the fluff out of it.

When everything is just combined, it’s ready. Don’t overmix the mousse!

I just love the color of this stuff. So inviting, so friendly, so pillowy soft. Now it can either go on a cake or in your mouth. Preferably both. This is also the step where you ask your brother to confirm that it’s delicious and he, skeptical from the start, claims it needs to be sweeter. Hogwash! Then ask your mother to try it since it’s her cake and gloat when she says it’s perfect.

Spread a layer of frosting between each layer. This is easiest with an offset spreader, but a spatula or spoon works fine in a less well-equipped kitchen (read: my kitchen).

When the layers are assembled, continue frosting around the sides and top of the cake. This was the perfect amount for our three layer cake, but if you end up needing more, just use equal proportions of the three ingredients to make about the amount you need. Note the intense concentration, the perfect focus, the pristine form.

Get the mousse as smooth as possible, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. I read somewhere that people think homemade looking food tastes better anyway. You know, whatever helps you live with those crooked (delicious) layers. See a couple crumbs poking out? Absolute tragedy. you’ll just have to eat it so that no one sees how terrible it is. Serves you right.

We decided to get a little fancy and top the cake with some shaved chocolate. Or rather, Garrick suggested it and I took it too far, then made a huge mess. But the cake looked good! I just used a microplane to grate up the chocolate and sprinkle it through a stencil, but it’d look pretty just sprinkled chaotically as well.

Now you might realize that sprinkling all this chocolate on the stencil leaves you with the big problem of how to get the stencil off without dumping all the chocolate onto the cake. Well with proper planning, I may have figured out a way to get past this issue, but instead I carried the cake over to the kitchen sink and blew chocolate all over it, then almost dropped the cake in a fit of hilarity while Garrick stood by and mocked me. That’s how we do it in this family. But hey, the cake looked good! And I cleaned up the mess, honest.

There. Lovely like the lady we made it for. Note that the grated chocolate darkens as it sits on the cake, as you can see in the top picture. I was a little worried that the frosting would melt off the cake or something similarly tragic would occur, but it actually held up very well.

Nutella Mousse

Recipe by me

1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup Nutella

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine cream cheese and Nutella in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment. Meanwhile, whip cream using a handheld mixer until fluffy. When cream is sufficiently whipped, fold it gently into Nutella mixer using the lowest setting on the electric mixer until just combined. Serve in bowls or on cake.



  1. Wow, I have not read anything in a long time that has made me laugh, cry and want cake. I am so proud to have raised such great kids who are also great cooks. I love you both! Thank you for making me a awesome birthday cake.

  2. Really the only thing wrong with this cake was that we messed up the “2” on top so bad that it looks an awful lot like a “4”.

  3. I did not want to bring that up. The cake was just perfect otherwise. Maybe 49 was referring to the number of calories per slice.

  4. 29 and holding…and the whole internet knows…
    Viral I hear.

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