This weeks recipe is quite special to me. My son came home last week with an assignment in Spanish class to make some sort of Spanish/Latin inspired food. He and I used to make desserts together when he was younger but during the teen aged years, the opportunities to bake together have become fewer and further between. Now a days we still make time to do frosted sugar cookies at Christmas, a tradition I know both of us look forward to every year, but we don’t get to make desserts together that often. So when he asked if I could help make a Spanish dessert, I jumped at the opportunity. We spent a few days looking for a good recipe and had a great time reminiscing over some of the desserts we had made together in the past (a few I didn’t even remember). It was great hearing him recall the pyramid cake we had make for his 6th grade class that won over his teacher. He was very proud to tell the story of how his Pyramid earned him an A and how much the class enjoyed devouring it. It makes me proud that he has such fond memories of times we spent together. In this case – baking is what made it all happen. 🙂
Now that I had my proud mom moment – onto the actual recipe.
If you are looking for fast and easy trifle (kind of like the one I wrote about last week – Strawberry Trifle), this is not the recipe. We spent the last two days creating this beautiful Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle. It has many steps and requires time management to make the cake. Sure it can be made start to finish in three hours but given it’s still school season, we only had the evenings to bake requiring us to create the cake the first night and making the ganache, marshmallow topping and assembling the trifle on the second night.
The trifle when assembled is simply beautiful. The original recipe had chocolate curls which made it even prettier but we didn’t have the time to add that this time around.
The taste of the trifle was good. The cake is on the heavier side but the cinnamon pairs well with the chocolate and you can taste it in every bite. You absolutely need the marshmallow topping as the cake is rich and dense on its own. The ganache was smooth and shiny, the perfect pairing with the whole trifle. All in all, I thought it was a good dessert but you couldn’t eat more than a few bites in one sitting (at least I couldn’t).
I’m not sure of the proportions of the recipe though. I only ended up using 11/2 of the 3 cakes the recipe made. We used all the Ganache and 3/4 of the marshmallow topping. No big deal, I sent the leftover cake and marshmallow topping to school and I’m pretty sure the teenagers in his class will finish it all. I’m waiting for a verdict from his classmates but I sure enjoyed eating (and especially making) this dessert this week with my son.
MEXICAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)
- Marshmallow Topping (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Microwave chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute; stir. Microwave 2 to 2 1/2 more minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.
Sift cake flour with unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
In a separate bowl with cleaned beaters, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir about one-third of egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Spoon batter into 3 greased (with butter) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
Bake cakes at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to parchment paper-lined wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Cut cake layers into 1-inch cubes.
- 3 (4-oz.) semisweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
- 2 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
Microwave semisweet and bittersweet chocolate and 1 1/2 cups cream in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute; stir. Microwave 3 to 3 1/2 more minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in up to 1/4 cup cream, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Note: If you making Ganache ahead of time, just before assembly, reheat Chocolate Ganache in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds.
- 3 (7 1/2-oz.) jars marshmallow crème
- 3 cups heavy cream
Beat marshmallow crème and 1 cup heavy cream at low speed with an electric mixer 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until combined and smooth. Add remaining heavy cream; beat at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Layer one-third of cake cubes in a 4-qt. bowl. Top with one-third each of Chocolate Ganache and Marshmallow Topping. Repeat layers twice.
Yield Makes 15 to 20 servings