Black Tie Mousse Cake

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!What ever happened to “black tie events?”  Growing up, I have vivid memories of my parents getting dressed to the nines to go out to cocktail parties and other soirees.  My sister and I would have our favorite babysitter come over, and we’d play hide-and-go seek.  The time I took the trash bag out of the can and then hid in the trash can remains one of the best hiding spots ever.  Even 30+ (!!) years later, I still remember that one.

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!But black tie affairs.  They just aren’t as common these days.  To be fair, I grew up in Charleston, SC, and the Old South is known for it’s pomp and circumstance.  (Case in point: I took cotillion lessons until I was 15 years old.)  Folks in my parents’ social circle would throw elegant cocktail parties.  There were bartenders mixing drinks and caterers serving cocktail shrimp.  Everyone would dress up.  You could look at that and say, “Now why would anyone ever go to all that effort?”  On the other hand, I kinda miss those times.  It actually sounds like a little bit of fun!

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!I own a tuxedo, however I’ve never worn it.  The pants aren’t hemmed, and I don’t have a tuxedo shirt.  Men’s Warehouse gave me the tux for free when I used them for my wedding.  It’s been hanging in the closet ever since.  Right next to it are 4 suits.  My first job out of college was in a bank, and I needed to wear suits every day.  Now I only pull those suits out once a year…if that.

Black Tie Mousse Cake

Perhaps it’s the general trend towards casual clothing here in the States.  Perhaps it’s the time in our lives.  Whatever the reason, Laura and I don’t have many opportunities to dress up formally.  However, that won’t keep us from making (and eating) this Black Tie Mousse Cake!  This cake is delicious.  It features 4 distinct layers…and each layer involves chocolate!  If you are a chocolate lover, then this cake has your name all over it!

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!This Black Tie Mousse Cake was popularized by Olive Garden, but you can absolutely make this one at home.  In all fairness, this cake does take a bit of time to make, but that’s mainly because each layer needs to cool/chill before adding the next layer.  If you think about this recipe as 4 distinct parts, then it’s much more manageable.  For timing purposes, I recommend making this Black Tie Mousse Cake the day before you want to serve it.  That way each step isn’t rushed and the cake has plenty of time to chill overnight.

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!This Black Tie Mousse Cake starts with a layer of chocolate cake at the bottom.  It’s a fairly thin layer, but it’s enough to provide structure to the cake.  Plus, it’s chocolate cake.  Chocolate cake is delicious.  From there, you add layers of chocolate and white chocolate mousse.  Finally a ganache gets poured over the top – and there’s a fun trick here.  You start with a large bowl of ganache.  Some of it gets poured on the top of the cake.  Then you let the ganache cool and harden a bit and spread more on the sides of the cake.  Then you let the rest of the ganache harden even more and use it to pipe stars on top.  Is there such a thing as too much chocolate?  Me thinks not.

If you’re in the mood for an intensely chocolaty dessert, then this Black Tie Mousse Cake is a tasty one!  It does take so time to prepare, so plan accordingly.  However, the effort is well worth it!  Enjoy!

Did you make this Black Tie Mousse Cake at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  Happy baking!

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!

Black Tie Mousse Cake

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 503kcal

Ingredients

For the Bottom Layer (Chocolate Cake)

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the Middle Layer (Chocolate Mousse)

  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp hot water
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar

For the Top Layer (White Chocolate Mousse)

  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • 8 oz. white chocolate chips
  • cups heavy whipping cream divided
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • cups heavy whipping cream
  • 18 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

For the Bottom Layer

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease or spray a 9” round springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. (Note: The pan needs to be at least 3” deep.)
  • Using a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth; set aside.
  • Using a separate large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk until well combined.
  • Add egg, egg yolk, vegetable oil, sour cream and vanilla; whisk until well combined.
  • Finally, add the cocoa powder and hot water mixture to the bowl in several additions, whisking well between each addition.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan; tap pan lightly on countertop to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  • Let cake cool in pan until completely cool. (Note: Do not release springform pan.)

For the Middle Layer (Chocolate Mousse)

  • Using a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and hot water; set bowl aside.
  • Using a double boiler or a heatproof bowl over a gently simmering saucepan of water, add chocolate. Heat, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Remove chocolate from heat and stir in the cocoa powder mixture. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently stir ⅓ of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, fold in the remaining whipped cream.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread mixture evenly into the pan (on top of cake layer). Tap pan firmly on counter several times to remove any air bubbles. Cover pan and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Top Layer (White Chocolate Mousse)

  • Using a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Place the white chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl; set bowl aside.
  • Using a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat ½ cup of whipping cream until boiling. Stir the gelatin mixture into the hot cream until fully dissolved. Pour hot cream over the white chocolate chips and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Stir the white chocolate mixture until smooth; set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, whip remaining 1¼ cups of whipping cream together with powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold ⅓ of the cooled chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Repeat process two more times with the remaining chocolate.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread mixture evenly into the pan (on top of chocolate layer). Tap pan firmly on counter several times to remove any air bubbles. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Before releasing springform pan, slide a thin knife or spatula between the cake and the pan. Remove pan and smooth sides of cake with offset spatula if needed.

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • Using a medium saucepan (or a large microwave-safe measuring cup), heat whipping cream until boiling.
  • Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour hot whipping cream into bowl and stir gently until chocolate chips have completely melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Let chocolate ganache cool until pourable but not entirely liquid. (Note: I let mine cool for ~5 minutes.) Pour ⅓ of the ganache over the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to smooth top.
  • Let chocolate ganache cool another ~5 minutes, or until it’s thickened enough to spread on sides of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread ~½ of the remaining ganache on sides. Place cake back in refrigerator.
  • Let remaining ganache cool for 20-25 minutes, or until stiff enough to pipe. Transfer ganache into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe stars around the outside top edge of the cake. (I had extra ganache, so I went ahead and piped stars all over the top of the cake. Feel free to get creative here!)
  • Refrigerate cake for 2 hours before slicing. (Tip: To slice, run a knife under hot water for several seconds. Make the slice and then run knife under water again. Wipe knife clean after each cut.)
  • Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator.

This Black Tie Mousse Cake features 4 distinct layers of chocolate.  It takes a bit of time to make, but this sweet treat is worth the effort!

Looking for more tasty chocolate dessert recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

This Chocolate Chocolate Cake is a classic! This rich, moist cake is topped with a creamy chocolate frosting for a sweet treat that's sure to put you in a good mood!Chocolate Chocolate Cake

Decadent chocolate cake topped with a scoop of whipped peanut butter frosting...and then coated with chocolate glaze!  These Chocolate Peanut Butter Radio Bars are one heck of an awesome dessert!Chocolate Peanut Butter Radio Bars

Chocolate or vanilla?  Don't worry about picking just one with this Chocolate Ombre Cake!Chocolate Ombre Cake

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22 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m always in the mood for a chocolate dessert, especially one that looks this good. No fancy clothes required here, I prefer cozy leggings and a big sweater, lol. Pinned! Can’t wait to give this one a go, David. It looks heavenly! Thinking it would be perfect for our New Year’s Eve at home. We always make a special meal and this would be a great addition to the menu 🙂

    1. I’m with ya, Dawn – no need to get all dressed up! I’ll curl up in my footy pajamas with a slice of this cake (and a glass of wine) any night of the week! 🙂 And I do agree that this would be good for New Year’s Eve. It’s chocolate heaven!

  2. 5 stars
    David, what a grand looking dessert well suited for a formal event or with my morning coffee. Garbage can, that’s a good hiding spot, I don’t think I ever tried that one. I was more of a closet/under the bed type hider.
    Here we still have the tux and tails events. However, I rarely attend as I don’t even own a suit anymore and only have one old ragged tie. That said, I have a big birthday coming up next year and I’ve been put on notice that tux and tails will be required for the event. Maybe I’ll run away that day…

    1. Hey, you could dress up in black tie for your morning coffee – I wouldn’t judge! For me, I’ll stick with my robe and pajama pants. 🙂

      I have a whole array of ties in the closet, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I put one on. It’s gotta be at least 1-2 years ago now.

      Also, tux and tails for the big day? Ah, you can’t run! That’ll be too much fun. Although if you do run, I suggest hiding in the garbage can.

  3. Life where we are in LA is so casual. Growing up going to those fancy parties in the south sounds like so much fun! I always love an excuse to dress up. It’ll be a while for all of right now. 😉 And I never, ever need an excuse for a decadent chocolate cake. This one looks fantastic! 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. You know, I didn’t think much of the Southern parties when I was growing up – that’s just what you did. It’s only now that I’ve gotten older and looked back on it that I see the charm in it all. (Of course, I also enjoy just curling up in comfy pajamas instead of putting on a tux!)

      Either way, this chocolate cake is the end all-be all for chocolate lovers! 🙂 Thanks, Valentina!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks like a very special dessert indeed, David! I don’t go to many black tie events either (maybe one or two a year, pre-Covid, we lawyers do love a good ball) but I really love dressing up, so take every opportunity. Being a lawyer, I used to wear suits pretty much every day when I practised in litigation but now that I am primarily a commercial lawyer, the dress code is a bit more relaxed – smart professional but suits not required. I am loving all the layers in this cake – it would be perfect for a New Year’s Eve gathering! Happy nearly Christmas to you, Laura and Robbie x

    1. 1-2 balls a year is 1-2 more than I go to these days! Although I have to admit that there is a charm in getting all dressed up to go to a party or ball. I just need an excuse to do it! (And I need the pandemic to be over, too.)

      Either way, this dessert can do the dressing up for you – while you stay in comfy pajama pants at home! Haha. And, yes, this would be great for New Year’s Eve! Thanks, Katerina!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m lucky David that in Scotland if you get a Kilt it normally lasts you for life for wearing at special occassions. I got my first one at 21, but Lynne insisted on an exact tartan for my clan (Cameron is my mothers side of the family) when we got married, so I have two Kilts. And I too worked at a bank, first job out of college so had several suits. I now only have one that seldom is worn! Anyway I love your black tie mousse cake. What a perfect holiday treat!

    1. You know, I’ve always wanted to get a kilt. I don’t think I’d have too many opportunities to wear it over here, though. Perhaps at the curling club – like once a year. (I’m a MacPherson through my mother’s side.)

      Either way, I say let the cake do the dressing up here. We’ll stay in comfy clothes while we eat it! 🙂 Thanks, Neil!

  6. this looks absolutely beautiful and delicious david. oh my your parents sound very grand. yes people are so casual these days. even when going to the theatre etc. it just doesn’t seem right to turn up to a special event in shorts!
    have a great festive season
    cheers
    sherry

    1. Thanks, Sherry! It’s funny – growing up, those grand parties are just what we did. It was all I knew. It’s only now that I’m looking back on it that I realize how unique that whole Southern party scene was. I kinda miss it! (But then again, I do really enjoy staying home in comfy pajama pants – haha.)

      I hope you and Mr P have a great holiday season as well!

    1. Exactly! And since you have to wait in between each layer, it actually makes the recipe much less daunting since it’s like 4 mini-recipes. And in the end, you wind up with this amazing dessert! Thanks, Raymund!

    1. Thanks so much, Karen! No black tie events this year, but that didn’t keep us from enjoying our treats here at home. 🙂 I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year!!

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