Triple Chocolate Layer Cake

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake


DifficultyIntermediateYields4 Servings

This is the ultimate triple chocolate layer cake recipe. It’s a 17 layer chocolate cake (!) – 8 layers of chocolate sponge sandwiched with 8 layers of smooth chocolate cremeux, then topped with a layer of chocolate mirror glaze. This must make it one of the most decadent triple chocolate cake recipes out there!

The chocolate sponge is made with vegetable oil rather than butter, which makes the most moist chocolate cake layers. The chocolate cremeux is such a step up from your typical chocolate buttercream frosting, it is so light in comparison and the chocolate flavour is divine. The chocolate mirror glaze gives the cake it’s shiny finish. If you don’t feel confident making the glaze, you could try a chocolate ganache instead. It won’t have the same shine but it’ll still taste delicious!

To get the most professional finish to the cakes you really want to focus on making the layers as even as possible (I use a raplette), and cutting the edges as straight as possible (I use a metre ruler and a very sharp, hot knife!).

Like this recipe? Check out my Chocolate Yule Log recipe, it uses the same flexible chocolate sponge but in a classic roll cake design.


 


 

Ingredients


For the Chocolate Cremeux
 300 g Chocolate, 55% Cocoa Solids, Chopped
 180 g Whole Eggs
 7 g Caster Sugar(yes, 7g!)
 225 g Whole Milk
 225 g Double / Heavy Cream
 Pinch of Sea Salt Flakes
For the Chocolate Sponge
 145 g Egg Yolks
 35 g + 100g Caster Sugar 
 270 g Egg Whites
 90 g Vegetable Oil
 65 g Whole Milk
 80 g Plain Flour / All Purpose Flour
 45 g Cocoa Powder
For the Chocolate Mirror Glaze
 4 g Powdered Gelatin (200 Bloom) + 26g Cold Water
 40 g Double / Heavy Cream
 50 g Water
 20 g Cocoa Powder
 55 g Caster Sugar
 30 g Nappage Blonde or Apricot Jam
Shop the equipment

Method


For the Chocolate Crémeux
1

Add the chocolate into a large bowl and place a sieve over the top. Set it to one side.

2

Into a medium saucepan, add the eggs, sugar, cream & milk. Place this over a medium low heat and whisk constantly until it reaches 80-83C (176-181F) - I like to go closer to 80C as the further you take it, the more likely you are to scramble it! 

3

Immediately remove it from the heat and pour it through the sieve over the top of the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes, then blend (or whisk) till smooth.

4

Add a good pinch of sea salt flakes - this is really important for the taste. Whisk these through, then cover the surface directly with cling film and chill it for 3-4 hours in the fridge. It should be set, but still slightly soft if you run a spoon through it.

5

If you need to chill this for longer or make it ahead of time, you can, but you may need to use a hair dryer or a heat gun to warm & soften it slightly if it has stiffened. If you use a darker chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage, it will also be thicker/stiffer, so again, you make need to warm it slightly so that it is spreadable. To do this, I just pop it in a stand mixer and mix on the lowest speed possible with a paddle attachment, while heating the bowl so that it melts the cremeux slightly. It should only need 15-30 seconds of mixing until it is smooth. Don’t mix it for too long or you risk splitting it. 

For the Chocolate Sponge
6

Preheat the oven to 180C/345F Non-Fan Assisted and then lightly grease a 15”x10” baking tray and line it with a sheet of parchment. Alternatively, use a silicon sponge roll mat which has been lightly greased. 

7

Into a medium bowl, add the egg yolks, and 35g sugar. Whisk the mixture with an electric hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) until it is thicker in volume, pale in colour and holds a slight ribbon. About 2-3 minutes. Set this to one side.

8

Into a medium bowl, add the egg whites and using an electric hand whisk  (or stand mixer) whisk on a medium-low speed. Once the mixture is frothy, increase the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar (100g), about 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk until you have a medium-stiff peak to the meringue.

9

Whisk ⅓ of the meringue at a time into the egg yolk mixture until fully combined.

10

Next, sift in the plain flour & cocoa powder, and whisk it in carefully until it is fully incorporated. 

11

Finally, pour in the vegetable oil and whole milk whisk this in, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as the oil can sink to the bottom if you don’t incorporate it correctly.

12

Pour half of the batter onto the lined tray, and then using a spatula, spread the batter out evenly. Try to ensure the batter is as even as possible. If using a silicon sponge roll mat, use a ruler to level the batter completely with the edge of the mat.

13

Bake the sponge for 12-14 minutes, then allow to cool for 5 minutes, before flipping it onto a sheet of parchment paper. Bake the second sponge using the remaining batter, using a whisk just to briefly whisk the batter together again before pouring it onto your tray.

14

They don’t need long to cool as they are quite thin, so it is best to bake these fresh, just before the cremeux has finished chilling (about an hour before).

For the Chocolate Mirror Glaze
15

Into a small bowl, add the powdered gelatin and cold water. Stir it together then allow it to bloom for 10 minutes. It should absorb all the liquid, and dry out slightly.

16

Once set, scoop this into a tall jug, along with the nappage or apricot jam (if you are using apricot jam, ensure it is smooth, with no lumps of fruit)

17

Add the cream and water to a small saucepan, and heat it over a medium heat just for around 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.

18

Tip in the sugar and cocoa powder, then whisk it together, until it reaches a boil. Cook it for 30 seconds, then remove it from the heat and pour it over the gelatin/nappage mix.

19

Blend it with a hand blender until smooth, trying as best as possible not to incorporate lots of air bubbles.

20

The glaze needs to cool to 25-27C (77-80F) before it is ready to use. This takes roughly 1-2 hours at room temperature. So it is best to make this just after the first sponge goes in the oven. You can also make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It will set completely, but you can simply melt it in brief bursts in the microwave and blend again till smooth, then cool to the desired temperature. 

Assembly
21

Take one of the cooled sponges, and scoop half of the cremeux onto it. Use a palette knife (or even better a raplette) and spread it out as evenly as possible so that you have a relatively thin, but even layer. If you find the cremeux is a little stiff to spread, simply heat your spatula under some hot water then dry it off. 

22

Repeat this with the second sponge. You may have a little spare cremeux depending on how thin you spread the cremeux. 

23

Using a sharp knife, cut the each sponge into 4 equal rectangles. Repeat this with the second sponge. You should have a total of 8 rectangles. 

24

Line a tray with a silicon mat or a sheet of parchment paper and carefully stack the sponges on top of each other. The sponge is flexible, but delicate so don’t be careless as you move them around or they will rip. Work quickly but carefully!

25

Stack all the sponges on top of each other, ensuring the very top layer has the cremeux facing up. Don’t worry about the stack looking rough and a bit wonky. We will trim off all the edges. Place the cake into the freezer for 20 minutes.

26

While it is freezing, this is where you need to ensure your mirror glaze is nearly at temperature. You can keep the cake in the freezer for longer if your mirror glaze isn’t quite ready, but just remember it will need longer at room temperature before you can serve it.

27

Once the cake has chilled and the glaze it at the correct temperature, carefully lift the cake onto a wire rack and pour the glaze over the top, letting it drip down the sides. You might not quite need all of the glaze. Just use enough to cover the top of the cake. Let it set for 2-3 minutes.

28

Then, using a hot and very sharp knife, cut all the rough edges off of the cake, you should be left with a neat, small rectangle.

29

Cut the remaining cake into 4 equal slices, I prefer long rectangular shapes but really you can cut any shape or leave it whole. The thin slices can be a little unstable as the cake is so tall!

30

It can be served immediately so that the cremeux is still nice and soft. If it has been frozen for longer, then it will need more time at room temperature until that creemux is soft.

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cremeux
 300 g Chocolate, 55% Cocoa Solids, Chopped
 180 g Whole Eggs
 7 g Caster Sugar(yes, 7g!)
 225 g Whole Milk
 225 g Double / Heavy Cream
 Pinch of Sea Salt Flakes
For the Chocolate Sponge
 145 g Egg Yolks
 35 g + 100g Caster Sugar 
 270 g Egg Whites
 90 g Vegetable Oil
 65 g Whole Milk
 80 g Plain Flour / All Purpose Flour
 45 g Cocoa Powder
For the Chocolate Mirror Glaze
 4 g Powdered Gelatin (200 Bloom) + 26g Cold Water
 40 g Double / Heavy Cream
 50 g Water
 20 g Cocoa Powder
 55 g Caster Sugar
 30 g Nappage Blonde or Apricot Jam
Shop the equipment

Directions

For the Chocolate Crémeux
1

Add the chocolate into a large bowl and place a sieve over the top. Set it to one side.

2

Into a medium saucepan, add the eggs, sugar, cream & milk. Place this over a medium low heat and whisk constantly until it reaches 80-83C (176-181F) - I like to go closer to 80C as the further you take it, the more likely you are to scramble it! 

3

Immediately remove it from the heat and pour it through the sieve over the top of the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes, then blend (or whisk) till smooth.

4

Add a good pinch of sea salt flakes - this is really important for the taste. Whisk these through, then cover the surface directly with cling film and chill it for 3-4 hours in the fridge. It should be set, but still slightly soft if you run a spoon through it.

5

If you need to chill this for longer or make it ahead of time, you can, but you may need to use a hair dryer or a heat gun to warm & soften it slightly if it has stiffened. If you use a darker chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage, it will also be thicker/stiffer, so again, you make need to warm it slightly so that it is spreadable. To do this, I just pop it in a stand mixer and mix on the lowest speed possible with a paddle attachment, while heating the bowl so that it melts the cremeux slightly. It should only need 15-30 seconds of mixing until it is smooth. Don’t mix it for too long or you risk splitting it. 

For the Chocolate Sponge
6

Preheat the oven to 180C/345F Non-Fan Assisted and then lightly grease a 15”x10” baking tray and line it with a sheet of parchment. Alternatively, use a silicon sponge roll mat which has been lightly greased. 

7

Into a medium bowl, add the egg yolks, and 35g sugar. Whisk the mixture with an electric hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) until it is thicker in volume, pale in colour and holds a slight ribbon. About 2-3 minutes. Set this to one side.

8

Into a medium bowl, add the egg whites and using an electric hand whisk  (or stand mixer) whisk on a medium-low speed. Once the mixture is frothy, increase the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar (100g), about 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk until you have a medium-stiff peak to the meringue.

9

Whisk ⅓ of the meringue at a time into the egg yolk mixture until fully combined.

10

Next, sift in the plain flour & cocoa powder, and whisk it in carefully until it is fully incorporated. 

11

Finally, pour in the vegetable oil and whole milk whisk this in, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as the oil can sink to the bottom if you don’t incorporate it correctly.

12

Pour half of the batter onto the lined tray, and then using a spatula, spread the batter out evenly. Try to ensure the batter is as even as possible. If using a silicon sponge roll mat, use a ruler to level the batter completely with the edge of the mat.

13

Bake the sponge for 12-14 minutes, then allow to cool for 5 minutes, before flipping it onto a sheet of parchment paper. Bake the second sponge using the remaining batter, using a whisk just to briefly whisk the batter together again before pouring it onto your tray.

14

They don’t need long to cool as they are quite thin, so it is best to bake these fresh, just before the cremeux has finished chilling (about an hour before).

For the Chocolate Mirror Glaze
15

Into a small bowl, add the powdered gelatin and cold water. Stir it together then allow it to bloom for 10 minutes. It should absorb all the liquid, and dry out slightly.

16

Once set, scoop this into a tall jug, along with the nappage or apricot jam (if you are using apricot jam, ensure it is smooth, with no lumps of fruit)

17

Add the cream and water to a small saucepan, and heat it over a medium heat just for around 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.

18

Tip in the sugar and cocoa powder, then whisk it together, until it reaches a boil. Cook it for 30 seconds, then remove it from the heat and pour it over the gelatin/nappage mix.

19

Blend it with a hand blender until smooth, trying as best as possible not to incorporate lots of air bubbles.

20

The glaze needs to cool to 25-27C (77-80F) before it is ready to use. This takes roughly 1-2 hours at room temperature. So it is best to make this just after the first sponge goes in the oven. You can also make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It will set completely, but you can simply melt it in brief bursts in the microwave and blend again till smooth, then cool to the desired temperature. 

Assembly
21

Take one of the cooled sponges, and scoop half of the cremeux onto it. Use a palette knife (or even better a raplette) and spread it out as evenly as possible so that you have a relatively thin, but even layer. If you find the cremeux is a little stiff to spread, simply heat your spatula under some hot water then dry it off. 

22

Repeat this with the second sponge. You may have a little spare cremeux depending on how thin you spread the cremeux. 

23

Using a sharp knife, cut the each sponge into 4 equal rectangles. Repeat this with the second sponge. You should have a total of 8 rectangles. 

24

Line a tray with a silicon mat or a sheet of parchment paper and carefully stack the sponges on top of each other. The sponge is flexible, but delicate so don’t be careless as you move them around or they will rip. Work quickly but carefully!

25

Stack all the sponges on top of each other, ensuring the very top layer has the cremeux facing up. Don’t worry about the stack looking rough and a bit wonky. We will trim off all the edges. Place the cake into the freezer for 20 minutes.

26

While it is freezing, this is where you need to ensure your mirror glaze is nearly at temperature. You can keep the cake in the freezer for longer if your mirror glaze isn’t quite ready, but just remember it will need longer at room temperature before you can serve it.

27

Once the cake has chilled and the glaze it at the correct temperature, carefully lift the cake onto a wire rack and pour the glaze over the top, letting it drip down the sides. You might not quite need all of the glaze. Just use enough to cover the top of the cake. Let it set for 2-3 minutes.

28

Then, using a hot and very sharp knife, cut all the rough edges off of the cake, you should be left with a neat, small rectangle.

29

Cut the remaining cake into 4 equal slices, I prefer long rectangular shapes but really you can cut any shape or leave it whole. The thin slices can be a little unstable as the cake is so tall!

30

It can be served immediately so that the cremeux is still nice and soft. If it has been frozen for longer, then it will need more time at room temperature until that creemux is soft.

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake