Recipe Sunday: It’s my birthday! Bake me THIS:

Yep, as usual, today being no different, it’s my birthday and it’s still all about me.  Well, almost all about me.  In thinking about the best cake I’ve ever had, I came up with the one Eddie and I chose for our wedding.  BROWN, inside and out, as Eddie is a huge chocolate lover.  When we found a baker, and forgive me for not remembering who (25th wedding anniversary is this June), she also suggested Bailey’s Irish Cream for the filling.  It was delish.  And, a year later, when we defrosted that top tier, as most do for their first anniversary, it was still outstanding.

So here’s the closest one I could find online in a smaller non-wedding birthday-size.  Hope Eddie is using this to plan HIS DAY right now: 


Ingredients for Mousse:
4       lg. eggs
1/3    c. sugar
12     oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 c. chilled whipping cream
1/4    c. Irish cream liqueur
Whisk eggs and sugar in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) and whisk constantly until candy thermometer registers 60°F, about 5 minutes.
Remove bowl from over water. Using electric mixer, beat egg mixture until cool and very thick, about 10 minutes.
Place chocolate in top of another bowl over simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool to luke warm.
Combine cream and Irish cream liqueur in medium bowl; beat to stiff peaks. Pour luke warm melted chocolate over egg mixture and fold together. Fold in cream mixture. Cover and chill until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Ingredients for Cake:
6    lg. eggs
3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
2    tbsp. instant espresso powder or coffee powder
pinch of salt
1    c. all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2-3/4 inch high sides. Line bottom with parchment paper. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, espresso powder and salt in large bowl until mixture thickens and a slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beaters are lifted, about 8 minutes. Sift 1/3 of flour over and gently fold into egg mixture. Repeat 2 more times (do not overmix or batter may deflate).
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.
Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Turn out cake. Remove pan bottom. Peel off parchment. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap cake in plastic and chill.
Ingredients for Syrup:
2/3 c. sugar
5    tbsp. water
5    tbsp. Irish whiskey
Combine sugar and water in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Mix in whiskey. Cool. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Using serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place bottom cake layer on platter. Brush with 3 tablespoons syrup. Spread 2 cups mousse over. Top with second cake layer. Brush with 3 tablespoons syrup. Spread 2 cups mousse over. Top with third cake layer, cut side down. Brush with 3 tablespoons syrup. Spread remaining mousse over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate cake while preparing chocolate bands.
Chocolate Bands:
2  14-1/2 x 3-inch waxed paper strips
4  oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1  tbsp. plus 1 tsp. solid vegetable shortening
Line large basket sheet with foil and set aside. Place another large sheet of foil on work surface; top with waxed paper strips, spacing apart. Stir chopped semisweet chocolate and vegetable shortening in heavy, small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour half of melted chocolate down center of each waxed paper strip.
Using metal icing spatula, spread chocolate to cover strips evenly and completely, allowing some chocolate to extend beyond edges of paper strips. Using fingertips, lift strips and place on clean foil-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate just until chocolate begins to set but is still very flexible, about 2 minutes.
Remove chocolate bands from refrigerator. Using fingertips, lift 1 band from foil. With chocolate side next to cake, place band around side of cake; press gently to adhere (band will be taller than cake). Repeat with second chocolate band, pressing onto uncovered side of cake so that ends of chocolate bands just meet (if ends overlap, use scissors to trim any excess paper and chocolate). Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 5 minutes. Gently peel off paper. Refrigerate cake.
1  c. mini chocolate chips
1  red rose or other flower
With a warm, sharp knife, trim chocolate bands to about 1/4 inch higher than the cake. Using the palm of your hand, sprinkle chocolate chips around the edge of the cake to form a border. Sprinkle a few chips around the center. Decorate with a red rose tied with a ribbon. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Keep refrigerated.