This light and airy Chocolate Genoise Sponge Cake (Italian chocolate) is light and airy and filled with a quick, easy and delicious chocolate mousse, loads of summer fruit like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, with a scrumptious stabilized whipped cream icing. This is the perfect adult birthday cake idea!
Head up: Before you even turn on the oven, make sure your eggs are out of the fridge - they need to come to room temperature. *this is critical for success with this cake! If you need to warm them quickly, then pour some boiling water into a shallow bowl, then crack your eggs into another bowl and set it on top of the bowl of boiling water. Just keep checking to see if the eggs have warmed. I did this and it worked well.
Preheat the oven to 350° f or 175° c. Grease three 8-9 inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper (I would suggest parchment rounds- See Equipment) or use cake release ** I always use "Cake Release" by Wilton and it eliminates the need for anything else and your cakes come out perfect every time! *See Equipment
Sift the flour and cocoa together in a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for about 10 minutes on medium-high speed (high speed if you are using an electric hand mixer). * You'll know when it's done because the mixture will turn pale and quadruple in volume. Then gently fold in the melted butter.
Gently pour the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, folding it in with a spatula.
Pour the genoise batter into the cake tins, dividing evenly by all 3. * Always fill pans to ⅔ full and no more. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25 minutes.* you will probably have some leftover batter so make a few cupcakes!
Let cake cool for about 10 minutes. Gently run a spatula around the edges of the pans to loosen the cake. Gently turn onto a wire rack and let completely cool. * If you use Wilton cake release, your cakes will come out perfect and crumb-free!
Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse:
Dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot water.
Melt the chocolate chips on 50% power for 2 mins and 30 seconds in the microwave, then stir then for another 30 seconds just until smooth. *Do not let any water/moisture touch the chocolate or utensils or it will make the chocolate seize
Add cocoa mixture to the melted chocolate chips and stir well to combine.
In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream mixture to the melted chocolate and fold in with a spatula until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Add first cake to a serving plate. Then spread ⅓ of the chocolate mousse on the first layer of cake, then add about ¼ of the berries. Pipe some whipped cream around the edges of the layer, prior to putting the next layer on top.
Repeat for 2nd layer, then again, for the top layer.
Pile the remaining berries on top of the cake!
Pipe whipped cream around the edge of the top of the cake, the bottom and each layer, if it looks like it needs it.
Stud whipped cream (between layers( with additional berries, as in my photos, if desired.