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Recipe sharing: Chocolate Better Than ___ Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling

September 4, 2010

Hello all!

Two posts in as many days…look who’s back from summer vacation!  LOL

Today was a busy baking day to prep for the weeks’ cakes.  In planning my BFF’s cake, I decided to go a little different for a gal who is a little different, too!  (Love you, Rie!)  When I stumbled across this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks (“The Cake Mix Doctor” by Anne Byrn), I knew I had a winner.

FYI – I just snuck a taste of an extra layer I made for Tim and me, and…OMG!  It’s so yummy I can see where it gets its name!  HA!  When I assemble Maria’s cake, I am planning to fill it with chocolate mousse, so below I am posting not only the cake recipe, but also that for the filling.  I hope you enjoy it, well – better than ___!  ;}

Happy baking!


Chocolate Better Than ___ Cake

(recipe courtesy of “The Cake Mix Doctor, Workman Publishing Company Inc, copyright 1999)

  • Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
  • Flour for dusting the pan
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil’s food cake mix [Note: be sure not to use the kind with the pudding already in the mix or you will get a soggy mess!]
  • 1 package (6 ounces; 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans [Note:  I used walnuts!]
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or sunflower
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.  Place a rack in the center of the over and preheat the over to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Lightly mist a 10-inch tube pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour.  Shake out the excess flour.  Set the pan aside.  [Note:  Instead of spray and flour separately, I used the baker’s spray that has flour in it; makes life easier!  Also, since the type of cakes we tend to make are layered, I used different pans.  The batter is enough for two 8″x 2″-round pans.]

2.  Place 2 tablespoons of the cake mix, the chocolate chips, and the pecans (or whatever nuts you chose to use) in a small bowl.  Stir and set aside.

3.  Place the remaining cake mix, along with the chocolate pudding mix, sour cream, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.  Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed.  The batter should be thick and well blended.  Fold in the chocolate chip and  pecan mixture until it is well distributed.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.  Place the pan in the oven.

4.  Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with tour finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 50 to 55 minutes. [Note:  If you are using the 8″-round pans, cook for 25-30 minutes.]  Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert the cake onto a cooling rack, then invert again onto a serving platter to finish cooling, 20 minutes more.

5.  Prepare desired filling and frosting (“The Cake Mix Doctor” recommends a Penuche Frosting, found Page 431 of the book).

*Store this cake, covered in aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Chocolate Mousse Filling Recipe

(courtesy of

  • 8 raw eggs, separated (If you are concerned about egg safety, use pasteurized eggs)
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (recommended:  Scharffen Berger, which I buy at Kings supermarket or is available online)
  • 1 Tbsp. brandy
  • 3 Tbsp. coffee (if you’re too lazy to make coffee, use 2 t of coffee extract instead)

Beat the egg yolks until they are yellow. Place the broken-up chocolate in a small oven-proof dish; pour the hot coffee over the chocolate and put it in a hot oven and let the chocolate melt until it almost gets thick. Take it out of the oven and mix with a beater or wire whisk, adding the egg yolks. After they are incorporated, add the brandy. Whip the egg whites until they are foamy and hold soft peaks. Take two Tbsp. of egg whites and add the chocolate, then fold in the rest of the egg whites carefully. Pour the mixture into a glass bowl or individual serving dishes, and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours; the mousse will thicken up as it chills.

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