When you make a layer cake, you have a number of options when it comes to filling. If you want to use chocolate, it is often best to pick a filling that uses melted chocolate, rather than cocoa powder, even though cocoa powder has a more intense flavor. Chocolate bars, whether they are dark or milk, contain cocoa butter. The fat from the cocoa butter gives the filling a rich feeling and improves its texture.
Ganache is a flexible dessert sauce made by combining equal parts heavy cream and chocolate. For example, if you use eight ounces of cream, use eight ounces of chocolate. To make the filling, you heat cream, then add chocolate until it melts. You can let the ganache chill and firm up a bit if you want to use it to fill a sturdy cake. If the cake is delicate, pour the ganache over to top of the first layer while it is still warm, so that you don't crumble the cake.
Use a mousse filling made with melted chocolate if you want something that is lighter and fluffier than a ganache. A mousse filling adds either egg whites or egg yolks to the chocolate and cream mixture to give the filling volume. Some recipes also add cocoa powder, which enhances the chocolate flavor. It's also possible for a recipe for chocolate mousse filling to call for gelatin, which helps the mousse set and keeps it from losing volume.
Molten Chocolate Cake
A molten chocolate cake, or lava cake, lets you use melted chocolate, butter and eggs to make not just the filling but the cake itself. The cake isn't filled with a separate filling. Instead, you prepare a batter using the ingredients and spoon it into ramekins. You only bake the cakes for a short period of time, usually less than 10 minutes. The exterior has time to firm up, but the interior remains liquid, making it look as though you filled the cake with chocolate sauce.
Types of Chocolate
You can use any type of melted chocolate as a cake filling. It depends on your taste preferences. A dark chocolate will produce a filling that has a bittersweet taste while milk chocolate will be sweeter. If you use a milk or white chocolate to make a ganache, you might reduce the amount of cream you use by one-fourth to make up for the extra milk found in both types of chocolate.
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