A rich, moist chocolate cake filled with layers of chocolate ganache and fluffy whipped cream. The cake is topped with gooey homemade marshmallows making it a true show stopper!
This cake is truly like hot chocolate in cake form. It combines all of my favourite elements of hot chocolate. During the winter months I love cozying up with a mug of hot chocolate and reading a good book. Or as I have been doing lately, watching a cheesy Christmas movie. When trying to decide on a dessert to add to our table this holiday season I knew I wanted to recreate one of my favourite drinks as a layered cake. The cake itself is a rich chocolate cake that is incredibly moist. I knew when I pulled it out of the oven that it would be delicious based on its rich chocolate smell alone. I wanted to add another chocolate element to the cake and I knew a chocolate ganache would be perfect. I spread a thin layer between each layer to add to the chocolate flavour and moistness of the cake. I went with a naked cake to showcase the beautiful homemade whipped cream frosting. I always forget how delicious and special homemade whipped cream is. I really should make it more often considering how simple it is to make. I had to top the cake with homemade marshmallows! You can't have hot chocolate without marshmallows it just seems wrong. I kept my cake simple, playing off a classic hot chocolate but it would be easy to make even more festive by swapping the vanilla extract in the cake for peppermint extract and adding crushed candy canes to the chocolate ganache filling for a Peppermint Hot Chocolate variation.
The best part of hot chocolate is of course the marshmallows! I highly recommend making homemade marshmallows to top the cake but if you are short on time store bought marshmallows will work as well. You will need a stand mixer to make homemade marshmallows - a hand mixer's motor just isn't strong enough. I killed a few hand mixers that way in university before finally getting my stand mixer. If you have never made homemade marshmallows before they look more intimidating then they are and they taste divine! A few tips for making marshmallows: read the entire recipe through at least once before you start (this is good practice with any recipe but especially helpful for marshmallows), have your pan prepared before you start making the marshmallow, and have a warm wet cloth available to wipe your hands or clean up any spills! These marshmallows freeze great as well - so if you have any extras just pop them in the freezer.
Making the Cake
Everything for this cake except the whipped cream frosting can be made a day or two in advanced of when you are going to be serving it. The homemade marshmallows can be made in advanced and frozen - they freeze great and can be frozen for up to 3 months! The cake layers and the ganache can be made a day or two before. Be sure to store the ganache in the fridge and tightly wrap the cakes in plastic wrap.
Hot Chocolate Layered Cake
Yield: Two 8 inch cakes
I followed this recipe from the Kitchn for my homemade marshmallows
Assembling the Cake
To assemble the cake. Torte each cake so that you have 4 layers in total. Spread a thin layer of ganache on each layer. Put a small dab of ganache on your cake board and place your bottom layer on top. Fill with fresh whipped cream frosting. Repeat until your cake is assembled. Frost the top of your cake with whipped cream frosting and pile your homemade marshmallows on top. Drizzle with ganache. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.