For Erik, who is like me in noticing the nakedness of the post featuring a cake I made recently, here are the recipes I used to create the cake. And for Britt, the honey mousse recipe is included, however, you had mentioned dipping strawberries into them, really great idea! In that case, I would omit the gelatin and use it right away. It has a nice creamy structure on it’s own, and will actually keep that way for a day or two, but I added gelatin to give it the structure it needed to support the cake layers.
This cake is really a two day process. Not just this cake, all cakes. Professional cake makers always, always bake the cake at least a day before it is to be assembled, wrapping it and storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. This allows the cake to stale a bit, tightening the crumb, drying it a tiny bit. By doing this, the cake layers are ready for another professional touch, the soaking syrup.
A simple syrup is made with a complimentary flavor and brushed over the cake for lasting moisture. This gives the cakes a better texture, and allows for another flavor dynamic in the cake. We are soaking our cake in a rosemary syrup, which if made ahead of time and allowed to sit in the refrigerator overnight intensifies the rosemary flavor in the syrup.
Because the cake is filled with a mousse that must set for at least 4 hours before the cake is covered in chocolate glaze, the two day project truly requires a little planning. It also allows you to break up the work and fit into pockets of free time from various days. The cake and syrup can be made up to a week ahead of time, the mousse filled cake can wait for it’s glaze for 2 days. The mousse and glaze, however, must be applied to the cake immediately.
To assemble the cake, begin by cutting the top and bottom of the cakes off in a thin layer. Split the cake in half evenly. Place the bottom layer of the cake in the pan it was baked in, which has been cleaned and lined with a circle of parchment. Brush both cake with rosemary syrup.
Prepare the mousse according the the recipe, and immediately transfer into the cake pan lined with a single layer of cake. Spread the mousse evenly over the cake and cover with the second layer of rosemary cake. Gently press the cake layer with your hands to ensure it has adhered to mousse evenly, and there are no buckles in the cake. Wrap this in plastic and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
When the cake has set, run a hot paring knife between the edge of the cake and the pan. Place a cardboard cake circle exactly the same size as the cake over the top of the cake pan, and carefully flip the cake over. Set this on the counter and remove the cake pan from the cake by pulling strait up, shimmying the pan a little if necessary.
Brush any loose crumbs from the cake and place it on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Place this in the refrigerator while you prepare the glaze. Once the glaze is ready to pour, bring the cake out. Begin pouring the glaze focusing the stream in the center of the cake, and extending the stream about 8 inches above the cake. When all the glaze is on the cake, take a long cake spatula and push the excess glaze from the center of the cake towards the outside in 3 or 4 decisive motions.
Place the cake in the refrigerator to set the glaze for 10 to 15 minutes. When the glaze is set, transfer the cake from the wire rack to a serving plate. Store the cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it, wrapping it lightly, but completely in plastic wrap if storing the cake overnight.