Friday, September 9, 2011

Death by Chocolate Cake (with step by step)

This cake is called Death by Chocolate, it is an amazing creation by Marcel Desaulniers.  Actually, its not even a cake..  It is a chocolate journey!  An experience of layer upon layer of fabulous decadence and incredible flavor combination's and textures that leave you in amazement.

It all starts out with a chocolate brownie layer, then a layer of chocolate ganache, then there is the cocoa meringue layer, then the mocha mousse layer, then another brownie layer.  You coat the entire cake in chocolate ganache and top it with a beautifully piped chocolate mousse.  The recipe even calls for a fabulous rum sauce, but for this occasion I omitted it.  It is an amazing sauce, I recommend you try it if you like.

With love from our kitchen table to yours!  XO

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So, lets count the layers...

1)  Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie
2)  Chocolate Ganache
3)  Cocoa Meringue
4)  Mocha Mousse
5)  Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie
6)  Chocolate Ganache
7)  Chocolate Mousse

7 layers!  Seven layers of heavenly chocolate.  I do not recommend skimping on your ingredients in this cake.  I love Ghirardelli and Pernigotti chocolates in this cake.

So, here is how I made this masterpiece...

I started out preparing the Cocoa Meringue.  It takes 3 hours of oven time, so best get to it first.  Prepare the meringue per the instructions.  Trace the bottom of a 9" pan onto parchment paper, turn it upside down.  Transfer your meringue to a piping bag or plastic bag with no tip, cut a hole in bag and pipe a circle on the parchment, starting on the outside.  Bake per instructions.

While the meringue was baking, I prepared the Chocolate Mousse.     Prepare per instructions.  You are left with egg whites in one bowl, whipped cream in another and a chocolate mixture in the third.  You will fold them together per the directions and then set the chocolate mousse in the refrigerator until you assemble the cake.

Prepare the  Chocolate Ganache next.  Heat butter and cream as per directions and then pour over chocolate.  Stir until smooth.  Allow to sit at room temperature until you are ready to assemble.

Next prepare the Mocha Mousse per the instructions.  You will have 3 bowls to fold together; the whipped cream, egg whites and chocolate mixture.  Fold together and refrigerate until needed for assembly.

You will start to prepare the Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie to go into the oven once the meringue comes out.  Prepare brownie as instructed.  After baked, and de-panned allow to cool before cutting into 2 layers.  Set aside for assembly.

Assembling the Death by Chocolate

You start with a 9" springform pan on a cake circle or other pan that will fit in your freezer or refrigerator.  Place the top layer of the Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie in the pan cut side down.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the Chocolate Ganache with a ladle and smooth to the edges.

Place your trimmed Cocoa Meringue into the pan on top of the ganache and lightly press down to assure there are no air bubbles.  If your meringue breaks, reassemble it in the pan as closely as possible.

Spoon the Mocha Mousse on top of the meringue.  Spread evenly out to the sides.

Place the remaining layer of the Simply the Best Chocolate Brownie, bottom side up, on top of the mocha mousse.  Chill the cake in freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove from the freezer and cut around the edges to release from the spring-form pan. Pour the remaining ganache over the cake and use a cake spatula to spread the ganache evenly over the and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the ganache.

Fill a pastry bag with a star tip with the chocolate mousse. Pipe a circle of stars (each touching the other) along the outside edge of the top of the cake. Continue to pipe out circle of stars until the top of the cake is covered. Refrigerate the Death By Chocolate for at least 4 hours and preferably 12 hours before cutting and serving. 


  1. well then consider me ready because this cake I must have! Seriously, not only stunning but lush and divine! Wow, impressed, inspired and hungry!

  2. This is still the best chocolate I have ever had. I have the remaining cake cut into slivers and stacked in freezer containers now. PURE heaven straight from the freezer.

  3. Oh my I can sure see why she asked for this! Yum! It's amazing. Your post shows us how to make it every step!

  4. WOW, I saw this cake on Mary's blog and couldn't help but come to see all those decadent layers come together!! Adding this to my birthday wish list and heading off to check out all your other recipes...

  5. Beautiful - a work of art! You know I love chocolate cake and since we don't live anywhere near each other - guess I'll have to make my own one day. Thanks for the great recipe! Hope you are feeling better today and hope you have a fun weekend.

  6. I feel like I should clarify that I didn't actually ASK for this cake. The amazing Donna offered to make it again. Who am I to turn down an offer like that?! Heaven knows, I will never be ambitious enough to make something this fantastic myself.

    Thanks again, Donna. Truly phenomenal cake.

  7. Donna, what a fantatic birthday present! This looks unbelievably delicious. Your step by step directions are wonderful and easy to follow, too. I'm wondering, since I've never worked with a baked meringue before, did you use spatulas to transfer it? I know you said if it breaks you can reassemble it, so I'm thinking it must be very delicate at that size.

  8. Lynne, no the meringue is not too delicate. However when you trim it to fit your pan, it can break. I transferred it with my hands, but once I got it in the pan one side was a tiny bit too big, so when I pressed it in there it developed a crack. No big deal though.

    Thank you for all the amazing compliments!

  9. What a gorgeous did such a great job with the piping! That takes some patience. :)

  10. A chocolate goodness that it is! This is the most wonderful thing ive ever seen! Brilliant :)

  11. Warning, this is going to be a long comment. Death by Chocolate is my favorite cookbook of all times and I have never made this particular cake. Bad, bad girl that I am. I think I have found my chocoholic twin here. Your cake is AMAZING! It must have taken you all day! I know that when I am making a M.D. cake, that it will take several hours of my day. I am so impressed! :) Anyhow, I found you from Donna and she must be quite a friend to have a cake like that baked for her. Cheers!

  12. Correction to my previous comment: I found your from Barefeet in the are Donna. I realize that now. Sorry!

  13. My mouth is watering. Somehow my cottage cheese i'm snacking on right now, doesn't taste so satisfying anymore. mmmm chocolate.

  14. Looks divine. I know a birthday person who might just be enjoying this soon!

  15. this is marvellous!! choc lovers will go crazy for these!! Appreciate your pictorials guide.

  16. Oh wow.... there are no words to describe how wonderful this cake looks! So many amazing layers of chocolatey heaven :)

  17. How did I miss this post???? You made this perfectly!!! It's such a lot of work, but one of the most delicious cakes I've ever tasted! Brava!

  18. This is a beautiful cake. The Chocolate Expresso Fudge Cake from the Death By Chocolate recipe book is my favorite and the Old Fashion Chocolate Cake is my Husbands favorite cake.

  19. You definitely a must do recipe. Your recipes don't disappoints me, it's always a great one.

  20. Hello,

    Sharing this recipe on our Facebook page. The tutorial is very detailed. :) People will love this version of the Death by Chocolate cake. :)


  21. Hello, I took this cake on and what a task it was. I hoped it was worth the expense and the amount of time/work it took to make. And it was. The directions were pretty good, only had a few questions like one part said to start piping the meringue from the outside and the other said from the inside, in the end I guess it didn't matter. However, you can't see the different layers in mine like shown in the picture. As well, there was a lot of wastage on the cocoa meringue, so could do will 2 or maybe 3 egg whites instead of 4. There wasn't enough ganache to use a full cup & a 1/2 between the layers, so I only used a full cup and there was still only barely enough to cover the outside. Cutting the brownie into 2 pieces was near impossible, had to reverse the layers and leave the bottom where it was as the top got all cracked up when trying to cut it. Had to piece together the pieces onto the cake. All in all the taste of this cake is very rick and decadent and would only attempt to make it again for a very special occasion, as its very expensive. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  22. i had this at a restaurant...the white was a thick white chocolate though, not you have a recipe for this???

  23. I made this, but have a few complaints...mocha mousse did not come out, had way too much ganache, and the brownie layer did not cook all the way through. I did make a few adjustments, and ended up getting the evil eye when there was not enough for a second serving. The recipe has been requested, and I will share with my suggestions for changes, or suggestions.

  24. Personally I followed the exact recipe and found it to be amazing. Everything turned out perfect...I followed the steps in order as suggested and it turned out great. However we learned that you need to sit out about 30 minutes to an hour before serving so it reaches room temperature. This made the cake more enjoyable and it was delicious. However this cake took me 6 1/2 hours total time to make so the next time I'll start early morning!!

  25. Can this wonderful cake be made ahead and frozen?

  26. Just made it now and it's sitting in the freezer until tomorrow. I changed it slightly that I wanted the meringue to be in the middle, so I did: brownie, ganache, choc mousse, meringue, cappachino mousse, brownie, ganache on top with just a circle of mousse covered in choc flakes. It looks superb!

  27. This turned out to be an exceptionally good cake. In fact, one of the best I've ever had. Like another poster above, I too had this at a restaurant - it was the same except it used white chocolate instead of meringue, and that made it ever so slightly better. I don't believe this recipe using the white chocolate exists anywhere on the internet. Does anyone have the recipe, or else have any thoughts on exactly how to modify this one?


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