This picture is from the original post- taken with my beloved iPhone:)

So 19th/20th was our first wedding anniversary. V and I completed one year and would you believe it, we could not celebrate it together! I am in India and he is in the States and though he tried he could not get leave from office.

The reason why I mention two days is because we had our Hindu wedding (V is Hindu) on the 19th of March and our Sikh wedding (I am Sikh) on 20th March. Lot of people are kind of taken aback when I tell them ours is an arranged marriage because generally in Indian culture arranged marriages happen within the same religion and only in cases of love marriages, people of different religions marry. While his family and most of my family consider our anniversary to be on the 19th, my grandparents take 20th as our wedding anniversary. I don’t mind it because it gives me two days to celebrate! It also is a good save for people who forgot or couldn’t wish me on the 19th, and a few did use that as an excuse.

Now, since I am at my in-laws and it was our first anniversary and my first trip to India after marriage, my in-laws wanted to invite V’s relatives so that I could meet all of them. My in-laws always hire a cook when they throw a party at home. So the main course and snacks were all the cook’s responsibility. I was pretty impressed by the speed with which this guy cooked. He came at 12 in the noon on the day of the party and within 5 hours prepared 4 different snacks and 6-7 main course dishes! I wish I could work so fast. I guess that’s how the real professionals work.

Since the food was the cook’s responsibility, I thought of making the dessert. I had been itching to make this triple layer chocolate cake for days, and had luckily saved the recipe. I also wanted to try these chocolate roses I had seen on Cake on the Brain a while back. Unfortunately, I did not save the tutorial for the roses and when I sat down to make the cake I did not have the recipe nor the method to make the roses as there was some problem with the internet. I did remember that the recipe called for dark chocolate and corn syrup but had no idea about the proportions. Nor did I have corn syrup on hand so I used sugar and water instead. As a result, I did end up goofing the roses a bit but nonetheless was able to pull off some passable roses.

I think I did over bake the bottom layer a tad bit even though it was in the oven for less than 14 minutes but since I was using a microwave oven I think it baked faster! So do keep an eye on the bottom layer while baking as different ovens will vary in temperature and baking time. Also, as suggested by some on Annie’s Eat, I did not butter the sides of the spring form pan as mentioned in the recipe. But, I feel because of that and over baking, the cake cracked on top. I would still suggest you to not butter the sides, since by greasing, the bottom layer retracts from the sides giving way for the second layer to fill the gaps, resulting in just two layers to be shown on the outside.

I was double minded to post this recipe since the pictures did not come out too great (*update*: I have updated the pictures and they are definitely much better than the original one I posted) as 1) the cake could have been prettier and 2) I hurriedly took the pictures as I had to rush for a “phoolon ki holi” party (it was my first time at such a party and the concept behind it is that people play Holi- a spring time Hindu festival – by throwing flowers at each other!). But, the cake was such a big hit at our party and everyone just loved it. I have to admit it does taste heavenly- c’mon! three different chocolate layer- how could one go wrong! So, despite not-so tempting pictures I would still insist you should try this cake out- you will surely not be disappointed! Promise!


Adapted from here

5.0 from 1 reviews
Serves: 9 inch cake
For the bottom layer:
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (plus extra for greasing the pan) (I did not have unsalted butter, instead I over beat the cream to make butter)
  • 7 oz./200 gms bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
For the middle layer:
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed (I used normal)
  • 5 tbsp. hot water
  • 7 oz./200 gms bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
For the top layer:
  • ¾ tsp. powdered gelatin
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 6 oz./about 175 gms white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
For garnish:
  • Chocolate curls or cocoa powder or for chocolate roses see here
  1. To make the bottom layer, butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. (I lined the bottom of the pan with a parchment round for easy removal later. I also did not butter the sides). Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325˚ F. Combine the butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla and egg yolks. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand beater, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Crumble half of the brown sugar into the mixing bowl with your fingers to remove any lumps. Beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Add the remaining brown sugar and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  3. Bake until the cake has risen, is firm around the edges and the center has just set but is still soft (should spring back after pressing gently with a finger), about 14-18 minutes. (It may take lesser time so do keep a check) Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Do not remove the cake from the pan. (If not making the second layer right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to proceed.)
  4. To make the second layer, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl; set aside. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly, 2-5 minutes.
  5. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and salt on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds. Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture until smooth. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Pour the mousse into the springform pan over the cooled cake and tap gently on the counter 3 times to remove air bubbles. Gently smooth the top with a spatula. Wipe the inside edge of the pan to remove any drips. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while preparing the top layer.
  6. To make the top layer, sprinkle the gelatin over refrigerator cold water in a small bowl and let stand at least 5 minutes to soften. Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring ½ cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Pour the hot cream mixture over the white chocolate and let stand about 1 minute. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Spoon the white chocolate mousse into the pan over the middle layer. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours. (Annie's Note: Do NOT cover your pan with plastic wrap unless you are completely sure you can do so without it touching the top of your cake during placement or removal. If it does touch the cake, it will smudge the perfectly pristine top, forcing you to make an excessive amount of chocolate curls. )


  1. pingabhi on 22 March, 2011 at 6:09 pm said:

    Many congratulations on the anniversary! The cake looks ‘Oh so yum!’ I’ll have to give this a go.

  2. Deepali Bhatti on 23 March, 2011 at 12:35 am said:

    Hey Shalu,
    Ur food is a treat to the eyes… Appu n I just savour the taste from the pics. We were remembering you on ur anniversary and I was wondering if u are back with V or still in India. Read the update from the blog.
    Wishing you both happiness on your 1st anniv and lots of love from Appu n me.
    Btw, I have to experiment your experiments soon.. Appu is waiting 🙂

    • Hey Mami!! Thanks so much for the wishes! Yes, a Canada trip is due- you can experiment my experiments thr;) or come to AZ on a vacation! Will be fun! Hi to Appu Mama!

  3. Good job with the cake! Anything with that much chocolate has to taste yummy! It looks really good!

  4. Pingback: Welcoming a baby with Cake and other great ideas! |

  5. Sumeet S Gokul on 19 July, 2012 at 11:41 pm said:

    Hey Shumaila… I got really inspired by this cake, when Amrisha & me made it couple of months ago… I had a lot of mangoes at home and also had to take a dessert to a pot luck.. so I tried to make a Triple layered Mango Mousse cake… I made a sponge cake base, then the white chocolate middle layer and finally Mango mousse cake on the top… everyone loved it! I usually refer to the internet for recipes, but for the Mango mousse I somehow just came up with something on my own.. will send you the pics.. let me caution you.. they aren’t very professional.. just taken in a hurry..

    • Hey Sumi! Yeah Amrisha told me about your mango mouse white chocolate cake. It sounds yum and from what I hear it was delicious! Looking forward for the pics! 🙂

  6. Khadijah on 10 January, 2013 at 1:35 am said:

    This looks so amazing! Great job! I have a question about it: I only eat halal or kosher gelatin, which is difficult to find where I live. So do you have another suggestion about what to do for the top layer? Thanks!

  7. My first comment! My first ever cake! Like the picture….It was beautiful..
    Shumalia, thank you so much for taking the time to teach me something about good food and good life.. Your site is amazing and I love everything you cook♥ All the way from the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago to be exact. I adore u..

  8. Me and a friend made this cake for the birthday of another friend. The mousse texture was amazing, it was really really soft and fluffy and it tasted super! Also, the cake base was perfect, it was really creamy. I consider this cake perfect for chocolate lovers… like me.
    Zomick’s recently posted..What is Kosher Food?My Profile

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