Requested by my hubby, who is indeed a serious chocolate lover, for his 40th birthday.
Believe me when I say this cake is extremely rich and a little goes a long way. We first had it at the The Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Va. There they serve gigantic slices of this cake - enough for two. At home, this 9" cake can easily serve 16. Anything more than a 1 to 1 1/2-inch slice is too much.
Anyway, Hubby always orders this cake for dessert, and the last time we ate there, he purchased the cookbook for me (hint-hint). He was a happy birthday boy when he sank his teeth into his beloved Death by Chocolate Cake.
If you plan to tackle this cake, devote several hours of uninterrupted time. I won't go into all the details of making the various components, but before you can assemble the cake, you'll need two (2) brownie layers, chocolate ganache (made several hours ahead), cocoa meringue (bakes for 2 hours), mocha mousse, and chocolate mousse - all simple to make individually, but together they are quite involved.
Start by topping the first brownie layer with some of the ganache.
Next you add the cocoa meringue that has been trimmed to fit. I found the recipe made an extremely generous amount of meringue. I trimmed 1/3 to 1/2 of it away to fit nicely on the 9" brownie layer.
Next you add the Mocha Mousse - again, there was way more than I needed. Will use the extra in some sort of parfait or something. Also, I didn't have the right size springform pan to use as a barrier (to hold the loose mocha mousse in place), so I made one from a strip of wax paper that I folded in half and glued together with a bit of ganache. Then you top with the second brownie layer and pop it into the freezer.
After about an hour in the freezer, this is what the cake looks like without the wax paper collar. I smoothed the mocha mousse with a spatula (wiped away the excess), but didn't get a photo - sorry.
Then I filled in any gaps and covered the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache. I made this casual swirl pattern by moving my spatula up the sides of the cake while spinning my turntable.
The last step is to pipe the chocolate mousse on in a decortive fashion.
I was able to find the recipe on this blog.