Chocolate Overdose Cake

This cake is no joke. It really is an overdose of chocolateness all in one cake. Save this recipe for a special occasion. Or throw a party so you can make this cake. Whenever you do decide to make it, you will definitely impress your friends and family.

The cake starts with a layer of brownie. Then it’s filled with a chocolate mousse. On top of the mousse is a layer of chocolate cake. Then to top it off, you pour a whole batch of chocolate ganache over the cake. I decorated with chocolate covered strawberries. All in all I think this cake took about two and a half pounds of chocolate to make. But boy was it worth it!

I made this for a celebration party at the in-laws. Everyone there knows I bake and lot an always loves whatever I make. When Hubby’s mom asked if I’d bring a dessert, I knew I had to make this cake. I had been eyeing it for quite some time. It was even on my Top 10 list back in June! I got so many raves over this cake. Everyone really enjoyed it. Even a couple people who claimed they don’t like chocolate cake.

The cake should be kept in the fridge until ready to serve. We drove almost 3 hours with it in the car and it was fine. We just kept it cold again once we got to the in-laws. There are just quite a few components to this cake, so it takes some time. Be sure to read through everything before you start this project. Here’s how I tackled the cake. First I made the brownie layer. While that was in the oven I mixed up the cake batter so it could go straight into the oven when the brownie came out. While the cake was baking, I made the mousse. Once the cake came out, I made the ganache since it has to chill for an hour. Once the cake was cooled, I assembled the cake and let it chill for the hour. It took me about that long to clean up the massive mess in the kitchen and then it was time to cover the cake with ganache. Once I poured on the ganache, I put the whole cake in the fridge overnight to set up. The next morning, I heated up the reserved ganache and used it to glue the strawberries to the cake.

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Chocolate Overdose Cake

Yield: Serves 12-16

Ingredients:

18-20 chocolate covered strawberries

For the Brownie Base
5/8 cup (1/2 cup + 2Tbsp) cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
1 1/8 cups (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Mousse Filling
6 oz semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
1 7/8 cups (15 oz) heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar

For the Chocolate Cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
7/8 cups (3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 cup hot water
7/8 cups (3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

For the Ganache
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
18 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces

Directions:

To make the brownie base:
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom and line the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Spray lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in two additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.

Transfer batter to prepared pan; using a small off-set spatula or bench scraper, spread batter evenly and smooth the surface. Bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour (do not remove the springform ring or parchment collar).

To make the cake:
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment and spray bottom and sides with baking spray.

Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl and set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. Add remaining sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment.

Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds).

Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated). Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Pour into prepared pan; smooth batter to edges of pan with an offset spatula.

Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack and cool completely.

To make the Chocolate mousse filling:
Place stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer or fridge.

Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap and allow to heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed.

Place heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a well-chilled whisk attachment. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

By hand, whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together.

To make the Ganache:
Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Reserve ~1/2 cup of ganache to use as glue for strawberries. Remaining ganache should be brought to room temperature (about 40 minutes).

To assemble the cake:
Spread mousse over top of the brownie base evenly. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth the top.

Place cake round over mousse, pressing down lightly. Chill for 1 hour.

Cover the edges of a round cake board with waxed paper strips. Remove springform ring and parchment collar. Use spatula to move cake to a cake board. Use a spatula to smooth the room temperature ganache over the cake top and sides, covering evenly. Place entire cake in fridge for ganache to set.

Once ganache has set, remove waxed paper strips from cake board. Heat reserved ganache in microwave for a few seconds. Use as glue to attach 15-16 chocolate covered strawberries. Serve chilled and store leftovers in the fridge. Cut the cake with a hot, dry knife, using the strawberries as a serving guide (1 strawberry per serving).

I am submitteing this for Mele Cotte’s Kitchen of Love event.

I am also submitting this as my entry for Flavor of the Month on Bake at 350. This is the last Flavor of the Month which makes me a bit sad.

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45 Responses to “Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies”

  1. #
    1
    Becca — September 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    These look fantastic and are so festive!

  2. #
    2
    The Woman — September 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Oh my, these look divine! I recently made something similar, but with no chocolate – just a pumpkin batter with cream cheese topping. But I definitely think I must try these too.

  3. #
    3
    ABowlOfMush — September 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful!

  4. #
    4
    Carrie — September 28, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Look wonderful!

  5. #
    5
    oneordinaryday — September 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    These look awesome. I just wish it made a bigger pan!

  6. #
    6
    Jen — September 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    They’re pretty rich, but I would imagine you could just double it and make it in a 9×13 pan if you wanted!

  7. #
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    Ingrid — September 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I made pumpkin spice brownies on Friday and they were delish so I bet these are EVEN BETTER! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be following your tweaks!
    ~ingrid

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    8
    Justin — September 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    i always make a pumpkin cheesecake in the fall with a ginger cookie crumb crust, but i’m liking the chocolate component in your recipe even more.

  9. #
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    Mia — September 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    oh yum – love pumpkin, and the chocolate/pumpkin combo looks wonderful!

  10. #
    10
    Heather@BFM — September 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    These look great! Is there a way I can make them non-dairy? Something I can sub the cream cheese for? Thanks!

  11. #
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    Jen — September 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Heather – I’ve had great luck subbing Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese in cheesecake recipes in the past. I think that would definitely work and you could use Earth Balance in the brownie portion. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  12. #
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    Jennifer — September 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Jenn! I just wanted to let you know that you won the giveaway on my blog last week. I emailed you, but never got a response. Could you email me your mailing address to jennharton@paducah.com. I have to pass it along to myblogspark so they can send you your prize package!

  13. #
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    Heather@BFM — September 28, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks, Jen…I’ll let you know how they come out!

  14. #
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    nutmegnanny — September 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    OH wow these do look delicious! I love all that swirled pumpkin…yum!

  15. #
    15
    Nina — September 29, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Those look amazing!

  16. #
    16
    Irene — September 29, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Wow, I love these! My husband would die of happiness of I made these for him – pumpkin cheesecake is his favorite thing for fall.

  17. #
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    thereddeer — September 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    They look like tiger fur – very cool! What an interesting flavour combination.

  18. #
    18
    Colleen — September 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    We love these at my house! I like your idea of dark chocolate – I will have to try that next time.

  19. #
    19
    stephchows — September 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    beautiful! And they look so delicious!! I agree I don’t normally think of pumpkin with chocolate… but you have me convinced!

  20. #
    20
    Stephanie Wagner — September 29, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    The tops of these are a work of art! Love it!

  21. #
    21
    Nancy @ Live love laugh — September 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Three of my favorite thi ngs in one dessert! Chocolate and pumpkin and cheesecake! How perfect…
    ~Nancy

  22. #
    22
    Nancy @ Live love laugh — September 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Three of my favorite thi ngs in one dessert! Chocolate and pumpkin and cheesecake! How perfect…
    ~Nancy

  23. #
    23
    tagskie — October 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

    hi.. just dropping by here… have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

  24. #
    24
    Pantry Raid Blog — October 6, 2009 at 2:58 am

    The side-view shot totally won me over. These look delicious!

  25. #
    25
    bakingsimplicity — October 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    This looks so yummy.
    I now know what to make for the office potluck!

  26. #
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    Skylar Wolfe — October 12, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Those look amazing. I love pumpkin with chocolate, I plan on making these soon.

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    fawkes — October 14, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Your brownies look delicious! I am curious since I would like mine to taste more like pumpkin pie than plain pumpkin should i add pumpkin pie spices or follow your recipe for the spices?
    Thanks!

  28. #
    28
    Jen — October 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    fawkes – There are a decent amount of spices in the pumpkin portion of the batter. I would recommend making is as the recipe states, then taste it before you pour it into the pan. Maybe then add some pumpkin pie spice if you’d like.

  29. #
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    lifeoftheparty — October 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they were scrumptious!! I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin but this recipe is now a fall staple. I plan on making them for the family on Thanksgiving…thanks for sharing this!

  30. #
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    strmywthr3 — October 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I made these the other day and they were great! a hit at work! yum! thanks!

  31. #
    31
    malelanie — October 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I stumbled across your blog from a Facebook friend and made these brownies last night. DELICIOUS!! I doubled the recipe and it does just fit in a 9×13 pan and took about 60 mins to bake. It’s worth the wait for them to be chilled in the fridge. The flavors are even more delicious that way.

  32. #
    32
    Dorothy — October 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Oh YUM! And gorgeous, to boot. I never thought pumpkin and chocolate go together either, until I tried it! 🙂 Now I’m hooked. Good idea to double up on the cheesecake layer…you can never have enough pumpkin cheesecake after all!

  33. #
    33
    nutmegnanny — October 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you so much for participating in our event! These brownies look amazing. They say Halloween to me for sure!

  34. #
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    Shortcake — November 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I made these– now I love them! Will be repeated each fall 🙂

  35. #
    35
    Lexi — January 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Amazing! I loved these so much I played with them a bit and made cranberry cheesecake brownies for my christmas baking.(I didn’t stumble on to these till christmas.) I’ll let you know when I put those up on my blog! With credit to you of course!

  36. #
    36
    Jen — January 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Lexi – cranberry cheesecake brownies sound very intriguing. Can’t wait to see them.

  37. #
    37
    Kasey — March 3, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Hi Jen! I made these for Heather@BFM’s (comment listed above) birthday and she loved them! Unfortunately I could not find the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder (I tried 3 stores) so I had to make them with the regular cocoa powder. Can you tell me where you found the Hershey’s Special Dark??

  38. #
    38
    Jen — March 3, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Kasey – I have actually had a hard time finding it as well. I had actually all but given up on it until one day it caught my eye at the grocery store. I proceeded to buy all three containers. I would say just keep an eye out for it and good luck!

  39. #
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    Pup Wanna Be — September 28, 2010 at 12:35 am

    1/2 cup of flour seems like very little. Is that correct?

  40. #
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    Jen — September 28, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Pup – Yes, that is the correct amount of flour. Most brownie batters have very little flour in them.

  41. #
    41
    rachellehcar — September 29, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Just made these- delicious! I only had the milk chocolate powder, so I’m excited to try it again with the special dark powder.

  42. #
    42
    Courtney — September 13, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I doubled the recipe and it perfectly filled a 13×9 pan so you might try it. 🙂 And they are amazing. Also I used margerine not butter and found they were more moist. Happy Baking!

  43. #
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    Reggie — May 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm

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    alyssajade23 — October 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I made these with my nieces and over all they were pretty good, but something about the pumpkin part tasted off. Still, fun and festive to make!

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