Look for white chocolate cigars at specialty chocolate shops, baking supply stores or online. Once you've tracked them down, measure their diameter and calculate how many you need to cover 38-inch (97 cm) and 26-inch (66 cm) round cakes. Of course, you'll want to have extras for any repair work. You will need double-sided tape to fasten the ribbons around the cakes, and twine to tie wildflowers in a delicate bundle.

  • Portion size 72 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine


Buttercream for bottom tier:
Chocolate mousse for bottom tier:
One-third of bottom tier:


One-third or bottom tier: In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate; let cool.

In large bowl, beat egg yolks with half of the sugar until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Dissolve coffee granules in 2 tsp hot water; beat into egg yolk mixture along with vanilla and cooled chocolate. Set chocolate mixture aside.

Combine flour with cocoa powder; set aside. In another bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon one-third over chocolate mixture. Sift one-third of the flour mixture over top; fold together. Repeat twice.

Spread in 17- x 11-inch (45 x 28 cm) parchment or waxed paper-lined jelly roll pan, smoothing with palette knife. Bake in 450°F (230°C) oven until cake springs back when lightly touched, about 7 minutes. Let cool on rack. Repeat this cake recipe twice to complete bottom tier.

Using sharp knife, loosen edges of cake from first pan; slide cake and paper onto work surface. Place base of 12-inch (4 L) springform pan on cake. With knife, trace base, cutting through cake and paper; (1) reserve scraps (cake will not be perfectly round). Repeat with second pan to make second layer; set aside.

Assemble springform pan with base lip side down; line bottom with parchment or waxed paper. Line side with 4-inch (10 cm) wide strip of parchment or waxed paper. Invert first cake round into pan; peel off paper. Using scraps, fill spaces to make complete circle.

Invert third cake pan onto work surface; peel off paper. Cut into two 17- x 3-inch (45 x 8 cm) strips. (2) Curving strips, line side of pan, (3) overlapping ends by 1/4 inch (5 mm). Set aside.

Chocolate mousse for bottom tier:?In large heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt together chocolate, butter and 2 cups of the cream, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Dissolve coffee granules in 3/4 cup hot water; whisk into chocolate mixture. Let cool to room temperature. Whip remaining cream; fold half into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining cream until blended.

Pour mousse into cake-lined pan. Remove paper from second cake round. Place cake, bottom side down, over mousse. Trim cake 1/4 inch (5 mm) around edge to fit snugly inside cake wall. (4) Refrigerate until mousse is set, about 8 hours. Remove side of pan and paper collar. Lift cake off base; peel off paper. Place on flat plate or cake board. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)


Photography: Ryan Brook


Top tier (if using): Repeat as for bottom tier but make only 2 pans. Use 8-inch (2 L) springform pan. Cut top and bottom cake circles from 1 pan; cut two 13- x 3-inch (33 x 8 cm) strips from second pan.

Make only half Chocolate Mousse recipe, dissolving coffee granules in 1/3 cup hot water. Place on 8-inch (20 cm) foil-covered cardboard circle. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Buttercream for bottom tier: In large heatproof bowl, whisk egg whites with sugar; place over boiling water and whisk until thermometer registers 110°F (43°C), about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

With heavy-duty mixer, beat until cool, about 10 minutes. Gradually add butter, 1/4 cup at a time for first 2 additions and 1/2 cup at a time for remaining additions, beating until satiny. Beat in vanilla.

With palette knife, spread thin layer of buttercream over top and side of cake to mask and seal. Refrigerate until set. Spread remaining buttercream over top and side.

Buttercream for top tier (if using): Repeat recipe as for bottom tier, but reduce egg whites to 3, granulated sugar to 2/3 cup, unsalted butter to 1-1/4 cups and vanilla to 1/2 tsp. Spread over cake in 2 steps as for bottom tier.

Place large tier on cake stand.

How to build a tiered cake:


Photography: Ryan Brook

Garnish: Line sides of cakes with upright chocolate curls, pressing to adhere; let set. Break tops of curls to create jagged edge. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

For easier preparations, we've listed only partial ingredients: To make the whole cake, you will need 4-1/2 lb (2 kg) bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate cigars, 10 oz (280 g) unsweetened chocolate, 38 eggs, 4 lb (1.8 kg) butter and 9 cups (2.25 L) whipping cream (35%).

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