Ok let's see if I can pick up where I left off.
The next day I tried to get permission to leave early in order to finish the decadent chocolate cake (with no luck) after a quick grocery trip for more eggs & instant coffee (I went with Folgers ... it's what my mom always used so I figured it would be good enough). I then headed to the corner liquor store - and it wasn't my normal store because traffic was hellish. Instead of the friendly folks off of 10th, I decided to head to the store near Rockville ... mistake #167 ;) They couldn't tell me what a good dark rum was, nor could they show me where it was. So, I called my husband who was able to answer my plea for help (and who I should have just asked first). Somehow, I managed to find dark rum (I'll try and find the bottle to tell you what I bought) Finally, I was back in the kitchen by 7PM. I still needed to complete 4 more layers and assemble this masterpiece.
The brownie layer was a hot mess of complication... Sifting ingredients, melting various types of chocolate in a double boiler, balloon whisking eggs and such. But, I was able to get it in the oven without much trouble....vowing to use a box mix next time.
The ganache, mocha mousse and rum sauces all went together well. The mocha mousse was pretty much like the other mousse layer, but it didn't seem to hold together like the others... it was a bit runny after gingerly mixing the ingredients together. This time I was sure to rinse the bowl & attachment between the eggs and cream, so I wasn't sure what was going on... but, it tasted good so I shrugged my shoulders, covered it, and tossed it in the fridge hoping it would 'set' a bit.
In the midst of all this baking I asked Jordan, my lovely husband, for at least one more mixing bowl for the stand mixer. He kindly reminded me of my large collection of metal mixing bowls. Totally not the same thing.
I took half of the rum sauce and put it in a container for work, the other half for home/small group (which we never made it to), and a small container for the boss to take home to his family.
Then, I figured it was time for assembly. It was 10:30 PM and I was still really excited to see how this turned out.
The first step was to cut the brownie layer in half. This odd-looking dense brownie layer did NOT want to be cut in half. I used my large bread knife and hoped for the best. I let out a cry of despair as the top layer ripped in two. Not to worry I carefully pieced it back together as the bottom layer and let the Ganache layer hold it together.
Then the meringue layer needed to be trimmed just a bit to fit into the spring form pan. I found that the steak knife worked magic as trimming away bits without cracking the entire meringue.(ok maybe there was a small crack)
Then a few more layers of scooping and the final layer of brownie. It all appeared to be going well. The cake just fit in the pan and I was able to get it in the fridge without dropping it on the floor.
Now to wait ......
An hour-and-a-half later at 12:30 in the morning, I decided to remove this masterpiece from the fridge and complete the final step: ganache, piping, and packing up 1/2 of it for work. I made it from the fridge to the counter spread on the remaining ganache, and returned it to the fridge. After waiting the prescribed 10 -15 minutes I removed the pan from the fridge yet again and then released the spring on the pan and began lifting the ring........
The ganache began to fracture and then the mousse started to ooze out from under the ring.
I was crushed, loudly crushed, with some choice words. My sleeping husband might have thought the world had ended. I quickly grabbed the two pieces of the spring form pan, shoved most of the cake back in place and shut the spring, returned the now HOT MESS of a cake back to the fridge. More choice words, and a few tears later, I shuffled off to our bedroom to cry/whine a bit about my ruined cake, and failure at cooking. Did I mention Jordan went to bed at 10PM, and had been sleeping soundly for 3 hours? This wonderful man listened to me, told me I wasn't a failure, and told me not to worry. He didn't just roll over, he didn't scold me for my fowl mouth -- he just made me feel better. Then, he rolled over and went back to sleep.
I finally, returned to the kitchen to assess the damage. I began by cleaning the smears of mousse off the counter. Then I cleaned up the pan holding the Death By Chocolate Cake and the ooze that had fallen into the deep recesses of my fridge.... and as I cleaned I formulated a bit of a plan: If I could get the ganache to look a bit smoother I could just take the whole cake to work and serve it from the pan. It wouldn't be as pretty, but it would work. I just needed the top of the cake to not look like a train wreck and (to fix the now fractured ganache) my trusty crème brulee torch! I melted the now cracked mess of ganache until it was a smooth layer of chocolate. By 1:30 AM I had loaded the final layer of mousse into a piping bag, packed up serving utensils, and was off to bed.
Look forward to part 3 --- sometime in the future.