This is a triple-chocolate mousse tower I made at my new job! I won't tell you how it's made(as the recipes aren't mine) but I WILL tell you that it's fairly easy to recreate on your own time. I must say, though, that it's quite labor-intensive...but here's how you can do one yourself.
These are genoise cakes that have been baked in a very thin layer and then cut into rings.
Genoise cakes are dry, sponge-like cakes with little-to-no fat in them, so they're actually relatively healthy. A good genoise recipe is quite irreplaceable in a cook's repertoire, so I highly suggest finding one.
Genoise cakes are also fantastic for swiss rolls/yule logs, which I'll post about later to come in the holiday months! Sure, they're a little dry on their own, but they're truly fantastic for trifles and layered cakes, as their structure is quite nice and they stand up well.
These genoise cakes were baked in a very large sheet tray so that the batter was spread quite thin. Once cooled entirely, the cakes were stamped out using a ring cutter. You can, of course, use whatever shape you like.
If I were to make this cake again, however, I'd stack the whole, cooked cakes atop one another with each filling and then cut when it is entirely set, just to save myself some trouble and scraps. If you want circles, though, cut circles and proceed to the next step.
Now, I took the cakes and set them in ring molds like these ones. You can find these at just about any specialty store, or online. For extra help, you can also set them in acetate strips, which is excellent to help you see what you're doing.
These cakes are filled with milk, white, and dark chocolate mousses, all separated with a cake in each one. We decided on ganache as a topper, but you can use frosting or some kind of glaze. I personally think that they look quite nice just with a dusting of powdered sugar and some fresh fruit on top. The filling possibilities are truly endless, and they're a real show-stopper, especially if you're doing them for a party. You could even turn these into a tiramisu for a perfect individual portion!
How do you get that filling into moulds so neatly? Piping bags, of course. Simply fill your bags and pipe, paying attention to the height of each level. Again, this is where the acetate comes in handy, so you can see what you're piping.
See how neat and clean those look?
If you do use a ganache or frosting, however, be prepared to unmould them carefully and then smooth the sides with an offset spatula(or a butter knife) that's been dipped in very hot water. This will offer a smooth finish for you.
Garnishes, of course, are all up to you. I do, however, recommend that you only choose garnishes that'll make sense with your flavor profile. Don't put a random strawberry atop a tiramisu. Don't add random dark chocolate curls to a key lime flavored trifle. Don't choose for the sake of looks, but for the sake of taste. It doesn't matter what kind of pretty plate you have in front of you if it doesn't taste good. Taste first, guys. Taste. First.