Why It Works
- Mixing cream cheese into the peanut butter mousse filling adds a welcome lactic tang.
- Flavoring the cake with coffee accentuates the bittersweet notes of the chocolate.
- Peanut butter-laced chocolate ganache frosting brings it all together.
Yes folks, it's another installment of my never-ending cravings for chocolate and peanut butter. I couldn't help myself. It's been too long. In previous posts I've rambled on about my childhood adoration of Drake's Funny Bones. Waxy chocolate coating aside, it's a fantastic pop in your mouth of chocolate cake and creamy peanut butter filling. Though I'm really fond of my chocolate peanut butter cupcakes interpretation, I think I finally nailed it with this layer cake.
Years ago there was a popular chocolate and peanut butter pastry that I used to sell at my shop. I called it a peanut butter mousse bomb: a fist-sized ball of creamy peanut butter mousse with a piece of chocolate cake on the bottom and a covering of bittersweet chocolate ganache. From time to time I'd also piece together a layer cake version, using extra chocolate cakes from my rolling racks and the giant bowl of ganache that I always had on hand. It's easy to be spontaneous and creative when you've got lots of excess cake components around all the time, but the stiff price I paid was never really knowing exactly what my food costs were. I'll just assume I made the money back.
To turn that creation into a structured recipe for a single cake, I finally did the math and cut down my big batch chocolate cake recipe to fit a 9-inch pan and also figured out the correct volume of peanut butter filling. What makes this fluffy peanut butter cream so amazing is the cream cheese. Plain sweetened peanut butter often lacks a certain something, and the slight tang of the cheese fills out the flavor perfectly. Combined with the moist chocolate cake and luxurious peanut butter-chocolate ganache, this is an uber-rich, super tall cake that will have everyone swooning. Until next time, chocolate-peanut butter fans...
For the Cake:
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup hot coffee
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Peanut Butter Mousse:
8 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
For the Peanut Butter Ganache:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir chocolate into coffee and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, buttermilk, egg, yolk, oil, salt, and vanilla until combined. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder until combined. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. Whisk in the coffee mixture until smooth.
Pour 1/3 batter in one pan and the remaining 2/3 in the other pan. Bake until just firm, about 20 to 25 minutes, respectively. Let cake cool in pans for 15 minutes, then invert cakes onto wire rack to cool completely before assembling cake.
For the Peanut Butter Mousse: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese with sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until creamy and light, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Switch to whip attachment and beat cream on high speed to stiff but not dry peaks. Fold cream into peanut butter mixture. Keep chilled until ready to use.
Slice the larger of the two cakes into two layers. Place on a serving plate and stack cake layers with peanut butter mousse. Keep chilled until ganache is ready to use.
For the Peanut Butter Ganache: Using the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat chocolate and cream until melted and smooth. Gently whisk in peanut butter. Chill until just firm enough to frost, about 30 minutes. Frost cake and serve.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 46g||58%|
|Saturated Fat 21g||103%|
|Total Carbohydrate 49g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||22%|
|Total Sugars 27g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|