Winter: Chocolate And Peanut Butter Mousse Layer Cake

Pairs perfectly with A True Gentleman's Port

Recipie by Chef Jeff Mall

Chocolate Cake Layers
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup hot coffee
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1⁄4 teaspoons baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Mousse
6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1⁄3 cups creamy peanut butter
1 1⁄3 cups heavy cream

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the chocolate cake layers: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; knock out the excess flour. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the chocolate and coffee. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed beat the eggs until pale and slightly thickened. Gradually beat in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and chocolate mixture; beat until well combined. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then unmold onto wire racks and peel off the paper. Turn the cake layers right side up on the racks and let cool completely.

For the peanut butter mousse: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar together until soft and creamy. Beat in the peanut butter just until incorporated. In a deep bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form; fold into the peanut butter mixture until blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
For the chocolate frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; whisk until the chocolate is melted, then whisk in the butter. Let cool.

To assemble the cake, use a long, serrated knife to cut each cake layer in half horizon-tally. Place 1 cake layer half on a cake plate and spread with one-third of the peanut butter mousse. Top with a second layer and repeat until all the cake layers are stacked. Spread the frosting evenly over top and sides of cake; if it is too thin to coat the sides evenly, refrigerate the frosting briefly to thicken. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into wedges and serve. Makes 10 to 12 servings

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