Saturday, June 28, 2014

Heaven & Hell Cake

June's birthday cake at work was the Heaven and Hell Cake ~ angel food and devil's food layers with peanut butter ganache in between.  It was a lot of work, but worth it.  I did change it up a bit and put a layer of chocolate ganache in the very middle.  Yum.

I was also making a cake for Toddi's birthday and covered it with marshmallow fondant.  I had some left over, so decided to play with it. 

I'd already colored some icing for this cake with tumeric (yellow), cocoa (brown), and paprika (orangey-red), so tried coloring the fondant with tumeric, too.
It didn't turn out so well.  It might have worked had I used more, but it wasn't looking appetizing, so decided to try working in some cocoa.  It took a lot of cocoa, but turned out nice.

I love playing around, not really having any outcome I'm dead-set on, just seeing what happens.  I learn a lot that way. 

While playing with the fondant this time, I learned that it's good to add oil when it gets sticky.  Before, I would dust on some powdered sugar.  It just made it more sticky, and more dry and brittle.  But that's what I'd read online, so I kept at it. 

This time I was using some fondant I'd made before and froze for later.  Since it was dry, I thought it would be good to coat it and my hands in a little coconut oil.  I don't know why I didn't connect those dots before.  I'm glad I finally did since it was SO MUCH EASIER to knead it and roll it this time! Very little stickiness, nice and smooth, easy to fold and knead without it splitting much, and when it did it was a cinch to knead those right out. 

And I was able to get it thinner than I've every gotten it.  Thin enough that it draped so beautifully when I put it on the cake.  I saw that, said "Huh", and went with it, tucking it in a bit and trimming to fit the plate.  Another nice thing learned from just going with the flow.

Nice.  I love learning new tricks.


Heaven & Hell Cake

Angel Food Cake
2/3 cup cake flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup egg white ( about seven or eight)
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract 

Devil's Food Cake 
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda 
Peanut Butter Ganache/Mousse
12 ounces cream cheese
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream 

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate 


Angel Food Cake

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cut a circle of parchment paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of a 9" cake pan. Do not grease the pan or paper. Sift together the flour and powdered sugar and set aside. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer. Beat slowly while adding the salt and cream of tartar and continue beating for 1 minute or until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium, add sugar into whites by tablespoons until all is incorporated, then beat about 1-1/2 minutes longer. When egg whites have stiff peaks, add vanilla and almond extract. Remove bowl from mixer and sprinkle half of the powdered sugar-flour mixture and fold in again, using a minimum number of strokes so the egg whites do not deflate. Gently spoon the mixture into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Do not over bake or the cake will sink in the center.

Devil's Food Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F.Oil and flour a round 9-inch cake pan. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl, then drizzle in the coffee while whisking to make a smooth paste. Set aside. (Might be more liquid than paste) Combine shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Alternately add the cocoa-coffee mixture and the flour mixture to the sugar-egg mixture and continue beating until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test for doneness.  
Peanut Butter Ganache/Mousse
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, then the peanut butter.If mixture looks lumpy, add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Continue beating until thoroughly incorporated and fluffy. Transfer mixture to another bowl and set aside. Place heavy cream in the electric mixer bowl and whip until stiff. Carefully, but thoroughly, combine both mixtures; set aside. 

Chocolate Ganache
In a saucepan, bring the cream just short of a boil and stir in the chocolate. Remove from heat, cover pan and let the chocolate melt. Whisk to combine thoroughly then let cool to room temperature.

Assembling the cake
When both cakes have cooled, carefully slice them in half horizontally with a long, serrated knife so that you now have four layers. Place one layer of the devil's food cake on a cake plate and spoon 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse on the top. Place a layer of the angel food on top of the mousse and spread with the chocolate ganache. Place another layer of devil's food cake, then peanut butter mousse, then angel food cake.  Frost with cream cheese icing. 

Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. Slice thinly. It's rich! 

Heaven & Hell Cake recipe #22312 on

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