Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting and a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

I'm delighted to announce that my new cake decorating video endeavor, Make Cake Magic, has launched!  So now, when a cake or tart warrants special moving image treatment, I'll be posting a demo on the new site!

To celebrate, I made a chocolate cake filled with luscious peanut butter mousse.  It's festooned with toasted marshmallow frosting.  You can see how I made the frosting and how I coated the glorious confection at along with a host of other delightful cakes.


Check back often as I'm baking and Ray's shooting and editing furiously, so new demos will be up weekly and if there's anything you'd like to see demonstrated, give me a shout on Facebook.

CHOCOLATE-PEANUT BUTTER CAKE with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

For the cake

3 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup neutral oil, such as Canola
1 cup piping hot coffee
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I use 60%)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bleached cake flour
1 1/2 cups Dutched cocoa powder (I use Cacao Barry Extra Brute)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Line two  9" cake pans (best if the pans are 3" high because this is a lot of batter.  Otherwise, 4 pans will be needed ) with parchment and line with a round of parchment.  Spray with non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and the salt.  Whisk for at least 30 seconds.  Set aside.

Combine the coffee and chocolate and allow to sit a few minutes and then combined with the buttermilk and vanilla.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sugar and oil.  Whisk until combined.  Add the eggs and mix for 30 seconds until combined.

Add the 1/3 of the flour mixture and then 1/2 the buttermilk mixture, alternating between the two until both are added.  Whisk for about 30 seconds or until the batter is smooth.  Don't over mix.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.  Place in the freezer for 20 minutes and then slice evenly in half with a serrated knife for 4 layers total.

For the mousse

One 8 ounce package of Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk on low until the confectioner's sugar is somewhat distributed and then mix on high until the mousse is smooth and fluffy.

Pipe 1/3 of the mousse onto one round of the cake (about 12.5 ounces) and place second layer on top of the mousse.  Continue, alternating between cake and mousse until you've added the last layer.  Refrigerate the cake while you make the marshmallow frosting.

For the marshmallow frosting
(Go to to see a full demo on making this frosting)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup water
7 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a heavy saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and water.  Stir over low heat until the sugar has completely melted.  Attach a sugar thermometer, stop stirring and heat the sugar syrup to 234ºF.

As the sugar heats, add the egg whites to the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a CLEAN whisk attachment.  Once the syrup gets to about 220ºF, start whisking on high until foamy and then add the salt and cream of tartar.  With the mixer still whisking on medium high, pour the HOT sugar syrup into the bowl, trying to hit just where the egg whites and the bowl meet but be careful not to hit the whisk otherwise the hot sugar will fling around the room and if that molten sugar hits you in the kisser, you won't be happy.  Once all the sugar is added, whisk on high until the frosting is SUPER STIFF and the bowl is cool to the touch.

Cover the cake (you can watch a video!) and once you're happy with the results, toast the frosting with a kitchen torch.  WARNING:  I don't recommend putting this under the broiler, otherwise the mousse filling could melt.  Good news is that this cake looks pretty spectacular if you don't brown the frosting at all.

Serve soon after frosting!