Thursday 20 September 2012

The Cake Slice September 2012: Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

I was so excited when this month’s winning cake was this Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake. I am a great lover of peanut butter and have been rooting/voting for peanut butter cake creations for several years, every time one happens to come up for the vote. Usually, they are outvoted, but this month it won – hurrah!

I have issues with this recipe being labeled as ‘cake.’ There is no baked element in the dessert and nothing spongy about it. To me it is more of a mousse torte or layered cream…pie? Seeing how this is a cake baking group and it’s listed in the book as a mousse cake, I’ve decided to leave it as ‘cake’

The ‘cake’ itself was quite time consuming to make, being made up of 4 different layers, all which needed mixing and chilling separately. It starts out with a chocolate biscuit base, followed by a creamy peanut butter mousse, topped a dark chocolate mousse and finished with a dark chocolate glaze and a scattering of salted peanuts. Sound good, doesn’t it?!
I’ve made desserts in the past that were quite time consuming and when eaten, they are nice, I’ve felt they weren’t really worth the effort. This mousse cake however, was fabulous and worth every second of preparation. I loved the contrast between the crisp biscuit base and the rich and creamy mousse layers. The peanut butter flavour really shone through and worked so well against the dark chocolate elements. Slightly sweet, but then also a lingering saltiness from both the nuts on top and the peanut butter itself. A delicious creamy, crunchy, sweet and salty combination.

The recipe called for smooth peanut butter, but I only had slightly crunchy peanut butter on hand and I think this actually worked to the cakes advantage. Having a few chips of peanut actually in the mousse layer gave it some texture, as otherwise I think the thick peanut butter and chocolate mousse layers might have been a bit too soft and airy with nothing to bite on. I loved being able to distinguish the different layers.

The cake could probably have done with being left to set overnight rather than just an hour as it was still a little soft on serving, but this didn’t stop it tasting fabulous. Anything peanut butter is a winner in my books and paired against the rich dark chocolate mousse, ganache and base, it was delicious. I also loved that the only element I needed to adapt to make it gluten free was the base, and that the mousse didn’t contain any gelatin, meaning its vegetarian too! A winning ‘cake’ all round.
Next month, October, is our last cake baked from our current cake book by Tish Boyle, and we’re all going to bake the cake of our choice. Then in November we’ll be starting a brand new book for the upcoming year. Now I just need to decide which recipe to choose!

As this is nearly our last cake from our current cake book, we are now opening up group to fellow cake baking enthusiasts who wish to bake with us for the upcoming year. Places are limited and you will need to buy a copy of the new cake book to participate, so dedicated bakers only please.
Anyone wishing to join us can email my new co-host Paloma at ([AT] along with their name, blog name, blog URL and email address for details. Please put ‘New Cake Slice Member’ in the subject box

Click here to see the Cake Slice blogroll

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
(Recipe from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle)
Chocolate Cookie Crust
180g chocolate cookies (I used GF shortbread cookies)
55 g unsalted butter, melted
10g cocoa powder (my addition as my cookies were plain)

Peanut Butter Mousse
142g cream cheese, softened
30g unsalted butter, softened
144g icing sugar
200g creamy peanut butter (I used finely ground crunchy)
¼ tsp salt
400ml double cream

Chocolate Mousse
142g dark chocolate, chopped
100g milk chocolate, chopped
200ml double cream
80ml whole milk
65g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze
85g dark chocolate
80ml double cream

Few chopped salted peanuts

Chocolate Biscuit Base
Have ready a deep 9inch springform pan.
Either blitz the biscuits in a food processor, or put them in a bag and bash them into crumbs using a rolling pin. (Stir through the cocoa powder if using vanilla or plain biscuits) Once crushed, melt the butter, drizzle over the biscuit crumbs and mix well. Press the mixture into the base of the tin and press down into an even layer.
Place in the fridge to firm up while you make the peanut butter mousse.

Peanut Butter Mousse
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the icing sugar and mix until well blended. Add the peanut butter and salt and mix until well  combined.
In a clean bowl whisk the double cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Beat half the double cream into the peanut butter mixture using a spatula. Once combined, gently fold the remaining cream in the peanut butter mixture, mixing until no streaks remain.
Spread the mousse onto the chilled biscuit base and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate while you make the chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Mousse
Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir through the vanilla extract and set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the double cream until soft peaks form. Fold a third into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Follow this by half of the remaining cream and finally the last of the cream. Beat again with an electric mixture to help aerate the chocolate until slightly thickened.
Spread the chocolate mixture over the top of the chilled peanut butter mousse and place in the fridge to set for at least an hour.

Chocolate Glaze
Once the chocolate mousse layer is set, make the chocolate glaze.
Place the chocolate into a small bowl. Heat the cream until steaming hot, but not boiling, and then pour this over the chocolate. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and glossy.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before using.

Run a sharp thin-bladed knife under hot water and wipe dry, then run the knife between the cake and the side of the pan to release the cake; reheat the knife as necessary. Remove the side of the pan. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and spread out over the surface. Try not to let it drip down the sides. (I spread my glaze on the cake while it was still in the tin, sprinkled it with the peanuts and then let it set for a smoother finish).
Sprinkle the top of the cake with the peanuts and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
To serve, slice the cake with a hot knife, wiping it clean between each cut.
Store in the fridge and eat within 3 days.
Makes a 9inch mousse cake

Note: I halved this recipe and made it in a 6inch round tin.


Chele said...

Baked or not Katie that is a superb cake. Well done. They layers have my mouth watering.

Johanna GGG said...

looks delicious - I agree that it is more tart than cake but whatever the name it doesn't matter if it tastes great

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Stunning photos as usual Katie. That top one - do you hold the fork yourself and take the picture or do you get help?

Unknown said...

I totally agree that this cake was definitely worth the effort. I absolutely loved eating it. I think it took me about 2 hours from start to finish, but boy those two hours put out one of the best cakes I've had from this book.

Caroline said...

That looks lusciously gooey! I must bake with peanut butter more - every time I see PB on your blog it reminds me how I neglect it!

Katie said...

Hi Lou,
I hold the fork in one hand and my camera in the other. I've found I have to balance my elbow on a surface or else my hands shakes too much to get a good shot

Paloma said...

Looks really great Katie! So happy the "peanut butter exchange" worked for you! :) This cake was definitely a winner ... everyone seems to have loved it!

Monica H said...

Your "cake"/ dessert turned out so nicely. I'm running behind on making mine since I didn't have all `t1he ingredients, but I can't wait to start mixing things up!

Hello said...

Wow this looks delicious. I am sooo looking forward to joinng the cake slice group next month :-) x

Janice said...

That looks heavenly, small slices only I think!

Emily said...

Good looking 'cake' and a favorite for all of us at TCS!

The Caked Crusader said...

This looks amazing - I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe great minds love chocolate and peanut butter! This looks divine, I especially like the look of it once a fork has taken to it and I can imagine lifting that forkful to my mouth! :D

hampers said...

Chocolate and Peanut Butter go naturally well together and this cake looks divine. Such a lovely finished professional looking. Yum!!

Chocolate Shavings said...

The layers on that cake looks delicious!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

This looks super delicious, I have really been going peanut butter crazy over here! I had some rolo peanut butter ice cream last night which was super yummy!

Butter Hearts Sugar said...

I don't think I'd mind what its called I just want to eat it. It looks so yummy, I love peanut butter recipes.