Heaven and Hell Cake

by angelika on September 7, 2013

Heaven and Hell

Stephen had a birthday, and as is tradition, the kids and I scoured cookbooks and the internet looking for the perfect cake to bake him. Last year we reinvented Banoffee Pie into a Banoffee Cake. This year we decided to go with a Heaven and Hell cake. It’s Devil’s Food, Angel’s Food and peanut butter mousse filling covered in ganache. It was divine. I found myself sneaking little slivers of the leftovers throughout the day. I just could not get enough of this cake. Oh, the birthday boy enjoyed it too.

The recipe for this cake came, barely adapter, from the Whisk Kid site. I am a big fan of her work, and use the base of her rainbow cake recipe all the time. There are a few key points to be aware of before you embark on this cake journey. The finished cake needs to be frozen for 2 hours, then the ganache is poured on top, then it sits in the refrigerator for another 2 hours. Someone might have missed the step about the freezer and had to really rush to have the cake ready on time.

Angel’s Food Cake

Start by making the angle food cake. This cake is all egg white, and in the end I wish I had bought egg whites insteading of separating eggs. I used 9 eggs in this cake alone, which left me 9 yolks I did nothing with. I was going to make lemon curd, but truthfully after making a cake with a newborn and two other kids running around, I was just done with the kitchen. So look for organic egg whites in the dairy set and save yourself the work and the guilt.

Preheat the oven to 325 and prep a 10″ cake pan. Place an ungreased parchment round inside the pan.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cornstarch and powdered sugar. Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until they froth. Then add in the sugar and extracts and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the flour mixture in two parts. Sift the first half over the bowl and fold in until just combined. Then repeat with the second half.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the sides pull away and the center springs back when touched. 45-55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer it to a cake rack to cool completely.

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Devil’s Food Cake

Move the oven temp to 350. Prep another 10″ cake pan. Grease the pan, lay a parchment ring down, grease the ring, then flour the whole pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.

In a large measuring cup or a bowl whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder.

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In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla until pale and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Add in the flour and coffee in batches, starting and ending with the flour.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes looking for a cake tester to come out clean.

Peanut Butter Mousse

While the cake is baking make the peanut butter mousse.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and peanut butter. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until combined. I used a natural peanut butter, the organic one from Costco, and I think it had too much oil in it. I would recommend looking for a no stir variety of organic peanut butter. The kind that does not have inches of oil on top that needs to be worked in.

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In a separate bowl whip the cream. (stiff peaks) I used the hand mixer again. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture and fold with a rubber spatula. Then fold in the rest to lighted the filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to fill the cake.

Chocolate Ganache

Chop the chocolate and place it in a large bowl. Heat the cream on the stovetop until it begins to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir to combine. Start stirring in the center of the bowl and work your way to the outsides. If you still have chunks, heat in the microwave in 10 second bursts until you get a smooth consistency. Pour the ganache into a pyrex 2+ cup measuring cup or some sort of pouring vessel. It will make pouring the ganache over top of the cake much easier. Set aside on the counter. Do not chill.

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Assembly

Once the cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to split them into two equal parts.

I really wished I had used a cake round when making this cake. You don’t need one, but it would make all the moving of the cake easier. I don’t have room in my fridge for a cake stand with a large cake on top without basically emptying one side of the fridge. So I put the cake on a dinner plate to freeze and cool. A cake round would have been better.

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Start with a layer of devils food cake, then 1/3 cup of peanut butter mousse spread on top. Add a layer of angel food cake and spread 1/3 cup mousse on top. Add another layer of devil’s food and spread the remaining mousse. Top with angel food cake. Wrap the whole cake in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours.

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Take the cake out of the freezer and set it on a cooling rack stacked over a sheet pan. I was in a huge hurry at this point, having forgotten the freezing part of the process, and I did not do this. I regret it. The benefit of the rack over the sheet pan is that the excess ganache will run off the sides and give you a nice clean edge.

Reheat the ganache if you need to in 15 second bursts in the microwave, stirring after each burst, until  you can pour it. Pour the ganache over the cake and use an offset spatula to smooth it.

Place the cake back into the refrigerator for 2 hours. Server directly from the refrigerator.

cake slice

Heaven and Hell Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe adapted from Whisk Kid.
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 14-16
Ingredients
  • ~Angel Food Cake~
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarchn (non GMO)
  • 1½ cups egg whites (about 9 separated eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ~Devil's Food Cake~
  • ¾ cup non hydrogenated shortening (spectrum brand)
  • 1½ cup minus 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ ccups coffee
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ~Peanut Butter Mousse~
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature (look for a no stir variety)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ~Ganache~
  • 1¾ lbs semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1⅓ cups heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Angels Food Cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 and prep a 10″ cake pan. Place an ungreased parchment round inside the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cornstarch and powdered sugar. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until they froth. Then add in the sugar and extracts and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the flour mixture in two parts. Sift the first half over the bowl and fold in until just combined. Then repeat with the second half.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the sides pull away and the center springs back when touched. 45-55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer it to a cake rack to cool completely.
  6. Devil’s Food Cake:
  7. Move the oven temp to 350. Prep another 10″ cake pan. Grease the pan, lay a parchment ring down, grease the ring, then flour the whole pan.
  8. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
  9. In a large measuring cup or a bowl whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder.
  10. In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla until pale and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Add in the flour and coffee in batched, starting and ending with the flour.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes looking for a cake tester to come out clean.
  12. Peanut Butter Mousse:
  13. While the cake is baking make the peanut butter mousse.
  14. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and peanut butter. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until combined. I used a natural peanut butter, the organic one from Costco, and I think it had too much oil in it. I would recommend looking for a no stir variety of organic peanut butter. The kind that does not have inches of oil on top that needs to be worked in.
  15. In a separate bowl whip the cream. (stiff peaks) I used the hand mixer again. Fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture and fold with a rubber spatula. Then fold in the rest to lighted the filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to fill the cake.
  16. Chocolate Ganache:
  17. Chop the chocolate and place it in a large bowl. Heat the cream on the stovetop until it begins to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir to combine. Start stirring in the center of the bowl and work your way to the outsides. If you still have chunks, heat in the microwave in 10 second bursts until you get a smooth consistency. Pour the ganache into a pyrex 2+ cup measuring cup or some sort of pouring vessel. It will make pouring the ganache over top of the cake much easier. Set aside on the counter. Do not chill.
  18. Assembly
  19. Once the cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to split them into two equal parts.
  20. I really wished I had used a cake round when making this cake. You don’t need one, but it would make all the moving of the cake easier. I don’t have room in my fridge for a cake stand with a large cake on top without basically emptying one side of the fridge. So I put the cake on a dinner plate to freeze and cool. A cake round would have been better.
  21. Start with a layer of devils food cake, then ⅓ cup of peanut butter mousse spread on top. Add a layer of Angel food cake and spread ⅓ cup mousse on top. Add another layer of Devil’s food and spread the remaining mousse. Top with Angel Food cake. Wrap the whole cake in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours.
  22. Take the cake out of the freezer and set it on a cooling rack stacked over a sheet pan. I was in a huge hurry at this point, having forgotten the freezing part of the process, and I did not do this. I regret it. The benefit of the rack over the sheet pan is that the excess ganache will run off the sides and give you a nice clean edge.
  23. Reheat the ganache if you need to in 15 second bursts in the microwave, stirring after each burst, until you can pour it. Pour the ganache over the cake and use an offset spatula to smooth it.
  24. Place the cake back into the refrigerator for 2 hours. Server directly from the refrigerator.

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