People. I am so far behind I feel like giving up. The fact that today is the first 90-degree day of the year, and my air conditioning has broken, might also have something to do with it. But I've got some cold raspberry-lime seltzer here, and the first couple of quiet hours to myself in over a month, so let's just keep on keeping on.
Heaven & Hell Cake - another one of my favs from Lit Night. Apparently each component was a beast to master, and this cake's maker, one of Dessert Club's most skilled artisans, had to try several times to get it right. So if you want to make it, good luck.
Heaven & Hell Cake (print recipe)
Serves 10 to 12
For the ganache:
2 lbs. milk chocolate, such as Valrhona, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
For the angel food cake:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
For the devil's food cake:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coffee
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
For the peanut butter mousse:
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Bring
cream to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan; pour cream over the chocolate and
let sit to melt for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, combine the
chocolate and cream. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to let rest
for 4 hours.
2. Make the angel food cake: Heat oven to 325°.
Line bottom of a 10" round cake pan with ungreased parchment paper. In a
medium bowl, sift together confectioners' sugar and flour; set flour
mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and
salt with a handheld mixer on low speed until frothy. Increase mixer
speed to medium, sprinkle in sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and
beat until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle half of the confectioners'
sugar–flour mixture over egg whites; using a rubber spatula, fold until
just combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into
prepared cake pan and bake until top of cake springs back when touched,
45–50 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and let cool.
the devil's food cake: Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 10" round cake pan
with shortening and dust with flour to coat; shake out excess flour and
set pan aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda,
salt, and baking powder; set flour mixture aside. In another medium
bowl, whisk the coffee and cocoa powder until smooth; set coffee mixture
aside. In a large bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs
with a handheld mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 minutes.
Alternately add the flour mixture and the coffee mixture to the bowl in 3
stages, beating to combine after each addition. Pour the batter into
the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into cake
comes out clean, 30–35 minutes; transfer to a rack and let cool
4. Make the peanut butter mousse: In a large
bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners' sugar with a
handheld mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Put cream into a large bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks
form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the peanut
butter mixture; set mousse aside in the refrigerator.
Assemble the cake: Using a serrated-blade knife, slice each cake
horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer of the devil's food cake on a
cake stand and spread 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse over the top with a
butter knife. Top mousse with a layer of the angel food cake and spread
with half of the remaining mousse. Repeat with the remaining devil's
food cake, mousse, and angel food cake. Wrap cake in plastic wrap and
freeze for 2 hours. Stir ganache until smooth and spread evenly over the
top and sides of the cake with a butter knife. Refrigerate the cake for
2 hours before slicing.
Recipe from Saveur.com and DC member J.B.