This burnt sugar fudge layer cake with peanut butter mousse is O-M-Wonderful. Moist, fudgy cake is stacked up three layers high with peanut butter mousse in between. What does the commercial say? Sometimes it’s good to be bad.
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This is the cake I decided to make for Marc and Ethan’s birthday party. Ethan had asked me to make a chocolate peanut butter cake I made several years ago but I hate making the same thing twice so I played around and came up with one that is more elegant and just as delicious if not more so.
The fudge layer cake goes together pretty fast and although there are a lot of steps you can make it over several days. You will need to chill the cake overnight once the layers and mousse are together and then the ganache glaze goes on at least an hour before serving. Each step only takes a little time – it is the chilling that takes the most.. Really, it looks much more complicated than it is.
The burnt sugar fudge layer cake part is made with my favorite cocoa, Hershey’s Special Dark. I used caramelized sugar in the batter to add another layer of flavor. It is delicate but definitely there. Other than that the cake is pretty standard.
You can choose to brush a simple sugar -caramel vodka glaze over the cake before before assembling but it is not required.. There is not enough of the alcohol left in the sugar syrup to even consider. The glaze will add moistness and flavor to the cake but it is not necessary unless you overbaked the cake a touch or it seems dry to you.
The mouse is simple and it is stabilized by the cream cheese and peanut butter. It really is much lighter than you would expect – not heavy or thick but rather light and airy. It is based on a recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s From My Home to Yours.
The ganache is just ganache.. standard, every day yumminess. You pour part of it over the chilled cake, smoothing it all around. It is messy but you do get to lick your fingers. The benefit to that is no one wants to fight over who gets to lick the utensils when you use your hands – you get them all to yourself.
After the first coat of ganache goes on and is chilled for a few minutes you pour the rest over. This makes the cake look perfectly smooth and, best of all, adds more chocolate… And let’s face it… that can’t be bad!
I cut the pieces rather thinly because it is rich. Very rich. Donald Trump rich. Out of an 8 inch 3 layer cake I got 16 pieces. Be careful as you cut though because the cake may start to tip. I think that if I was to do this again I would cut the cake while it was frozen and then let it thaw and use it as a plated dessert. It would certainly be easier.
Again, it might look like a long process but it really isn’t. Give this special fudge layer cake a try and let me know what you think.