Following my blog, you know that I love to bake! I baked my first cake from scratch when I was a young girl and my love of baking continues all these years later. If you have never baked a cake especially for a birthday I highly recommend you do it at least once. It is so rewarding to see the look on the recipient’s face when you put a beautiful homemade cake with candles right in front of them. I think everyone needs a great chocolate cake for birthdays and this cake has a present inside, a rich, smooth, peanut butter mousse filling. Coffee adds extra flavor to the chocolate cake rather than using plain water. If you make this cake I’d love to see photos and hear from you!
2 3/4 cups flour- I like King Arthur’s Flour
2 teaspoons baking power
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups strong coffee
1 (10-ounce) package peanut butter
3 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Heath English Toffee Bites for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8″ round cake pans.
Sift in a small bowl flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
Beat together the butter, oil, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla extract until they form a smooth paste. The sugar will stay granular.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom of the bowl after each addition.
Add the flour alternately with the coffee, mixing at medium-low speed and beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last of the flour is added, mix briefly, just until smooth.
Divide the batter between the pans. Cakes will self-level in the oven, so there’s no need to smooth the top with a spatula. However, it does help to remove any large bubbles by tapping the cake pans firmly on the counter 7 or 8 times.
Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes, until their tops spring back and a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, run a spatula around the edges to loosen and turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Combine 2/3 cup whipping cream and peanut butter morsels in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until morsels melt and the mixture is smooth; remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla extract, and cool 25 minutes.
Beat 1 1/3 cups whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir one-third whipped cream into peanut butter mixture. Fold into remaining whipped cream. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours or until mousse is firm. Spread between cake layers then cover and chill. You can make the cake the day ahead.
Bring the remaining 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoon butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Add chocolate morsels; remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Stir until morsels melt and the mixture is smooth.
Chill frosting until it is thick to spread over cake. Decorate with Heath Bites. Chill until ready to serve and serve at room temperature.