For years I've wanted to make the Heaven & Hell cake that was created by Stephan Pyles but never seemed to take the time to prepare it. With a layer of sponge cake, devils food cake, peanut butter mousse and chocolate ganache I knew the cake would take some time.
My sister who lives in California came in town this week with her 16 year old son. He just celebrated his birthday in July and since we weren't there to celebrate, and they weren't in town to celebrate my kids birthdays, we decided to celebrate all of theirs, including my dogs birthday which was yesterday. Afterall he's family too!
This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make Stephan Pyles cake. So I gathered up all the ingredients with the exception of just one thing. Since my daughters Butterfinger Cake last year had peanut butter in it she thought it would nice to try something different. So we opted for a Raspberry Mousse filling instead of the Peanut Butter Mousse.
The cake was beautiful but it was SO, SO VERY RICH! You honestly could only handle a sliver of it. Thank goodness we didn't use the peanut butter mousse otherwise I think it would have been too much. In fact, I think I would have preferred a Strawberry Mousse instead but my husband dislikes strawberries so raspberries seemed like the right choice.
Everyone loved the cake but all agreed, a sliver was all they could handle. Of course, that's not to say we didn't go back later that day or the next to have a piece but, we also shared it with our relatives and friends. A seven layer, 10 inch cake feeds quite a few people.
My favorite part of the cake was the ganache being the chocolate lover that I am. In fact, this would be perfect served warm, over ice cream.
Here's the recipe and a photo of what Stephan Pyles cake looks like. Mine is at the top with the raspberry mousse. In pink are the changes that I made.
FOR THE GANACHE:
2 lbs. milk chocolate, such as Valrhona, chopped (I used Nestle's chips for cost)
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 (I used a total of 3 tsp. of vanilla, no almond since my sister's allergic)
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
I MADE RASPBERRY MOUSSE INSTEAD OF THE PB MOUSSE BELOW:
2 cups (16 ounces) raspberries
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed (or you can use heavy whipping cream as described in the Peanut Butter Mousse recipe)
Process first 3 ingredients in food processor until smooth. Transfer raspberry mixture to a large bowl; fold in whipped topping. Cover and chill. Note: To eliminate the raspberry seeds - puree the raspberries first, then run through a strainer, place back into the processor and continue as described above. Or if you prefer.....
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE in Stephan Pyles original recipe:
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
1. 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.
3. Make 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 completely.
4. Make the raspberry (follow instructions above) or peanut butter mousse: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, raspberry or 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.
5. 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 raspberry or 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.
SERVES 10 – 12
I definitely think this cake is worth making. It's rich but delicious!