I made the best cake I have ever personally ever made before in my life. I took three separate recipes (the cake, the mousse, and the icing) and put them together to make it “my own”. Later on I will explain the purpose of me making this extremely decadent dessert and you will stop thinking that I am either A) pregnant, or B) really, really bored.
Lets talk about this vanilla cake first. You cannot go wrong with this vanilla cake recipe I found. The cake has stayed extremely moist (even four days later!) and is so tasty you could eat all on its’ own. You can find it here!
I started by sifting together all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Why cake flour? Cake flour is very fine and goes through a process called chlorination. This makes the flour slightly acidic which allows it to distribute the fat content more evenly for an amazing texture.
I then creamed together the butter and sugar in a separate bowl. Whatever the recipes asked for, I did them all by hand. There’s something about really putting the effort in creaming, whipping, and mixing all by hand that makes it that much more special. Granted, when pastry shops and restaurants rely on time management and making products in bulk, of course they need their gadgets to get the job done. This cake was for a really sentimental event, though, and I wanted the “love” ingredient to really get in there.
Then I added the eggs and the mystery ingredient: 1 cup of evaporated milk? I found it odd at first but realized that this is what kept the cake so moist. The milk and the dry ingredients get slowly added 1 at a time until you have your batter. I made sure to evenly distribute the batter between the two 9″ pans as best as I could for even baking, which is always important.
Here’s what they looked like when I took them out of the oven!
While the cakes were in the oven, I put together the peanut butter mousse filling. It was unbelievably easy! I whipped 1/3 of a cup of cream to soft peaks and in a separate bowl combined peanut butter, confectioners sugar, and butter. Finally i just folded the peanut butter mixture into the cream and it turned into light and frothy peanut butter yummy-ness.
The recipe for the mousse can be found here!
Finally, the simple buttercream icing. A lot of intense icing recipes call for you whisking sugar and egg whites over a double boiler or cooking sugar and water until its at a “softball” candy stage, then adding it to whatever ingredients. For me, though, I wanted the peanut butter filling to really stand out in my cake so I went it a simple and easy vanilla buttercream icing.
When the cakes completely cooled, I cup both of them in half, making this a four layer cake. I added the peanut butter mousse in between each layer and covered the outside with the vanilla buttercream. At the end I though it would be a good idea to cover the outside with crushed peanuts!
Now it’s time to tell you why I have made this cake. My boy left today for 3 and a half months to study abroad on what is known as “semester at sea”. You can follow him around on his blog, travelwithdinote.blogspot.com as he sails on a mid-sized cruise ship around the world. It will be an amazing experience for him. But, I’m going to miss him more than anything. Since he won’t be home for Thanksgiving this year, his mom thought we should have a Thanksgiving dinner before he leaves. I thought the idea was fantastic. She set the table with her pumpkins and cornucopia, we listened to Christmas music, and the feeling of fall just ran through our blood. It was an unforgettable night.
What’s a Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Well, unfortunately NONE of the local markets carried canned pumpkin so we had to go with plan B and buy some pre-made pumpkin pies. With cool whip, of course. And…..my cake 😀
And, if I say so myself, it was amazing.