Chocolate & Peanut Cake with Caramel Peanut Butter Nougat Filling & Chocolate French Buttercream Frosting
Servings: 1 - 8 inch cake
Chocolate Cake (recipe is from Sweetapolita, I simply scaled it down for this cake)
- 7.7 oz / 220 g AP flour
- 14 oz / 400 g granulated sugar
- 3.2 oz / 90 g Dutch process cocoa powder Rosie suggests using Cacao Barry Extra Brute Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup / 220 ml buttermilk at room temperature
- 1 cup / 220 ml freshly brewed hot strong black coffee
- 1/2 cup / 110 ml vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Peanut Dacquoise (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
- 6 oz / 170g roasted salted peanuts
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 5 oz / 142 g granulated sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
Caramel Peanut butter Nougat Frosting/Filling
Chocolate French Buttercream (“cooked” French buttercream - cooking method adapted from The Tough Cookie)
- 6 large egg yolks
- 5.3 oz / 150 g white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3.5 oz / 100g bittersweet chocolate melted
- Pinch of salt
- 9.2 - 10.5 oz / 260-300g unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350° F. Butter and line two, 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper (If not using parchment paper, butter and flour the two pans)
Sift all the dry ingredients in a large bowl or your mixing bowl (if you’re using a stand mixer).
In a large jug (pitcher) or smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla until just mixed. Add this liquid mix into the dry ingredients slowly while mixing it with your stand mixer (or whisk by hand or hand-mixer). Make sure the batter is smooth and thick without any lumps.
Pour the freshly brewed coffee into the batter while mixing. The batter will become very thin, so be careful as the batter might splash if the beater is too fast. Mix only until everything is well combined. Divide batter between the two pans.
Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, rotating them once around the 20 minute mark. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with only a few cake crumbs on it (i.e. not completely clean).
Cool the cakes in the pan for about 15 minutes, and then turn out onto cooling racks carefully (the cake is really soft) to completely cool.
In a food processor, combine the roasted, salted peanuts, cornflour, 1.4 oz / 40g of the sugar. Process until the peanuts have been processed finely.
Draw, two 8 inch circles on parchment paper. Turn the paper over and make sure these circles fit within the width of your baking sheet. Preheat oven to 250°F / 120°C.
In a clean, dry mixer bowl (of your stand mixer or hand mixer) whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar, using a whisk attachment, until it gets frothy.
Add the sugar gradually while whisking well, making sure to incorporate the sugar well into the egg whites. Keep whisking until the egg whites become thick and glossy and reach the stiff peak stage.
Fold in the ground peanuts in 2 additions, being careful not to deflate the egg mixture.
Divide the mixture equally between the two circles and spread it evenly inside the drawn line.
Bake in a preheated oven for 1 ½ hours, rotating only once inside the oven (take care not to keep the oven door open for long). Turn off the oven and let the dacquoise cool completely in the oven (about 1 - 1 ½ hours)
Salted Caramel and Peanut Nougat Filling
Prepare the salted caramel frosting and set it aside.
In a pan combine the butter, sugar, evaporated milk and heat on low, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mix comes to a boil.
Boil this mixture for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir to make sure it is smooth. Add the peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff and whisk until well incorporated. Let it cool to room temperature.
Add cold whipping cream and whisk with a hand held beater for about 2 minutes until smooth. Set aside.
Chocolate French Buttercream Frosting.
Place the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl together with the sugar. Whisk until it becomes frothy. Add vanilla and salt and keep whisking until egg yolks become pale and foamy and the sugar has almost dissolved completely.
Place the bowl with the mix of yolk and sugar over a pan of simmering water (without the bowl touching the water), and whisk constantly while gently heating the mix to a temperature of 150°F/ 65°C. Please see Notes on how to pasteurize the egg yolk and sugar mix.
Remove from the heat and whip the egg yolk until the mix thickens and reaches the ribbon stage. Make sure you keep mixing until it has cooled to room temperature.
Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, incorporating each piece of butter well before adding another one. Keep adding the butter until the buttercream is nice and fluffy. I added 9 oz / 250 g first and only added the rest if the buttercream wasn’t fluffy enough.
Add the melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate and incorporate it into the buttercream with the mixer.
Take one chocolate cake layer. Spread half of the peanut butter nougat layer on top of it. Spread half of the salted buttercream frosting on top of the nougat layer. Next layer is the dacquoise. Then the rest of the nougat and rest of the caramel frosting.
Top with the second layer of chocolate cake.
Frost the cake with the chocolate French buttercream.
Decorate with Peanut Brittle
if you like, or anyway you prefer!
NOTES FOR FRENCH BUTTERCREAM - In The Tough Cookie tutorial, Nila recommends keeping the mix at this temperature for about 10 minutes to make sure there is no risk of Salmonella. This is a great way to prepare the frosting if it’s going to be served to toddlers or pregnant women or the elderly. If you are not too worried, you don’t have to maintain the mix at this temperature for 10 minutes, you can remove it from the heat once it reaches the temperature, and proceed from step 3 of the Buttercream recipe.