I don’t normally bake this often – two layer cakes in one week is quite a lot for me! It’s been really fun, but it has required a bit of planning and baking at odd hours to make sure I fit it into my busy life. However, it’s not every week that two friends have birthdays, both of whom have been promised cakes. The first birthday cake was the Apple Cake with Biscoff Buttercream. This cake was inspired by a cheesecake that I had a few weeks ago.
I was acting in a course in which doctors get certified in the management of trauma cases. However, they need actors to play the role of the patient. I was a 12 year old boy, so perhaps it wasn’t that realistic, but the makeup artists did a phenomenal job on myself and my fellow “victims”. Afterwards, a lunch was provided and dessert was a white chocolate red velvet cheesecake. Picture a biscuit base with thick layers of white chocolate cheesecake, with two layers of red velvet cake sandwiched in between. It was the most glorious hybrid of desserts I had ever seen.
So for this friend’s birthday, I decided to use the no-fail combination of chocolate/peanut butter and make a no-bake peanut butter cheesecake with my tried and true Cake of Death. There is no denying that this is cake is super super rich, but it is also heavenly. The peanut butter mousse is so creamy with just a hint of saltiness, the cake of death is as dense and moist as ever, and the whole thing is complemented nicely by the occasional crunch from the pieces of chopped up Snickers bars. I won’t lie – this cake is extremely calorie dense.
On a whim, I decided to make it Hallowe’en themed and quickly made some ganache with some milk chocolate and left over double cream. I piped a spiral on top of the cake and ran a knife out from the centre to make it look like a spider web. The spiders are made from chunks of Snickers rolled into balls with legs piped on and little peanut heads. I’m not sure how much they actually look like spiders, but I think people get the idea. ;)
Happy baking and Happy Hallowe’en!
Peanut Butter Cheesecake of Death
(Half recipe of my Cake of Death)
Makes one 8″ round cake
- 110g plain flour
- 200g white sugar
- 45g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 125 ml strong brewed coffee, cooled
- 125 ml buttermilk (take normal milk and add 1-2 tsp of lemon juice)
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease, coat with cocoa powder, and line with baking parchment one 8 inch round cake pan.
- In large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center.
- Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Once completely cool, cut the layer in half using a bread knife.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
9″ round cheesecake
- 125g plain digestive biscuits/graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 60g butter/margarine
- 500g full fat cream cheese, softened
- 250g smooth peanut butter
- 200g white sugar
- 250ml double cream
- 4 Snickers bars, chopped into small pieces
- Optional: 5x2cm chunks of Snickers bars, 50-100g chocolate, 30-50ml double cream
- Mix together the digestive biscuits and 2 tbsp of white sugar. Melt the butter in the microwave and mix thoroughly with the biscuit crumbs. Press into the bottom of a 9″ round springform pan. Chill for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- Whip the double cream with an electric mixer to soft peaks.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar with the electric mixer on high until it is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Gently fold in the whipped cream. Fold in the chunks of Snickers bars.
- Take out the base of the cheesecake from the fridge. Spread 1/3 of the cheesecake mixture over the base. Top with a layer of chocolate cake.
- Spread 1/2 of the remaining cheesecake mixture evenly over the layer of chocolate cake. Top with the second layer of chocolate cake.
- Spread the remainder of the cheesecake mixture over the cake.
- Optional: melt the milk chocolate and cream in the microwave, stirring frequently. I didn’t really measure all that much for this part. It was approximately 100g milk chocolate with 50 ml double cream – however, I had loads of ganache left over. Using a small round tip in a disposable piping bag, pipe a spiral beginning in the centre of the cheesecake. Drag a knife through the spiral from the centre to the edges to create the spider web effect. Place the larger chunks of Snickers on top of the cake and pipe on eight legs per spider. You can use peanuts for heads and pipe on two dots for eyes.
- Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Devour.