Like coffee with cream, bacon with eggs, and Hall with Oates, chocolate and peanut butter are just better together. That little bit of saltiness from peanuts enhances all the deep dark decadence of the devil’s food cake.
This is an ideal everyday cake that’s a sweet treat for kids hopping off the bus after an exciting day at school, although those who wander in, ragged from a long day of adulting, may appreciate this cake even more.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Generously grease a 9 by 4-inch / 23 by 10cm Pullman pan (or two 8-inch / 20cm round cake pans), then line it with greased parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. In a small bowl, stir together the coffee and rum.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until well combined. Add the egg mixture and half the coffee-rum to the dry ingre¬dients and mix with a spoon until smooth. Slowly add the remaining coffee-rum and whisk until totally blended and smooth. The batter will be quite thin.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to release excess air bubbles.
- Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes (30 minutes for 8-inch rounds). Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan and inverting onto a serving plate.
- Using a metal decorating spatula, cover the cake with an even layer of the frosting and top with chocolate shavings. Serve at room temperature.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1⁄2 cup / 130g peanut butter with 1⁄2 cup / 120ml of the whipping cream. Pour into a container, mix in the remaining 11⁄2 cups / 360ml whipping cream, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, mix as directed.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed (you read that right) until just thick—it will start to leave marks from the whisk in the cream.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using the whisk attachment, continue whipping by hand for several seconds until the cream reaches the desired consistency; this way, you can ensure the mixer won’t take it too far. Whipped cream is best used right away.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream until just simmering. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Swirl the pan to make sure all of the chocolate is submerged in the hot cream. Let sit for 3 minutes and then gently stir until smooth.
- Transfer the ganache to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Gently warm the ganache over a pan of simmering water, forming a double boiler, to a pourable or spreadable consistency, depending on your needs.
Reprinted from Zoe Bakes Cakes. Copyright © 2021 by Zoë François. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House