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Heaven and Hell Cake

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Angel Food Cake

  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Devil's Food Cake

  • 1/2 cup powdered cocoa
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Peanut Butter Mousse

  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups peanut butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  • 2 pounds chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups cream


  1. Angel Food Cake: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut parchment paper or wax paper to fit the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan. Do not grease the pan or paper.
  2. Sift together flour and confectioners' sugar. Set aside.
  3. Place egg whites in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Beat slowly while adding the salt and cream of tartar, then continue beating for 1 minute, or until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium; add sugar, by tablespoons until it is all incorporated, then beat 1 1/2 minutes longer. When egg whites are still, add vanilla and almond extracts. Remove bowl from mixer and sprinkle half the flour-sugar mixture over the egg whites. Fold in with rubber spatula; sprinkle with remaining flour-sugar mixture and fold again, using a minimum number of strokes so that the egg whites do not deflate.
  4. Gently spoon mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Do not over bake or the cake will sink in the middle.
  5. Devil's Food Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and flour a round 10-inch cake pan.
  6. Sift cocoa into mixing bowl, then drizzle in the coffee while whisking to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  7. Combine shortening, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
  8. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Alternately add the coffee-cocoa mixture and the flour mixture to the egg-sugar mixture and continue beating until incorporated.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Peanut Butter Mousse: Into the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and creamy. Gradually beat into he confectioners' sugar, then the peanut butter. Continue beating until thoroughly incorporated and fluffy. If mixture looks lumpy, add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. It may not smooth out, but it will be easier to blend. Transfer mixture to another bowl and set aside.
  11. Place the heavy cream in the electric mixer bowl and whip until stiff. Carefully, but thoroughly, combine both mixtures. Set aside.
  12. Ganache: In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil and stir in chocolate. Remove from heat, cover pan and let chocolate melt. Whisk to combine thoroughly, then let cool to room temperature.
  13. To Assemble: When both cakes have cooled, carefully slice them in half horizontally with a sharp serrated knife (the longer the better), so that you now have four cake layers. To slice angel food cake, spray the knife with oil. Holding the top of the cake with your flat open hand, use a sawing action to slice through. Do not put pressure on the knife, or the cake might tear; just let the sawing action do its work. (If the cake sinks in the center, fill it in with some extra mousse. Make this the top part 1 layer and it will be easier to level off.) Place 1 layer of devil's food cake on a plate and spoon a third of the peanut butter mousse on top. Add a layer of angel food cake, then spread with another third of the mousse. Add second devil's food layer, then remaining mousse. Top with remaining angel food layer. Whisk the ganache, then spread over the cake with a spatula, frosting both top and sides generously. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
  14. Serve chilled; slice with warm, wet knife.