Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

37 Comments
peanut butter mousse cake

Chocolate peanut butter mousse layered with chewy peanut meringue

Chocolate mousse. Two words, a hundred variations, a thousand different expectations.

Ever since I made this favourite little dessert on holiday in Italy, I’ve wanted to write about it on the blog. My usual recipe for chocolate mousse is simplicity itself, rich and elegant, steeped in childhood memories and consisting of just two ingredients: chocolate and eggs. It’s the ultimate store cupboard recipe (don’t tell me you’ve not got chocolate on your shelves, I don’t believe you), and involves minimum effort for maximum impact, making it an easy go-to recipe to have in your repertoire.

Perhaps a little too easy.

peanut butter mousse cake

Rich chocolate mousse melts against a meringue that is both chewy and crisp

The curse (and joy) of being a food blogger is that we always want to try something new. While there are, of course, recipes I’ll make time and again, I’m all too easily seduced by the opportunity to make something I haven’t baked before. So when I sat down on Saturday to make and photograph my basic chocolate mousse for you, I found myself slightly distracted.

peanut butter mousse cake

Leave this cake uncoated as I did or ice with ganache for the ultimate indulgence

Google ‘chocolate mousse’ and you’ll encounter more recipes than you know what to do with. There is Elizabeth David’s classic chocolate mousse – the one on which mine is based – with varying ratios of chocolate to egg. Some omit the egg yolks altogether, add a little water or sweeten with sugar, while the Julia Child school of indulgence adds in equal quantities of butter. Stray in the opposite direction and healthy eating and vegan sites will offer up avocado or silken tofu versions while others add smoothness with a hefty dose of double cream. Throw in coffee, spice, citrus or crunch and the options multiply exponentially.

Confronted with so much choice, I caved in. I felt the need to make something a little bit more ridiculous, a whole lot more memorable, than my simple childhood recipe. Turning to one of my most extravagant cookbooks – Claire Clarke’s Indulge – I decided on a recipe for chocolate hazelnut mousse rich with butter, cream and a generous scoop of praline spread. But replacing the hazelnut with peanuts and the spread with a scoop of creamy peanut butter to use up what I had to hand.

peanut butter mousse cake

Serve this rich cake in thin slices with cold vanilla ice cream

What I ended up with is this chocolate peanut butter mousse cake. Layers of rich peanut butter and milk chocolate mousse are layered with crisp, slightly chewy peanut meringue and honey roasted peanuts in a cake that is smooth, sweet, slightly salty and totally over the top. It’s delicious – don’t get me wrong, I’d urge absolutely anyone to make it and have been happily eating it all weekend – but it’s a completely different beast to the simple, elegant mousse I’d originally intended to share.

This is a mousse for a special occasion. Serve in thin slices (you can always go back for seconds) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to cut through the richness and a sprinkling of roasted peanuts for added crunch. It may not be the most traditional chocolate mousse, it may not be quite what you (or I) were expecting, but it’s delicious and a little bit different . Which is exactly how I like this blog to be.

peanut butter mousse cake

Chocolate & peanut butter – the ultimate combination

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake (adapted from Indulge by Claire Clarke)
(serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

For the peanut meringue
100g peanuts
12g plain flour, sieved
180g caster sugar
6 medium free range egg whites

For the chocolate mousse
150ml double cream
250g milk chocolate, chopped
150g unsalted butter
50g smooth peanut butter
30g cocoa powder
4 large free range egg whites
50g caster sugar
Honey roast peanuts (optional)

Method:

For the peanut meringue
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.

Using the bottom of a 15cm cake tin as a template, draw three circles on a sheet of baking parchment (or two sheets, depending on the size of your oven/trays). Turn the parchment over and lay it on a baking sheet/s.

Whizz the peanuts in a blender until finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine the peanuts, flour and half the sugar (90g).

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and remaining 90g sugar until stiff peaks form and the meringue is smooth and shiny. Fold in the dry ingredients with a large metal spoon. The mixture should remain light and fluffy so be careful not to overmix.

Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe three circles within your hand drawn templates, starting at the middle and working outwards. The spiralling lines should be touching to form a neat disc of meringue.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.

For the chocolate mousse
Whip the cream to soft peaks. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together the butter and peanut butter then sift in the cocoa powder.

Whisk the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.

Combine the warm butter mixture and chocolate then gently fold into the egg whites. Fold in the semi-whipped cream to make a light, fluffy mousse.

To assemble the cake
Place one of the discs of peanut meringue on a tray lined with baking parchment and sit your 15cm cake ring (minus the bottom) over the top.

Fill a piping bag with the mousse (it should be firm enough to do this, but if not, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before using) and pipe a layer of mousse on top of the meringue. Chop the honey roast peanuts and sprinkle over the mousse.

Place the second meringue over the top and repeat. Finally top with the third meringue.

Put the tray in the fridge for at least one hour to firm up.

When ready to serve, use a blowtorch to loosen the ring mould slightly. If you don’t have one, a hot damp towel wrapped round the mould should work just as well.

Serve in thin slices with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and additional sprinkling of honey roast peanuts. Make sure slices are thin enough that you can justify going back for seconds. Possibly thirds.

37 RESPONSES TO Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

  1. Michelle -

    I have a friend who never, and I mean never, makes the same dish twice. You are so right: blogging makes us all a little like that! This looks wonderful–like a Reese’s peanut butter cup on steroids.

  2. Amazing, it looks so rich and yummy, all my favourite flavours. I like your idea of that slice being a ‘thin one’! So glad you’re enjoying the book ;) x

  3. Kavey -

    Goshdarnit, if you weren’t already engaged, I’d ask you to marry me. Despite the fact I’m already married and we’ve never met. This looks so heavenly.

  4. What a fantastic recipe. I’m always making meringues and I love chocolate mousse – the Elizabeth David version. I’m making this cake but not the 8-10 people version. Really fabulous:)

  5. I’m glad you made something more ridiculous… I have a recipe for chocolate mousse and it is unlikely to change… but this looks superb… well done for giving in to the desire to experiment somewhat!

  6. Susan -

    I love the sound of the peanut butter meringue. Why use milk chocolate for the mousse instead of dark? (Just curious.)

  7. that looks fantastic! I second Kavey’s comment ;)

  8. Erin -

    Oh yum yum yum. The peanut butter meringue sounds so intriguing!

  9. Hehe this is the third peanut butter recipe that I’ve drooled over today! I’m off to have a teaspoon of it :P

  10. I cannot resist anything with both chocolate and peanut butter. This looks divine!

    • Michelle – I’m not that extreme, but I do understand where she’s coming from!

      Milli – haha, yep, do as I say, not as I do – thick slices all round! The book is fab, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Kavey – one day we will meet up and I will bake for you :-)

      Food, Photography and France – you could easily scale it down, or make just the mousse on its own.

      Frugal Feeding – glad you like it!

      Susan – it’s sweeter and less bitter – you could use dark instead for a more sophisticated mousse.

      Joanna – thank you :-)

      Erin – it’s actually just ground peanut in the meringue, then peanut butter in the mousse. But yes, it’s fab!

      Lorraine – just a teaspoon? ;-)

      Connie – me neither :-)

  11. Jules -

    Beginning to wish I hadn’t eaten that one bar of chocolate in the cupboard earlier. This looks wonderful!

  12. Whoa, what a great cake – what a combination! I LOVE peanut butter and chocolate (can anybody say Reeses?). Lovin’ the meringue as well – I just made this amazing daquoise with almonds&hazelnuts, next time I want to try it with peanut butter – great inspiration!

  13. Wow, that looks so yummy! Brilliant take on one of the best flavour combinations around :-)

  14. You had me at chocolate peanut butter. Since I’ve started blogging I tend not to make the same recipe twice as I can’t blog about it again and I also want to try something new. There are a few classics that I keep going back to though :) This looks like a perfect celebration cake.

  15. Ohhhh wow!!! This looks incredible!! Wish you could mail me a piece =p

  16. It’s funny how sometimes we end up with something completely different to what we started out with but however you got here, this cake looks so good!

  17. This looks absolutely delicious and every bit as indulgent as the title promises!

  18. My Kitchen Stories -

    I love this recipe. I never thought of using peanuts in a meringue base…nice. can I also let you know I have posted a recipe of yours. Its a beautiful recipe for Pistachio cake. here it is
    http://mykitchenstories.com.au/?p=6458

  19. Oh yum, this looks delicious. I agree, it looks like it would taste like a Reeses Peanut butter cup, I think I might try to make it so the piping is not required (I am lazy like that!) I’ll let you know!

  20. While I never get sick of classic chocolate mousse, this recipe looks amazing!! I like that you shared your whimsy and creativity with the rest of us. Chocolate Peanut Butter Mouse Cake – I’m in:)
    xo
    E

  21. I must be in heaven yet again. How do you keep making things I would love to eat?! This must be a total delight and taste sensation!

  22. Laura -

    I love peanut butter and chocolate but normally I’m not tempted by the two combined. I would love to try some of this though, it looks fantastic.

  23. Wow! This cake looks so impressive! I love the layers of mousse and meringue … great idea for a dinner party.

    • Jules – thank you!

      Alicia – thanks!

      Jenni – dacquoise is one of my favourite things ever, keen to try lots of other nut variations.

      Parker Cupcakery – it’s a class combo :-)

      Baking Addict – everyone should have a few classic fall-back recipes :-)

      All You Do Is Eat – wish I could too, would save my waistline! ;-)

      Kathryn – ahh, thank you :-)

      Jenny – indeed!

      My Kitchen Stories – just popped over to check out your pistachio cake – looks absolutely delicious.

      Things We Make – you could easily make this just by dolloping the meringue rather than piping it. Just make sure to spread it fairly thin to get the crispness. Let me know how you get on!

      Erin – so pleased you like it :-) And yes, I adore classic chocolate mousse.

      Laura – aww, so glad you like it.

      Laura – ooh good, I’ve created a convert!

      Nic – you took the words right out of my mouth!

      Laura – me too :-)

      Thanh – thank you.

      Bianca – thanks!

      Russell – I may tell people to slice thinly, but large is definitely the way to go!

  24. Pingback: Stop what you’re doing and look at this! « Kerry Cooks

  25. Lisa -

    OMG OMG OMG..this cake is peanut butter chocolate mousse heaven! Pure, unadulterated peanut butter/chocolate insanity! I love the peanut butter meringue!!! Must,make.soon!

  26. Shaar -

    I am drooling at the thought of this cake and will definitely make it, please can you tell me are the peanuts in the meringue salted?

    • I used plain peanuts – salted might be a little too rich (and salty!) but you could try!

      • Shaar -

        Thank you for a super quick response. The shopping list is now complete & so looking forward to recreating this lush looking desert.

  27. laythetable -

    This sounds incredible – the way you describe the stuff you make always makes me want to get straight in the kitchen!

  28. Pingback: Lemon, Almond & Blackberry Slice | thelittleloaf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.