Forever 18.

Turning 18, in my opinion, is one of the milestones of life.

I remember when I turned 18, it was my first year here in Melbourne, and it was also my first birthday away from home. It was bitter sweet, almost. Thank God that I had friends who love me and made my day very very special and unforgettable. So, to me. Having a celebration when you turn 18 is almost crucial! (: It signifies you becoming an adult (I know, not as huge as turning 21, but nonetheless important!) and definitely deserves a good dinner and a huge cake!

A huge cake was what I made for Peiwen for her 18th birthday during the last weekend! To be honest, I was very very nervous. Big cakes are definitely not something I am good at, not to say, I rarely make them. So I was really brave to decide on making not just a big cake, but a layered cake that, to me, is the most complex thing I’ve ever done! And.. it was HUGE! haha I got a shock after I assembled it, at how huge it was!

As “tall” as Peiqi’s hands!

Just shy of Peiwen’s hand haha

The original name of this cake is called the Heaven and Hell cake. I know. Not a very attractive name. But it’s only cause the two flavours of cakes in this recipe is an angel food cake and a devil’s food cake, held together with a peanut butter mousse. haha. So it does make sense yea? But when it was assembled and when I was helping to cut it into smaller portions, only one thing came to my mind: Reeses. So I decided to change the name to Reeses Choc-White cake (:

Thankfully, it was well received by everyone, and most importantly, the birthday girl (: So happy birthday once again! Hope you had an awesome time!

Cutting the cake was nerve-wrecking for me. I didn’t know if the layers were going to be distinct, or it was going to be a while mess inside. So with my fingers and toes crossed…

not very uniform in the height of each layer. but the layers are pretty distinct, right? haha Or just me and my self-encouragements. haha. ah wells. anywho! Here’s the recipe I’ve adapted from Food o’del Mundo

Reeses Choc-White Cake

Ganache
1 3/4 lbs (795 g) dark chocolate melts
1 1/3 c (315 ml) heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan and when it begins to bubble up, pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Gently stir, starting in the middle and working your way outward, until the cream and chocolate are completely mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Angel Food Cake
1 1/2 c (235 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 c minus 2 Tbls (120 g) flour
2 Tbls cornstarch
1 1/2 c (355 ml) egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 c (200 g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F (160C) and line the bottom of a 10″ round cake pan with ungreased parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar, flour and cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually sprinkle in sugar, then extracts, beating until stiff peaks form.

Sift half of the flour mixture over egg whites and fold until just combined. Sift over the remaining half of the flour mixture and gently fold until no streaks remain.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake until top of cake springs back when touched, 45–50 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and let cool.

My angel cake turned out to have a very crispy outer layer, not sure if it’s cause I did something wrong, but it did add this crunchy texture to the cake which actually was pretty good! (:

Devil’s Food Cake
3/4 c (155 g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 c minus 3 Tbls (185 g) flour
3 Tbls cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c (355 ml) coffee
3/4 c (70 g) cocoa powder, sifted
2 c (250 g) sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, room temp

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease a 10″ round cake pan with shortening and dust with flour to coat. Shake out excess flour and set pan aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk the coffee and cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs with a handheld mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 minutes. Alternately add the flour mixture and the coffee mixture to the bowl in 3 stages, beating to combine after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, 30–35 minutes; transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Mousse
1 lb (455 g) (2 8oz packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3 c (710 ml) smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
2 c (315 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 c (235 ml) heavy cream

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Put cream into a large bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining 2/3rds. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Assembly

Using a serrated-blade knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer of the devil’s food cake on a cake stand and spread 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse over the top. Top mousse with a layer of the angel food cake and spread with half of the remaining mousse. Repeat with the remaining devil’s food cake, mousse, and angel food cake. Wrap cake in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours.

Stir ganache (heat it in the microwave, if necessary, at 10 second intervals. Be sure to stir well) until smooth and pour over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing with a palette spreader if necessary. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before slicing.

Happy 18th Birthday !

So tell me dearest readers, how did you celebrate your 18th birthday?

12 thoughts on “Forever 18.

  1. foododelmundo says:

    Bellisimo! Peiwen is lucky to have a friend that will go to such lengths! It’s one of the more difficult/time consuming cakes I’ve ever made. I figured out if you use a serrated knife to cut, it works well because of the angel-food cake. Thanks for the plug and be sure to pop on over to Foodo on Sunday, I’ll have a tutorial on how to frost a layer cake so you can get all those layers even.
    ~ Mary

    • liannelow says:

      Thanks Mary! (: It sure is one of the most difficult cakes I’ve tried making! But it was great! The flavours and the combination of everything! My bf loves it and so did the birthday girl -phew!- Will definitely pop by Foodo on Sunday to learn more! Thanks for dropping by!

  2. thecoffeesnob says:

    I was in Melbourne too, on my 18th birthday- my 2nd year there 🙂

    For my 18th birthday, I had dinner with a bunch of much loved friends, after which another bunch of friends took me to a playground where they had a cake waiting and proceeded to smear it all over me. Ah, fun times.

    Anyway this cake looks divine! You’re way more awesome with huge cakes than you think babe!

    • liannelow says:

      awww. thanks babe! (: your comment has encouraged me to keep trying to conquer the fear of making huge cakes! hehe

      It’s always fun to think back on how birthdays were celebrated aye? Even more so when you celebrated away from home and with a bunch of friends who are your family when u are here! hehe

      FUN TIMES indeed!

  3. peiwen says:

    Hey! Thanks once again! Really liked the cake! Even though it wasn’t supposed to be crispy, I kinda liked the crispy bit in the cake! Shared some with my friends and they all loved it too! & I enjoyed dinner and dessert (as always) lester and you prepared! 😀

  4. peiqi says:

    Hey Xin Lian,
    Just saw this post! I know, Pw and I are very slow!! HAHAHA!! 😀 THE CAKE WAS AWESOMEEEEE!! REALLY!! 🙂 LOVED IT AND STILL LOVING IT UP TILL TODAY! as I have told you I gave some to my friends and they loved it too!! 🙂 Salvaging the other quarter of the cake!! Too yummy to let it disappear to fast! HAHAHA!!

    • liannelow says:

      (: that’s okayyyy! hehe i know u girls are busy studying! hehe I’m glad that you, pw and ur friends enjoyed the cake! hehe we haven’t even finish the quarter we had!! hahaha cos im on a diet! 😛 hehe

      well all the best for ur preps! u can do it!

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