Peanut Butter Chocolate Tower – Gluten Free Version

I have had a recipe for chocolate towers marked for a long time in Emily Luchetti’s cookbook, and finally decided I would make it.  After looking over the components, it looked like a recipe that could easily be made gluten free.  I also thought the coffee flavouring sounded ok, but since I didn’t have any instant coffee I looked in the cupboard for inspiration and found some peanut butter.  Alas the inspiration of a chef sometimes comes from sheer practicality.

I made the cake in a rectangular pan and cut out the chocolate rounds. To make the mousse the right size I looked through my dishes and found some souffle dishes that were about the same size.

The chocolate topping is sort of like a really thick sauce, so it slithers over the edge just enough before the frigid mouse stops it in its tracks.  The chocolate recipe ended up making enough for another batch, so I made this dessert twice in one week.  Greg is tired of it now, but it was a big hit until we ate too much of it.  This is a really good company dessert because it can all be made even a day before you need it, and even freezes well.

Emily Luchetti has written several cookbooks, and I have found them all great.  A Passion for Desserts is an excellent cookbook, and has the original  Chocolate Tower recipe (non gluten-free).

So, with thanks to Emily Luchetti for the inspiration, but the final recipe has been tweaked a fair bit and I am naming it Choco-peanut  Tower.

Read on for the recipe…

Choco-peanut Towers

(Includes Gluten Free Version)

Ingredients Method
Chocolate Cake Layer:

(use 8 inch square pan or equivalent)

6 Tablespoons Flour or use gluten free flour mix

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa, dutch process

1/8 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

4 T unsalted butter, softened

½ cup sugar

2 large eggs

3 T buttermilk

½ tsp vanilla extract.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light
  • Add eggs
  • Add vanilla to buttermilk, then mix dry ingredients and liquid and beat until smooth.
  • Bake about 35 minutes until skewer comes out clean.

Note:  for guten free flour I used:  1 T white bean flour, 1 T chestnut flour, 1 T tapioca flour, 2 T white buckwheat flour 1 T cornstarch.  The cake was oerfect.

Peanut Butter Mousse Layer

9 oz white chocolate

¼ cup peanut butter (or a little less)

1 ¼ cup whipping cream

  • Melt white chocolate and cool
  • Add peanut butter and beat until smooth
  • In separate bowl whip cream, then fold the white chocolate into the cream.
  • Pour into individual molds and let set in fridge until cool, about 3 hours.
Chocolate Ganache Topping Layer

¾ cup whipping cream

4 tsp cornstarch

2 T unsalted butter

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • Warm cream, corn syrup and butter until hot, then add the chocolate until it all melts.  Cool until spreading consistency, but not hardened.

You can use whatever shape you prefer to assemble.  I used a round cookie cutter to cut the cake into circles.  I used little soufflé cups the size of the circles to form the mousse by lining the cups with plastic wrap then turning them out when firm.  Assemble the chocolate cake and mousse layers and refrigerate, then add the ganache.  The ganache will harden and spread only a little if you cool the first 2 layers before adding the ganache.  You could just make this in a square pan and add the layers, cutting the cake at the end as well.

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