Saturday, February 11, 2012

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = LOVE

Seriously, peanut butter & chocolate... How can you go wrong!? You can't. It's impossible. I find myself researching all of the millions of ways that I can incorporate peanut butter into my well as my other guilty pleasure - Nutella. While this creation has left our friend Nutella out of the equation, it is a form of chocolate that I love to eat with a spoon out of the jar - straight up. Sometimes, I'll even have a spoon of peanut butter & then combine it with Nutella - bliss!!

I first made this cake in August, on a whim, when I was bored & feeling creative. I gave the entire thing away but not without enjoying some of the ganache while I was baking it! 

I borrowed the recipe from this website who adapted it from another great site

So, without further ado.... Here it is!
Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Ganache & Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cups packed golden brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2-3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

To make the filling: Bring cream and sugar to simmer in a saucepan, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, stir in the peanut butter and chocolate, let stand a minute or two and then whisk until smooth. Chill for several hours or overnight.

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F and spray three 9″ cake pans with nonstick spray (or butter them). In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
The melty ganache icing - my first try!!

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add it to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, beating on low speed just until mixed each time.

Divide batter among pans and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are golden and springy to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth; beat in a cup of the icing sugar, then another cup along with the vanilla. Add more sugar, beating until you have something spreadable. If you need to, add a tablespoon of water or milk – the moisture content of peanut butters will vary.

To assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving plate or cake plate and spread with half the chocolate ganache; top with another cake layer and the rest of the ganache.
*The first time I made this cake, I didn't let the ganache cool. The result a swirly looking icing because the ganache kept "leaking" out between the layers. While the end result was a success, I would recommend letting your ganache cool before spreading it on.

I also heard another trick for icing a cake - do a layer of icing, thin.... Then put it in the fridge to firm. Then, bring it back out and finish icing it! This way, you won't get the pesky crumbs in your icing!

Once icing is complete - EAT!! EAT!! EAT!!!

Happy Birthday Blair! 
The second time I made this cake - I cheated & used a boxed chocolate cake mix for the cake. The result - RAVE reviews!!

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