Funny I’m not a big fan of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or anything that’s mixed with peanuts and chocolate. I know I’m weird…so why would I make a cake that has both of these ingredients in it? One did I mention I was weird?, two I was thinking of my dad (who loves peanut butter) and three I wanted to practice my piping skills.
So the other day I made a little 6 inch round “baby cake”. Its the perfect size to practice my piping skills and its not a whole lot of cake that my family and I would have to put up with all week.
After baking it, filling it and frosting it. I tried to pipe a plant design on it that’s on my kitchen apron.
The design I tried to pipe came out OK ( trying to pipe while your kids are awake is a BIG NO!). My husband didn’t like the design at all. Come to find out he doesn’t even like it on my apron and said it looked like some strange space weeds were growing on the cake. But he loved how the cake tasted (good save babe!).
This cake was very yummy and don’t be fooled by how rich it looks. It was chocolaty, moist, and the peanut butter filling was very settle.
Here is the recipe. Make it for that peanut butter lover in your life or when you’ve had a really rough day.
makes one 6 inch layer cake
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder (try Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 large eggs at room temperature
3 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups cake flour or 1 1/2 cups of bleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
Set an oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 F (do this 20 minutes or more before baking).
Coat the bottom of two 6 inch round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray, line with parchment paper and spray the entire inside of the pan with more cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. To speed cooling, place in the fridge (about 15 minutes).
In a small bowl whisk the eggs, the 3 tablespoons of water, and vanilla extract just until lightly combined, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Starting on the medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Fill each cake pan half way. Smooth surfaces with a small offset metal spatula.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and cake springs back with pressed lightly in the center.
Let cake cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove them from the pans and set them on a wire rack. Make sure to carefully reinvert the cake so the tops do not split. Cool completely.
For the filling
adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a food processor (you can whisk this by hand or in a stand in mixer) combine all ingredients (scraped down if necessary) until butter cream is smooth and uniform in color.
makes 2 cups
3/4 cup of milk chocolate morsels
3/4 cup of semi – sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Using a double broiler (set a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water), combine all the ingredients, whisking until chocolate melts and it becomes smooth.
Remove bowl from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
Assemble the cake (go here for a good step-by-step if you have no clue on what to do with your cake)
1. Once your cake is completely cooled. Slice each layer in half. If your cake came out with a “dome top” cut that layer off as well. You want your cake to have a nice flat top.
2. Fill each layer with peanut buttercream and do a crumb coat using the buttercream as well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. When ganache is warm but not super hot, place 1/2 cup on the top of cake, working quickly with a small spatula and using a circular motion to spread a thin layer over the top. Place a few tablespoons of ganache on your spatula and frost the sides with a thin layer of ganache as well.
4. Refrigerate cake for 15 minutes to set the ganache.
5. To finish frosting, place another thicker layer of ganache on top of the cake and repeat frosting step 3.
Now enjoy all that hard work you just did…and you don’t have to share it with anyone.
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