Monday 14 September 2009

triple-layer chocolate peanut butter cake

chocolate peanut butter cake 2

It took me a year to make this cake.

Not literally. I don't mean I started baking last August and have only just finished frosting the damn thing; I mean I
first saw this cake a year ago, and have been lusting after it ever since. You want to know how few excuses there are in everyday life to whip out a triple-layer chocolate peanut butter cake? You need a crowd of about five thousand people for a start, several hours of free time, a non-student budget, and possibly a home gym (I'm just sayin').

I have none of these things, but after a year of chocolatey longing I'd kind of reached tipping point.

chocolate peanut butter cake  1

Just in case you're not there yet (and I know these photos aren't great, and I'm pretty bummed over it. Serves me right, holding photoshoots the-morning-after), let me make a few things clear.

This peanut butter frosting? I would sell my firstborn for it.

...I actually loathe children, so maybe that isn't the most persuasive argument.

I would trade my gold sparkly Kurt Geiger high heels for it. -No, I wouldn't. They're awesome. I've worn those shoes 13 hours straight (don't ask) without so much as a toe aching. That's your shoe recommendation for today, faithful readers.

I would eat the entire batch single handedly until I collapsed in a sugar-high stupor...?

That sounds more like it.

chocolate peanut butter cake 3

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes (via Smitten Kitchen)
Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake

I had something of a battle with the cake part of this, which I found to have an uncommonly liquid-y batter which ran out of all my loose-bottomed cake tins. Quite aside from having to scrape cake mixture off the bottom of my oven, this meant my layers were quite thin. I also had to cook it for longer than the recipe said; I think I probably made a measuring mistake, to be honest, since none of the commenters on Smitten Kitchen seem to have had this problem. But bear this in mind and use a tin without a loose bottom, perhaps? It's wonderfully dark and moist and most importantly, doesn't overpower the frosting, but I'd still consider using a different chocolate cake recipe in future.

See, the real star here is the peanut butter frosting. Don't let the cream cheese freak you out, it is GODLY. Put it on cupcakes. Put it on toast. Rub it all over your face.

Now, go forth!

For the cake:
280g (2 cups)
plain flour
(2 1/2 cups) sugar - I think I was a little stingy with this
90g (3/4 cup)
unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
(1 cup)
neutral vegetable oil
(1 cup)
sour cream
(1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

4. When ready to frost the cake, put in the freezer for about an hour first so it's manouverable, or else your layers will break up - trust me! Place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving.

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
Makes about 5 cups

280g (10oz) cream cheese, at room temp
(1 stick)
butter, at room temp
500-600g (4-5 cups) icing sugar, sifted -
the original recipe uses 5c., I definitely used less but can't remember exactly how much. Add to taste.
160ml (2/3 cup) smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

OR: skip the cream cheese and use 1 1/2 c. peanut butter

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

For the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze:
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

225g (8 oz) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped - I used half milk/dark as a rough equivalent to American 'semisweet'
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
(1/2 cup) single cream

1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, beating until smooth. Use while still slightly warm.

chocolate peanut butter cake 4


Clair said...

Even in a drunken state I remember how beautifully delicious this was!!

Irina @ PastryPal said...

Are you kidding? These photos are awesome. You can have all my possessions for a slice of this beauty.

Irina @ PastryPal said...

Are you kidding? These photos are awesome. You can have all my possessions for a slice of this beauty.

Kristie said...

Your cake turned out beautiful. I drooled a little bit when the page opened. I literally just bought the Sky High book, can't wait to try this recipe out!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I think I've mentioned that I'm not a fan of chocolate but do like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. With that said this looks REALLY good.

Btw, I think your photos are terrific. Deb's at Smitten Kitchen didn't have me contemplating making this for myself.

Chloe said...

I made this last year for my man-shape and oh my god it was good! I am so with you on the peanut butter icing, I have a first born and at the moment would probably give her up for a bowlful (only for a few hours mind)

I think the photos are great, the cake is oh so good and your description just reminds me of the deliciousness that is peanut butter chocolate cake.

I wonder if I can make it again for his birthday... or just any day ending with Y.

Anonymous said...

These shoes you speak of, are they like my green ones but GOLD????
P.s. this cake was NOMNOMNOMMYNOM
Sophie is very hungover and lying in what she calls 'bed of shame' and Clare and I call 'bed of vom'.

Nickki said...

OMG!!!! Heaven on a plate!! I shall need to get my hands on this book :-)

grace said...

good heavens to betsy. and her mother. good heavens to besty and her entire family. this cake definitely appears to be worth some sacrifice, and if that sacrifice is me walking around with peanut butter frosting slathered all over my face, so be it.

Adam said...

Dude your pictures are magic, that cake is just begging to be eaten. I'm pretty sure I can hear people clawing at your door trying to get a piece :)

Hope that home gym thing works out for you though... It would take about a week to wipe off the pounds, but probably also that peanutbutter smile off your face :)

Unknown said...

I would sell my firstborn to try this cake. It looks divine. MAKE ME SOME!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean! I've had my eyes on this chocolate-peanutbutter cake for some time now, but..... I need a happening!

Amy Kelly said...

I made this cake back in July for my father-in-law's birthday, and I have to agree with you. While the frosting and ganache were delicious, the cake seemed a bit off for the recipe. The batter made a very, very moist cake, which I found too moist in this application. I think a thicker more substantial cake would compliment the rich frosting and ganache a bit better. The cake was certainly delicious, but better for another recipe, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean the photos aren't great?? That last shot got me wishing I could lick the screen.

Cakelaw said...

LOL - it looks superb, and if you are prepared to sacrifice yourself by esating it in one go, that's all the proof I need.

Kerstin said...

Wow! I really can't even start to describe how amazing this looks -just wow!

Y said...

Yowza. What a cake! I have that recipe bookmarked, but don't know if I'll ever get round to making it. Like you, hadn't found a good excuse yet :)

morgana said...

Oh my God. Eat this must be a sin. For sure. I hope I don't have to wait for a whole year before I fall into temptation... ;-)

Sihan said...

I'm smitten. I'm soo going to make this. Thanks for the persuasion.

My Casa Bella said...

OMG!! I will have to make this and surprise my husband with it. It looks amazing!!!
My Casa Bella

Christina said...

oh. my. god.! i just came across your blog and this cake seriously saved my day! :-)

Anonymous said...

Gah - I hate "morning after" improvised photoshoots. Yours turned out really well though! These photos are making me drool!

I love this recipe, and I love that cookbook! Everything in there is amazing!

Brisha and Poata Te'o said...

This cake looks Incredible!! I can't believe it took you a year to make it!! I think I might have to make it sometime this week! To die for!!

chika said...

oh my, that looks yummy!!
i want some i want some i want some!

Sarah said...

I made this cake to donate to a charity bakesale. I usually know better than to have something so rich around the house, but since I was giving it away, I made an exception. I made a small cake for myself and frosted it so I could try it. It's SO GOOD!

The finished cake made $50 for charity. The family of the winner said it was the best cake they'd ever had. They ordered it again for a birthday party - so I got another minicake! Now I just need to keep coming up with reasons to make it and give most of it away.

Zara said...

Practically having a heart attack at the look of this cake...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so goooood. Must remember the neutral vegetable oil as opposed to warmongering type I normally use.

sheila @ Elements said...

That looks AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!! My mouth is watering!!! :)

Unknown said...

oh my!!!!...this cake looks delicious. I would love a slice of it...yumm!

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