Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

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IMG_0440I love good things. Sweet, simple, but good – very good- things. I blog about my appreciation of the good life here, but since this is a food blog, my post is about something very sweet, very good, and surprisingly simple. Enter Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Peanut Butter cake. This cake is quite possibly the most genius recipe ever. It is a basic chocolate cake x 3 layers, a creamy , not too peanut buttery filling and, if that weren’t enough for you, a luscious ganache that covers the entire cake. Any of the pieces from a component that stands on its own, but put together, makes a cake that is no-fail easy and impressive. I have big plans for using the cake batter for other recipes that are floating in my sweets-addled brain right now. In the meantime, go make this cake. Now. Do not wait another minute and go get your baking on!

Notes (these are taken from some notes that Deb from the Smitten Kitchen made in this recipe):

>  The original recipe says it serves 12 to 16 but she (Deb) notes it serves more than that.

>  These cakes are extremely soft. They can be a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll very be glad you did this!

> Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a really good idea  for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you do this, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating.

>Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps if you chill it again to let it firm up. This step helps as the cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.

> (personal Sempre Dolce note) You can make the cakes early in the day and freeze until ready to frost. This cake is also good cold ;)

 

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze

Warning: this cake is extremely rich, so cut small pieces!

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake that serves 12 to 16

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with 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 oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Add in vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure that the batter is well mixed. Divide batter among the  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. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.

4. Make the peanut butter frosting.

5. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 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.

6. 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.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (as oil doesn’t separate out)

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

2. Add peanut butter and beat until fully blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

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

2. Remove from heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use warm.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen who Adapted, only barely, from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

Posted by Shelbi

 

Lexi

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