Thursday, October 6, 2011
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
However, I do love to bake and I have a great friend celebrating her birthday today! In honor of her, I made this cake. I am wishing Donna the very happiest of Happy Birthdays! Please stop by her blog The Slow Roasted Italian and wish her a fabulous day!
We celebrated last night with a few other friends. It was a great night of visiting and playing with the children who were racing through the house. Luckily, I had some kiwi pops on hand for the youngest kids, because there was no way I was letting my wee one near this cake right before bedtime.
A few months ago, Donna mentioned that she would love a cake that combined peanut butter and chocolate. When I was looking for just the right recipe, I stumbled on this one by Deb at Smitten Kitchen. As soon as I read her description, I knew this was the one. It was perfect! There is absolutely nothing I would change about this recipe when I make it again.
This is a long recipe, but a fairly simple cake to make. The chocolate cake alone is reason to make this again. This just might be the best chocolate cake I have ever had. It is made in ONE bowl and cleanup for that part of this project was a breeze.
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze
recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes
Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake
2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch process is possible
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup light flavored olive oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of three 8" round cake pans. Trace the bottom of the pans onto wax paper or parchment with a pencil and then cut out the circles. Place the paper in the bottom of each pan and butter the paper.
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to combine. Gradually add in the water, whisking to combine thoroughly. Add the vinegar and vanilla and whisk again to combine. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well-blended. Scrape the bowl several times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined. Using a one cup measuring scoop, divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean with just crumbs. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pans for 20 minutes or so. Very carefully, invert the cakes onto wire racks and let them cool COMPLETELY. These are very soft cakes. Once they are completely cool, wrap in saran wrap and freeze for a couple hours before assembling the cake.
To frost the cake, place one layer flat side up on a serving plate or stand. Spread about 2/3 cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Place the second layer on top and repeat. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides with all but about 1/2 a cup of the remaining frosting. With this cake, it is a good idea to make a crumb coat with the first layer of frosting. Basically, just make sure the cake is covered in frosting, even if a few stray crumbs show through. Then you are going to chill the assembled cake again (I just placed mine back in the freezer for half an hour or so) before you add the last bit of frosting. Use the remaining bit of frosting to create a smooth final coating.
Once the cake is fully frosting, chill it again, to make sure the Peanut Butter Frosting is completely set before drizzling it with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze. The more set the first frosting is, the better the drip effect that will be created by the final glaze.
To decorate with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze, simple pour the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake. Using a large metal spatula (an offset one will work best for this), spread it evenly across the top of the cake just to the edges, so that it will create drips down the sides of the cake. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Remove the cake about one hour before serving and let it rest at room temperature.
Peanut Butter Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup half and half
In a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate and the peanut butter. Cook, whisking frequently, until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half and half, beating until smooth again. Use while still warm.
* This cake is INTENSE. Serve it in the thinnest slices possible. The slice below was meant to be shared with friends and could have easily served four people. ENJOY!