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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Insane Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Ganache Cake to celebrate my birthday

Image courtesy of Seasoned to Taste because I deleted the
one I took off my phone
When my friend and former cookbook club mate, Anna posted the recipe to Smitten Kitchen's Insane Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Ganache Cake, I knew I had to have this cake for my birthday. Of course, I wasn't going to make my own cake so I posted it to Facebook where my neighbor decided to give it a whirl for her grandfather's birthday. She brought me over a slice and then my husband ask her to make it again, and she did and it was every the title lives up to. It's insane. It will put you in a sugar coma and you won't be able to stop eating it. My co-workers are going to love me tomorrow.

My husband knows first hand of my peanut butter chocolate addiction. When I was pregnant, I often requested a piece of a similar cake by a bakery that is no longer in business. If I want a milkshake, it has to be chocolate ice cream with peanut butter and I'm a sucker for Tagalongs too.

Warning: my neighbor suggested that the is a two part cake. She recommends freezing the layers overnight before frosting.

Insane Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Ganache Cake

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 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. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. Freeze the layers overnight as they are easier to work with when you frost them.

4. To frost the cake, 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. 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 great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, 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 frosting, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.

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.

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 (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ 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.

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

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

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

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

1 comment:

  1. Yum, a cake with two frostings sounds too good to resist. Looks like your birthday was a very sweet one. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" (it will be open till Monday) and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your delicious cake up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-3.html

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