Yesterday was James’ Birthday so I took the opportunity to try out a new cake I have been thinking of offering as a “Birthday” add-on to guests at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast: a triple layer chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache icing. Just saying it makes my mouth water. And it was that good! So here’s the recipe for my take on a peanut butter cup in a cake.
A few quick notes:
This recipe is for a triple layer cake because I wanted to go long on the peanut butter filling. If this is too much cake for you, you can make a two layer cake. Use the extra batter for cupcakes which you can freeze and serve later.
Chill the cake in the refrigerator before serving. This will firm up the peanut butter filling and make more elegant layers when you cut it. In this picture I topped it with crushed salted peanuts because that was what I had. But going forward I will top it with chopped peanut butter cups. Sometimes more is more!
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE
Makes three 6” layers or two 9” inch layers
For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour your cake pans
In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Carefully stir in 2 cups of boiling water.
Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake is shrinking away from the sides and springs back when touched. Cool for 10-15 minutes then turn out and cool completely on racks before finishing.
For the peanut butter filling:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ tsp salt
3-4 tsp cream
Put the butter, peanut butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a mixer and beat until just combined. Add the cream and beat at medium speed for three minutes.
For the chocolate ganache:
1 cup good quality chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
Finely chop the chocolate and place it in the bowl of your food processor. Heat the cream until almost boiling then pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes then pulse two or three times to mix it together. (if you don’t have a food processor you can do this in a heat proof bowl).
Pour the ganache into a small bowl. Fill a slightly larger bowl with ice and place the bowl with the chocolate over it. Whisk the ganache over the ice until it has thickened. This can take ten minutes or more.
1 cup coarsely chopped peanut butter cups
To assemble the cake
Spread the peanut butter filling in equal amount on two of the layers and stack them on top of each other with the plain layer on top.
Spread the ganache over the sides and top of the cake.
Pile the chopped peanut butter cups on top.
Store cake in the refrigerator.