Monday, 24 October 2011

My birthday cake - dark chocolate and peanut butter cake {recipe}

I mentioned on Facebook a while ago that I was going to concoct a dark chocolate and peanut butter cake to celebrate my birthday with my family.  I am always making cakes for other people so it was really lovely to make one for myself, a cake that presses all of my buttons.  This is it.  I have no words.

Hang on.  Yes I do.  I always have words.  This cake is AMAZING.  I am going to bake it for my birthday ever year until the end of time (or at least until I find another obsession).

When I mentioned the chocolate peanut butter combination a few people were unimpressed.  I do not understand.  How can you not like peanut butter with chocolate? A match made in heaven!  I have been a great fan of Reese's Pieces for a long time.  I used to buy them at a shop in Malvern called Horse Torque that sold discontinued confectionary, and then I bought them at Daimaru in the American confectionary section.  These stores have since closed but luckily I have Sugar Station for all of my peanut buttery needs!  And now I have this cake...

This cake is a four layer cake, two of the layers being peanut butter cake and two of them dark chocolate cake.  Each layer is filled with a peanut butter concoction, and the entire cake is topped with dark chocolate ganache and sprinkled with crushed peanuts. 


Go on.  Make it.  I dare you.

Firstly, make the Dark Chocolate cake.  I love this cake.  It is a wonderful rich colour and tastes fabulous.  I am a major dark chocolate fan and it is nice to have that flavour transported into a cake.  

Then make the Peanut Butter Cake.  I had never had such a cake before making this one and I was very impressed.  This cake would be just as lovely on its own and I suspect my kids would love it.  We go through a jar of peanut butter a week in our household. 

Next comes the Peanut Butter filling.  Oh my.  I could most certainly eat an entire bowl of this stuff.  It tastes just like the inside of Reese's pieces.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  

Finally, make the ganache.  Again, a bowl of this stuff would make me a happy girl.  Dark chocolate.  Mmm.  

Now you have all of the elements of this epic cake.  

To assemble the cake check that each cake is flat.  If they are domed trim them with a serrated knife.  If you have time it is best to do this after the cake has been chilled so that it is firm.  Now place one of the peanut butter cakes on the plate you will be serving it on.  Spread a layer of peanut butter filling over the top of the cake.  Place one of the dark chocolate cakes on top of this and spread with more filling.  

Repeat with all cakes.  I also spread a layer of the filling on the top of the final cake.  Why not? Then spread a thick layer of ganache across the top of the cake.  This cake is very decadent and rich so I decided that it didn't need ganache on the sides but hey, if you feel like going nuts (no pun intended!) go ahead.  Sprinkle some crushed peanuts on top of the cake and voila.  Dark chocolate peanut butter cake.  

{Dark Chocolate Cake} 
Adapted from Sweetapolita  

110 grams plain flour, sifted
110 grams white sugar
45 grams premium dark cocoa 
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees and grease two 20 cm tins. Line each base with baking paper, grease again and flour. Sift all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of your mixer.  Add the wet ingredients and, using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for two minutes.  The batter will be very thin.  Pour in to the prepared pans and bake for twenty minutes.  Cool for another twenty minutes in the pans before turning out and cooling on a rack.  

{Peanut Butter Cake}   
Adapted from My Kitchen Snippets

115 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
150 grams white sugar
125 grams smooth peanut butter
3 eggs at room temperature
90 ml milk at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
135 grams plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 175 degrees.  Grease, line base, grease and flour two 20 cm tins.  Combine sifted flour and baking powder.  Set aside.  Cream butter, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go.  Add the vanilla to combine.  Add a third of the flour and mix at low speed to combine.  Add half of milk and mix to combine.  Add another third of the flour and mix to combine, then add the remaining milk. Finally, add the remaining flour and mix until well combined. Pour in to prepared tins, level out with a spatula or the back of a spoon, and bake for twenty minutes. Cool for another ten minutes in the pans before turning out and cooling on a rack. 

{Peanut Butter Filling}
Source - The Barefoot Contessa

250 grams smooth peanut butter
125 grams icing sugar, sifted
75 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
80ml heavy cream

Place peanut butter, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl.  Mix at medium-low speed until the mixture is creamy, scraping down the bowl as you go.  Add the cream and beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and creamy.  

{Dark Chocolate Ganache}
Source - David Lebovitz

285 grams dark chocolate, chopped
120 ml water
170 grams unsalted butter, cold

Place the chocolate and water in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.  Stir gently until the chocolate is melted. Take off the heat and whisk in the cold butter until the mixture is incorporated.  Set aside until it is a spreadable consistency (minimum one hour).  

Susie xx


  1. OH.

    Susie, you are my hero!

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