Saturday, April 13, 2013
So after a much longer hiatus than anticipated I am finally ready to settle back in and share some of the yummy goodness that has been meandering through my kitchen these past few months. I can think of no better way to celebrate the blog's return than with a decadent celebration cake I made for my husband's birthday. He loves peanut butter and if it's combined with chocolate all the better. So this year I decided to make a chocolate peanut butter cake. This is not just any chocolate peanut butter cake though. It's a three layer chocolate fudge cake dotted with peanut butter chips, sandwiched with fluffy peanut butter icing, then smothered with chocolate icing and topped with crushed Butterfingers candy.
Now we were out of town until right before his birthday so I had to cheat a little since I didn't have all the ingredients to make this from scratch. However there are numerous recipes available online both for the cake and the chocolate frosting. The chocolate frosting is actually one thing I definitely intend to change next time I make this sinful sweet. This time I used a prepared icing but next time I intend to top this cake with the thick fudge like icing my grandmother used to make for her icebox cake.
So understanding that these substitutions were for the sake of time, here's my version of a chocolate peanut butter cake.
1 recipe of your favorite chocolate cake (or 1 box mix)
1/2 package reeses peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate syrup (optional to use as a substitute for some of the required liquid in the recipe)
Peanut Butter Icing:
1 cup peanut butter
5 tbsp real unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk or cream
3/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 recipe of your favorite rich chocolate icing (or 1 can prepared chocolate icing)
1/2 bag of butterfingers fun size candy bars crushed
Start with your favorite chocolate cake recipe (or in a pinch box mix). Since the peanut butter is such a strong flavor you will want to have a good balance so I find that a dark chocolate cake or a fudge chocolate cake is best to make sure the chocolate flavor is intense enough. I have listed chocolate syrup as an optional ingredient. I substituted chocolate syrup for part of the water called for by my box mix to add more chocolate flavor. It worked well but is not necessary. Prepare the cake to specifications, add in the peanut butter chips, and separate evenly into three oiled and floured 9 inch cake pans (9 inch pans are ok too). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for at least ten minutes then remove from the pan and move to a rack to cool completely before icing.
Now for the peanut butter icing. This seemed easy enough and everything I read said it should be simple. All the same my first batch curdled on me and was a complete disaster. So I started over and was more careful. Start by creaming together the peanut butter and butter in a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Next a pinch of salt and the vanilla, then add milk a tablespoon at a time until icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be fluffy and smooth and about the same, only slightly thicker, consistency as regular buttercream. Don't try using margarine for this you need real butter and if you use natural peanut butter you may have some separation issues so be aware. If your icing is too thin add more powdered sugar, if it is too thick add a smidge more milk.
Now you are ready to assemble. Place your first cake layer down on your platter and top with half the peanut butter icing. Sprinkle a generous layer of crushed Butterfingers over the icing. Top with the next layer of cake, the second half of the peanut butter icing and another sprinkle of Butterfingers. Top this with the final layer of cake and ice the whole thing with chocolate icing. Decorate the top of the cake with more crushed Butterfingers mounding them up slightly in the middle.
If you can hold off digging in long enough to serve this to people it will be a hit. (If you can't, blame it on the kids or the dog! They'll love it anyway!) Oh and don't expect any leftovers.