Sunday, February 18, 2018

Chocolate Cake with Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting

  Ok, I know I already have several chocolate cake recipes, but can you really have too many?? I think not! So here we go.
 I recently made this for a dinner at the request of my niece, Terri. Actually, when she first showed me this recipe (that she found on a blog called Ready Set Eat) she said "you can use whatever cake recipe you want. I really just want the whipped peanut butter frosting." Ha! Normally, my go to chocolate cake recipe is Hershey's Black Magic Cake, but I compared the two, and they're very similar, so I figured I'd go with it.
  And guess what?!? It's just as good! It's rich and moist and very deep with chocolate flavor. I think the secret is the cup of coffee. It makes any chocolate cake SO much more rich! (It doesn't actually make the cake taste like coffee, it just makes it taste like a deeper chocolate!) Clever, huh?
 For this cake, I did most of the decorating myself, but then I got an assist from Terri's youngest, Grace. I must say I'm kinda sorta proud of the drip design. It can be a little tricky to get just right! And yes, yes, I know it's piled with A LOT of candy, but when you have a 4 year old helping you, you just keep going. I think it makes it all the more fun and everyone loved it!
 Definitely make this the next time you want a showstopper for a special occasion, or you can just make it because your niece wanted an excuse to have whipped peanut butter frosting.

Baking Spray
1 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, divided
2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbs heavy cream
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup milk chocolate morsels
2 tbs heavy cream

Reese's cups, Hershey's Kisses, and/or Reese's Pieces for decorating, if desired

Preheat oven to 350°F.
  Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray. Stir together coffee and cocoa powder in medium bowl; set aside to cool. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another medium bowl; set aside. Whisk milk, eggs and vanilla into cooled cocoa mixture until well blended.
   Beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the egg mixture until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Divide batter evenly between cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.
   Meanwhile, place remaining 1 cup butter, peanut butter and 4 tablespoons heavy cream in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and very fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until well blended.
   Invert one cake layer out onto serving plate and press lightly to secure it in place. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of first layer. Invert second layer onto frosting, make sure the layers line up evenly and then lightly press down to secure top layer in place. Frost entire cake with a light layer of frosting; refrigerate 15 minutes.
  Meanwhile, microwave 2 tablespoons heavy cream in small microwave safe bowl 30 seconds, until hot. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Frost cake with a thick layer of frosting. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and decorate with peanut butter cups or other candy.

The key to making the perfect drip design is to make sure the cake is very cold. You should also make sure the ganache is not too hot, but still warm enough to pour. Then when you drizzle it around the perimeter of the cake, the cold cake will chill the ganache and stop it in its tracks, and that's what keeps it from dripping all the way down.

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