Monday, August 18, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Triple Layer Cake

This cake was fantastic. I'm not usually a lover of chocolate-based cakes, but this cake was so amazing that I had it for breakfast, lunch, and after-dinner dessert all weekend. Sadly, I'm not exaggerating. I bought the book "Sky High Irresistible Triple  Layer Cakes" about a month ago and have yet to bake something from it. While perusing Smitten Kitchen, I noticed a post on this particular layer cake from the book, "chocolate peanut butter cake". The words chocolate and peanut butter jumped out at me immediately and I knew this was the perfect cake for my  dinner party which took place this past Friday. I was even happier to see that the post's recipe came out of a book that I actually owned. At least I got my money's worth...

This cake is super super super rich and only a thin sliver is necessary to satisfy a chocoholic. The layers are made up of a chocolate sour cream cake with a peanut butter cream frosting used to fill the top, sides, and in between layers.  A peanut butter chocolate ganache is then poured over the entire cake. The book suggests you pour the ganache on top and then carefully spill it over the edges to create a thick drizzle look along the sides. Instead, I covered my entire cake evenly with the ganache and piped rosettes around the rim. I enjoyed this cake the best while cold; straight out of the fridge.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16

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

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

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. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

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.

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. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

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.

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)

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.


The Food Librarian said...

oh my goodness! this is beautiful and sounds soooo delicious! i will have to make this!!

Anonymous said...

Wow- this looks amazing! I love peanut butter and chocolate. This cake looks beautiful and delicious!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

oh my! i am speachless looking at that cake.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Am I going to have to buy this book? Looks so good!

Xian said...

I just made this cake this weekend for a friend's birthday and oh my, it was amazing and delicious. And even though I skipped the additional chocolate peanut butter glaze, it was still fabulous.

Thanks for the freezing tip too!

Anonymous said...

For the instructions below, can I use hand mixer? I did just that, and when the cake comes out of the oven, it sinks in the middle of the cupcake. I use medium speed.
Should I beat longer?


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.

Melissa said...

A hand mixer is perfectly fine for the beating of the ingredients. However, make sure you use a whisk when noted and don't over beat the eggs. You can just whisk by hand--that's what I did.

You may over over beaten all the ingredients which caused the cupacke to sink.

Anonymous said...

tq melissa for the prompt and helpful feedback.

Based on what you have mentioned, I think I will just use the whisk and beat all the ingredients by hand (oil, sour cream,water, vinegar, vanilla and eggs)..I will just beat until it is mixed well..
I will be baking the cake again for my niece birthday..