Monday, June 21, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Heaven Cake

To celebrate a friend's time spent in Richmond before she leaves for the almost great white north, I decided to make a cake. Not just any cake, a cake that makes a statement. The evening was planned at a friend's bar,  my sister lauren came up with an awesome dance mix, we planned a surprise burlesque show and a special 2nd surprise guest, involving a lot of zebra spandex that literally knocked her shoes off. I knew this cake had to be a show stopper, or get out shined by the other madness. What better way to make the evening perfect than bringing the world's perfect couple to the party, Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

There are very few things in this world that make people act like total crazies; boy bands, porn and Reese's peanut butter cups. I guarantee you every Halloween party you have ever been to has had Reese's cups, and you know they always go first. You can never make them better home made, and their smell lingers around your head after, like you just made out with them.  The genius that is the marriage of chocolate and peanut butter is transformed into a sexy, glossy and classy cake, hoping to emulate the perfection of the Reese's peanut butter cup.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Heaven Cake

Yellow Wedding Cake
Yellow butter cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and my grandmother's own yellow cake recipe.
You will need 1 10x3 cake pan

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups heavy cream with 1/4 cup milk added to the cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter the 10x3 round cake pan; line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Beat for another 5-10 minutes until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the cream and beginning and ending with the flour; mix on low until combined after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans, and smooth. Tap the pan a couple times on the counter to remove any excess bubbles. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until cake is golden brown and a cake tester/bamboo skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 60-70  minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Re invert cakes and let them cool completely in the fridge for at least 4 hours, top side up.

Peanut Butter Frosting
This filling would also be excellent as a filling for a cookie.

6 ounces room temp Philadelphia cream cheese (seriously- don't mess around with other brands)
1 cup smooth/creamy peanut butter- preferably Skippy. Do not use natural peanut butter because it will separate.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Cream the cream cheese and peanut butter on high for 2-3 minutes or until combined. add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and cream and mix well. use immediately. if the mixture is too soft, add more powdered sugar. if the mixture is too hard, add more cream.

Chocolate Ganache
The corn syrup can be omitted if need be, but it really does add a nice gloss to the final product. 

16 ounces semi sweet peanut butter chips
1/3 cup clear/light corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt

In a heavy sauce pan, bring the cream to a simmer, being careful not to scorch the cream. add the corn syrup, salt and chocolate and let sit for 5-6 minutes. stir well, and strain if needed. let the mixture sit in your fridge for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thickened, but pourable.

Unwrap and freeze 12 Reese's Peanut butter cups (substitutions are not recommended) in a large plastic zip top bag. Once frozen, smash the pb cups with a mallet or the bottom of a large mug until you have tiny chunks. Place back in the freezer until you are ready to use.

Assemble the cake

Using a large serrated knife, cut the top off the cake, making it flat. Cut the cake through the middle, creating 2 even layers. Using the middle of the cake as the bottom, and the bottom (flattest side) of the cake as the top, generously top one layer ("the ugly layer") of the cake with the peanut butter frosting, and place the 2nd layer on top using the bottom of the cake as the top of the cake (the smooth un-cut side). Using that peanut butter frosting you have left, smooth out the sides of the cake, filling holes or gaps that may exist for smooth sides. Once you have smoothed the sides, let the cake rest in the fridge for 2 hours. This may seem like a long time, but it is absolutely necessary. Keep the ganache on the counter so it remains pourable.

Move the refrigerated cake onto a wire baking rack that is placed on top of a jelly roll/cookie pan.

Pour the ganache slowly over the center of the cake, using an off set spatula to guide the ganache to the sides, and patch holes as needed. If the ganache seems too runny, place the ganache and the cake back in the fridge for another hour, and try again, whisking the ganache vigorously after refrigeration to remove any lumps. Working slowly, use all the ganache, place the cake back in the fridge for 20 minutes. Using the palm of your hand, press the Reese's cup peices into the sides of the cake, working quickly and being careful to avoid the top. Refrigerate for another 4 hours, and serve to your drooling guests.


  1. Wow that cake looks perfect, shiny, tasty, crunchy!

  2. thanks bacongrease! it was pretty rich.

  3. Mmmm I wanna take a bath in that ganache.

    ...Too much?

  4. thank gawd you posted that cake recipe. now i can please my man.

  5. dave was all over that post! i think he was genuinely sad i didn't save him some.

  6. I would kill to have a bite of one of your cakes sometime. This looks really good and well made!