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Friday, March 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

This has been Spencer's requested birthday cake several times now.  Peanut butter and doesn't get much better.  Definitely requires a glass of cold milk.  You can half the recipe and make a smaller 2 layer cake but I like the look of a taller 3 layer cake instead. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

1/2 c cocoa powder
3 1/2 c flour
3tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 c buttermilk
4 tsp vanilla
8 oz unsweetened chocolate blocks, broken up
1 c hot water
3 1/2 c sugar
8 eggs
4 egg yolks
3 sticks butter, softened

3-4 peanut butter cups, broken in half for decoration
Peanut Butter Frosting
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease 3 8- or 9- inch round cake pans.  Line the bottoms with parchment paper and then grease again.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
4. In a separate bowl combine the chocolate and cocoa powder and hot water.  Stir until melted.  When smooth stir in 1 c sugar and stir until thick and smooth.
5. In mixer beat the eggs and yolks till fluffy and add the remaining 2 1/2 c sugar.  Whip until thick, 4 to 8 minutes.
6. Beat into the egg mixture, the chocolate mixture, then the butter.  When smooth, add in 1/2 of the flour mixture then half of the buttermilk, beat.  Repeat.
7. Pour batter into pans.  Tap the pans on the counter to settle the batter and help get rid of any air bubbles.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, with just a few crumbs attatched.
9. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan and flip the cakes onto a wire rack.  Peel off the parchment paper.  Let cool for a few hours before frosting.
10. Assemble cake layers with a dollop of peanut butter frosting.  Lay one layer down.  Top layer with peanut butter frosting.  Put another layer down.  Top with peanut butter frosting.  Put last layer down.  Frost top and sides very skimpily with a rough coating of peanut butter chocolate frosting.  Let set for 30 minutes.  This will seal in all the crumbs and make the top layer look much better.  Then when set, do a second layer of frosting on the sides and top doing it thick and making swirls on it with a spoon till it looks good.  Decorate the top with peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c butter
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 pinch of salt
Beat till smooth and then add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until frosting is desired consistency. Usually 1 to 2 Tbsp.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting:
1 1/4 c butter, softened
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 c creamy peanut butter
pinch of salt
1 c cocoa powder
2 c powdered sugar
3 Tbsp milk
Beat butter, vanilla and peanut butter together.  Add rest.  If too thick add more milk.  If too thin add more powdered sugar.