Monday, January 5, 2009

Ringing in the New Year with Cake!

I came across an article on one of my favorite ingredients in the January 2009 Bon Appetit....PEANUT BUTTER! I immediately thought this recipe would make an excellent cupcake. I had never made peanut brittle before, but it was naturally the first step in getting this cake together. It turned out to be so easy, I am definitely inspired to do it again.
Then time got away from me and my hopes of making a cupcake vanished. Then as I was preparing appetizers for our New Year's dinner it hit me. Why not make that chocolate cake? It didn't contain eggs, and used oil instead of butter...basically I had nothing that needed to come to room temperature! It should be easy, after all I had already made the peanut butter brittle!
And so a cake was born!
The cake itself isn't that fantastic or anything, but it is the elements together that make this cake.

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Brittle and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting
adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2009
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup chopped lightly salted dryroasted peanuts
1 teaspoon smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling and Frosting
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
For brittle:
Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Bring sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Immediately stir in peanuts and all remaining ingredients. Be careful as it will spatter a little bit. Scrape out mixture onto prepared sheet; spread out to about 13x9-inch rectangle. Cool completely. Coarsely chop about 1.5 cups of brittle.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. Whisk 2 cups water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Gradually add water mixture to dry ingredients, whisking until batter is smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs still attached, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off parchment and cool.

For filling and frosting:
Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring 6 tablespoons cream just to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Pour cream over chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Let stand until thick enough to spread, whisking occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cups chilled cream, and peanut butter in large bowl just until blended. Add cream cheese; beat frosting just until thickened (do not overbeat). If it gets too thick, add more cream to get to spreadable consistency.
Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread chocolate filling evenly over; sprinkle with 1/2 cup finely chopped peanut brittle. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup coarsely chopped brittle over top of cake. Chill at least one hour.
Remove the cake at least two hours before serving.
I had the cake in the fridge to help set up the frosting and removed it while we ate dinner. I would definitely recommend taking it out for a while before serving. The brittle seems to "melt" and is just so delicious. Plus there is a layer of chocolate in the filling that will be solid if you serve it cold. Enjoy!!
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1 comment:

♥Reeni said...

There's just something about P.B. & Chocolate that makes me crazy! The combo is sooo satisfying to my sweet tooth. Your cake looks really delicious. I love the Peanut Brittle!