Choc Full o' Peanuts Cake

By • January 26, 2010 • 2 Comments

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Author Notes: When I saw that one of this week's themes was chocolate cake, I asked my husband what he'd like me to make. He's a serious chocoholic-turned-pro and I felt he should get the biggest vote on what I would submit this week. I had barely gotten the sentence out of my mouth and he said "PEANUT BUTTER!". I have a chocolate tart I make with peanut butter that I fashioned as a peanut butter cup tart and thought I'd do the same for this cake. I have two versions I came up with and this is the first one. We tasted it at different stages, and it definitely captures the flavors of chocolate and peanut butter - a marriage made in Heaven. I also added some strawberry puree to the chocolate buttercream frosting so that while it's not exactly a PB&J cake, it definitely brings up the fruit flavors in the chocolate as a contrast to the cake. One caveat I should mention (my disclaimer statement) is that we're up in the mountains this week at 7000 feet so I had to adjust my liquids and sugar amounts for high altitude baking. The below recipe is my estimates on what the ingredient amounts would be for the eggs and sugar at sea level, but it should be pretty accurate. TheWimpyVegetarian

Serves 1 triple layer 6" cake or 1 double layer 8" cake

Chocolate Cake

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter at room temp, plus more for buttering the cake pans
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 4 large egg whites
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Prep the cake pans by brushing them with butter, lining with parchment paper, and brushing the parchment paper with butter as well. Dust with unsweetened chocolate powder. Set aside.
  2. Bring some water in a wide pan on the stove to a boil. Turn off the heat. Place the butter and chocolate in a small bowl and place in the hot water so that it floats in the hot water without touching the bottom of the pan. After about 10 minutes, remove and stir gently with a spatula. Return to the hot water for about 5 more minutes and stir gently with a spatula. Keep doing this until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Set aside to cool slightly (As you're doing this be careful not to get any drops of water in the chocolate mixture.)
  3. While the chocolate is melting, place the egg yolks and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high until the mixture becomes slightly thickened and turns a pale yellow (about 4 minutes). Scrape down the bowl, add the salt, vanilla extract and rum. Mix on high for another 2 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Set aside.
  5. Using a spatula or with the electric mixer on its lowest setting, fold in the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Using a spatula, fold the sifted flour in thirds into the chocolate/yolk mixture. Only fold long enough to integrate the flour into the wet mixture, no longer. Fold in the whipped egg whites in thirds. Always be careful not to overfold. There is no chemical leavener in the recipe and is dependent upon the air that's been whipped in as the only leavener.
  6. Divide the batter between the baking pans and bake on the middle rack. I baked this in 6" baking pans, which took 18-20 minutes to bake. For an 8" baking pan it may take 25 minutes. Cake is ready when it's firm to the touch and a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
  7. After removing from the oven, leave in the pans for 15 minutes on a cooling rack before removing. To remove from the pan, run a sharp knife around the edge, place a cake round on top of the pan and flip it over. Keep the buttered parchment paper on it until ready to frost and assemble. Let completely cool before applying the filling and frosting.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buttercream Frostings (ingredients listed separately for the 2 frostings)

  • 6 ounces peanut butter (not natural, organic)
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  1. For the Peanut Butter Buttercream Filling:
  2. Place the butter in a bowl for an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter on high until it turns a light yellow - 3-4 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat for another 2-3 minutes. On a low speed, add the powdered sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved into the peanut butter mixture return the mixer to a medium speed and add the salt and vanilla extract. Set aside until ready to frost the cake.
  3. For the chocolate / strawberry buttercream:
  4. Melt the butter and chocolate together using the same technique as used when making the cake. Add the corn syrup, salt and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a separate pot, heat the strawberry preserves until bubbly and liquidy. Strain to remove the strawberries, leaving you with a puree. Quickly fold the puree into the chocolate while warm. Let the chocolate mixture chill to set up either on the counter for at least 40 minutes or in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Once it's firming up, put it in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until fluffy. Set aside until ready to frost the cake.
  6. Cake Assembly:
  7. Place one cake round on a plate. Brush off all loose crumbs. With an offset spatula, apply the peanut butter frosting to the cake making sure it's even across the cake. Place the second cake on top. If doing a 3 layer cake, apply more frosting and lay the 3rd layer on top, always making sure to brush off loose crumbs before placing on top of the frosting.
  8. Apply the chocolate buttercream frosting to the outside of the cake. I only did a 2 layer cake and so had some peanut buttercream left over and piped little rosettes on top and place a toffee peanut in each one.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It should sit out for about 15 minutes before serving after refrigeration. Then, pour yourself a glass of wine (or something with rum in it) and enjoy this little piece of decadence.
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Tags: chocolate cake, Peanut butter

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Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

ChezSuzanne, I was looking for a peanut butter frosting recipe for Sconeman's chocolate birthday cake yesterday. So glad I found yours!! It's delicious! Thumbs up all around!

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much mrslarkin! I really appreciate the feedback - high praise in my opinion from an expert like you! Hope your husband had a great birthday and that you all have a wonderful 2011!!