Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese/Peanut Butter Swirls

January 27, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Makes 3 6" cakes or 2 8" cakes
Author Notes

At the request of my husband, I focused my chocolate cake efforts this week on chocolate and peanut butter. The only problem was that I hadn't made one. So I started from a chocolate torte recipe I've done many times with strawberry/ chocolate mousse and turned it into more of a cakey cake as I thought the flourless torte, cream cheese and peanut butter would be a bit too rich. The result was a balance between the two, retaining the moistness I always associate with a flourless torte. Because I was working with two batters, I layered them with 2-3 times chocolate batter to cream cheese/peanut butter batter. When I was done layering, I took a small thin spatula and swirled the layers in two directions. Be careful not to swirl them around too much or you'll end up with a mixture instead of 2 defined flavors. If you want a stronger fruit flavor to come out, reminiscent PB&J, spread 1 tablespoon of strained strawberry preserves on top of the cake before icing. I pulsed a bunch of toffee peanuts in the food processor for the top decoration. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • Cake Base (for both the chocolate and cream cheese/peanut butter batters)
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter at room temp, plus more for buttering cake pans
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/2 cup flour sifted
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces peanut butter (not natural, organic)
  • 1 large egg
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons strained strawberry preserves
  1. Cake Base (for both the chocolate and cream cheese/peanut butter batters)
  2. Preheat oven to 325F. Prep 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.
  3. Make the chocolate batter:
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Set aside.
  7. 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. Set aside while you make the cream cheese/peanut butter batter.
  8. Make the cream cheese/peanut butter batter:
  9. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. beat on high until fluffy - about 2 minutes. Add everything else except the peanut butter and egg. Mix until completely combined. Add the peanut butter and mix on high for 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and mix until completely combined.
  10. Pour 1/3 of the chocolate batter into the bottoms of the baking pans. Put 2 ounces of cream cheese/ peanut butter batter on top. Do this two more times. You will have some cream cheese/peanut butter batter left over. Using a knife or spatula, swirl the batters around a few times but not enough to actually start to mix the batters.
  11. I baked this in 6" baking pans, which took 25 minutes to bake. For an 8" baking pan it may take 30 minutes. Cake is ready when it's firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted a couple inches in from the edge comes out gooey but not liquidy. When done, remove from the oven to a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans. Let completely cool before icing.
  1. Chocolate Glaze
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together using the same technique as used when making the chocolate cake. Add the corn syrup, salt and fold in the warm strained strawberry preserves with a spatula. Set aside to cool enough to pour over the cake as a glaze.
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