Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
I made this over the weekend to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. It ended up being a really classic moist, intensely chocolate cake--perfect! And need I say anything about the flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate...?
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake
2 layers Chocolate Sour Cream Layer Cake, baked and cooled completely (recipe follows)
2/3 cup natural smooth peanut butter (Alice recommends Adam’s
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted after measuring
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
1 cup sour cream
4 to 6 ounces peanut brittle, or dry, salted, roasted peanuts for decoration
Beat the peanut butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and butter until just blended and smooth. Turn one cake layer upside down on 8-inch round cardboard circle or on a serving platter. Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the cake. Top with the second later, right side up. Set aside.
For the frosting, place the chocolate in a small bowl and set in a pan of barely simmering water (as a double boiler). Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Off heat, scrape the sour cream on top of the chocolate and stir until combined and the sour cream isn’t streaky anymore. Use immediately (really!) to frost the top and sides of the cake. If the frosting becomes too stiff to use or loses its gloss, set the bowl in a pan of hot water again for a few seconds to soften. Decorate with peanuts or shards of peanut brittle–as I mentioned earlier, I think creating a mosaic on the sides of the cake with the broken pieces of peanut brittle would be very pretty.
Cake keep at room temprature in a covered container for two to three days.
Chocolate Sour Cream Layer Cake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon baking powder (sounds weird, I know, but I just went with it)
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened (I zapped it in the microwave for a bit)
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8-inch round cake layer pans with a round of parchment paper and lightly grease or spray sides with vegetable oil spray.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, or whisk very well. Set aside. Combine the sour cream with 1/4 cup water. Set aside.
In a standing mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for a few seconds until creamy. Add the sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile break the eggs into a cup or small bowl, add the vanilla, and whisk to combine the whites and yolks. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture gradually, taking 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, beating constantly.
Stop the mixer and add one third of the flour mixture to the bowl. Beat on low speed only until no flour is visible. Scrape down sides of bowl. Next, add half the sour cream mixture, beating again on low speed only until just blended and stopping to scrape down bowl afterwards. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining sour cream, and then finished by the final third of the flour mixture–stopping the mixture each time you add the ingredients and beating on low speed only enough to incorporate the ingredients after each addition. It’ll help to scrape down the sides of the bowl throughout as well. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and spread evenly. Note here that the batter will be thick, almost like that of brownies. But don’t fret! It will bake up to a beautiful cake.
Bake until the cake starts to shrink away from the sides of the pan (it will especially start doing this once taken out), and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. Invert each layer on a plate and peel of parchment liners. Turn the cakes right side up on a wire rack to cool completely. At this point the cake can be wrapped well and kept at room temperature for 1 to 2 days before using, or put in the freezer for up to three months (I froze mine about 3 days before using and it worked out great).