Food + Wine

A Piece of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.

This cake is, like, crazy awesome good.  I am one of those people who don’t really like cake or candy because they’re always just too sweet for me.  So when I make my desserts, they are always incredibly less sweet than the average.  I’m not sayin’ they’re health food cakes, I’m just sayin’ they aren’t as sweet.  If there’s so much sugar in something, you aren’t able to taste anything else.  And I want to actually taste all the ingredients.  The Chocolate, the Peanut Butter, the Cream Cheese, everything.  And cake frosting is the biggest sweet bomb, isn’t it?  I happen to believe that the frosting should actually be less sweet than the cake itself, which is contrary to what most people think.  Let’s look at the ingredients in this cake, shall we?  Chocolate.  Already sweet.  Peanut Butter.  Usually already sweet.  So why muddle all those wonderful flavors by dumping a pound of sugar on it?  Plus, I’m decorating with Peanut Butter Cups so that kinda takes care of the sweetness for me!  Those things are so rich and sweet, I actually can’t even eat them.  So, to tell you the truth, I take them off when I eat this cake!  (Then I can have more cake 🙂

This deliciously amazing cake uses my basic Chocolate Cake recipe and combines it with the filling from my No Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie as one of the frostings.  It has two frostings (I know!!!  TWO frostings!!!) and
each one is not very sweet.  The Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
only has 1/4 cup of added powdered sugar (after the Cool Whip…) and the Chocolate Cream Cheese
Frosting doesn’t have any added sugar.  And yet you will not be eating this cake and think, hmm…it’s just not sweet enough for me.  I promise you that.

It’s killer. Trust me.

*Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

*In a large saucepan, on medium heat, combine the following ingredients and stir until completely melted and combined…
-2 cups white sugar
-4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
-1 stick unsalted butter
-1 cup of water mixed with 1 rounded TB of instant espresso powder (or substitute 1 cup of strong coffee)
from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to rest for
15-20 minutes, or until it is no longer hot, but room temperature.  The mixture may look separated, but don’t worry.

*Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sift together the following ingredients and set aside…
-2 cups all purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour is a great substitute for a ‘healthier’ cake)
-2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt

*Also, in another small bowl, stir together the following ingredients and set aside…
-1 cup sour cream
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-good splash of vanilla extract
-2 eggs
*Whisk until the eggs are fully beaten and well distributed.

the chocolate mixture has cooled enough, whisk the egg/sour cream mixture
into the chocolate mixture slowly (please do not make scrambled
chocolate eggs here. Be sure your chocolate mixture is cool enough to
handle the raw eggs, or you can temper your egg mixture by stirring a
little bit of the chocolate into it and therefore bringing it up to a
warmer temperature before adding it all into the chocolate).
*Whisk your sifted dry ingredients into the wet, a little bit at a time, and mix until just smooth and well combined.
*Pour this into 2 greased and floured round cake pans.
*Place in a preheated 375 oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set.
(You can do the toothpick test: If the toothpick comes out relatively clean when inserted into the middle, it’s done.)
(Or the finger test: When you touch the top of the cake, and it quickly springs back, it’s done.)
(Or the eyeball test: When the cake has started to come away from the edges, it’s done.)

*Allow the cakes to rest for at least 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a rack.
*Allow the cakes to completely cool before transferring it to a plate or cake stand.

*When the cakes have completely cooled, place one cake on your cake stand, rounded side down, and spread a thick helping of Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) onto the top of it.
*Carefully place the other cake over top of the first frosted cake layer, flat side down (so the flat sides are touching).
*Spread the remaining Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting over the top and sides of the now layered cake.  It’s OK if some of the cake shows through a bit because you will eventually be frosting it with the second Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.
*Place the cake in the fridge for at least 1 hour to cool and for the frosting to harden a bit.
*Remove the cake from the fridge and spread with the slightly cooled, but still warm Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below).
*Some of the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting will most likely come through and I like how it looks marbled that way.
*Decorate with cut up mini peanut butter cups.
*Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

*Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
-In a medium mixing bowl, place an 8 ounce brick of neufchatel cream cheese, softened, (I always use low fat b/c I prefer the flavor) and 1/4 cup of sugar.  With an electric mixer, mix well until creamy.
-Add 1 cup of smooth/creamy peanut butter and a splash of vanilla extract.  Beat well until everything is fully incorporated.
-Add the contents of an 8 ounce container of whipped topping (such as Cool Whip) and beat well until completely smooth. (sub sweetened, freshly whipped cream if you are anti-Cool Whip. But I recommend whipping in a couple spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff to help keep it sturdy…that’s my little trick)

*Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
-Melt 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips over a double boiler until smooth and glossy.
-With an electric beater, beat in 1 brick of neufchatel cream cheese, softened until well combined and smooth.
-Add a splash of milk and stir together.

(The trick to keeping a cake moist is simple.  My mother and I swear by dampening a crumpled up paper towel and placing it with the cake before wrapping tightly with plastic wrap.  Just be sure to re-dampen it if it becomes dry. If you have a lid to your cake stand, use it and then cover the entire cake stand plus the lid in plastic wrap to prevent air from coming in and drying out your cake.  Many people use a sliced apple to keep their cakes moist, but then your cakes will end up tasting like apples.)

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  • Reply Anonymous April 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I am going to make this for my birthday. I have such a love for peanut butter and chocolate.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne April 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Oh awesome! Please let me know how it turns out if you do-Thanks!

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