Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Dsc_0062_1 What should every good American do on Valentine’s Day, the day after the Grammy’s?  Blast Green Day’s American Idiot and bake a cake.  Right?   

My latest issue of Food & Wine had a recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter cake with Cream Cheese and Butterfinger Frosting.  What could be bad? 

The recipe was from Emily Luchetti.  Years ago, someone had given me her first book when she was the dessert chef at Stars in San Francisco.  The book was called Stars.  She has put out quite a few cookbooks since then but that book sent me baking which is something I had never really done before.  I was always more of a food cook. 

Today is Josh’s , our youngest, 9 year old bday and he requested this cake.  It was incredibly rich and delicious.  Actually, not that hard to make so here is the recipe.

FILLING:  This part needs to made a day in advance

  • 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar
  • 12 ounces of bitter sweet chocolate – I just used a bag of nestle’s chips
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

Bring the cream and sugar to simmer, whisking to dissolve the sugar.  When warm, take off the heat, add in the chocolate and let stand for about a minute.  Whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the peanut butter next and then chill uncovered overnight.  I covered it which might have been while it wasn’t thick enough.  You could always beat it the next day to make thicker if it didn’t get there.

CAKE:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking power
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 lb golden brown sugar ( yes, one pound)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350.  Sift together the dry ingredients.  Line three 9 inch round baking pans with parchment paper.  I have the non-stick ones and I still lined the bottom with parchment paper after spraying them with a non-stick baking stuff.  It worked great.  Using electric mixer, beat together and butter and peanut butter until blended.  Beat in the sugar.  Beat in the eggs – one at a time.  At a low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions.  Divide it into the 3 pans, bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cakes for about 5 minutes and turn out onto racks, peel off the parchment paper and cook completely. 

FROSTING:

  • 1 1/2 8 ounch packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Using electric mixer.  Beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cup powered sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until blended.  In another bowl, whisk cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until it holds medium peaks.  I used a hand held mixer for this.  Fold the cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture in 3 additions.  Chill in the fridge for about an hour or until cold.

Place 1 cake, bottom side up.  Spread with the filling.  Place another cake on top, bottom side up and spread the filling over it.  Place another cake, bottom side up.  I admit, I did top side up each time and it turned out fine.  Now frost.  I used smashed up butterfinger bars and roasted salted peanuts over the top for decoration.  It tastes good and I think makes the cake.  Also, I put the cake in the refrigerator and took it out about 2 hours before serving to bring to room temperature. 

One more thing, I have a great utensil for spreading the frosting which I think makes all the difference in the world.  I can’t find it on the Internet but bought a bunch at Bridgekitchenware in NYC.  It is like a knife with a larger end for spreading.  After all, it’s all about the accessories. 

Voila!