Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Ganache
This cake is so delicious!
If you love peanut butter and chocolate together, then this is the cake for you. This cake bakes up really well into a moist and dense cake that will surely please all of the chocolate and peanut butter lovers you know.
The assembled cake presents itself best when kept in the refrigerator right up to slicing. Be certain to use a very sharp knife with each slice, as the layers will be precise and beautiful and will show off the different colours of dark brown from the chocolate to the light brown, creamy texture of the peanut butter/cream cheese filling. Garnish each slice with chopped peanuts or a little bit of chopped peanut brittle.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Frosting:
Makes about 5 cups
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners sugar — 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache
(I didn’t add the peanut butter to this ganache)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (Optional)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half (I used heavy whipping cream)
In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half (or heavy whipping cream), beating until smooth.
Use while still warm.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.
Wisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide evenly among the three prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Assemble the Cake:
To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
To decorate with the Chocolate Ganache, put the cake plate onto a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and using an off-set spatula, spread the ganache evenly over the top — just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the ganache and frosting to set completely.
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