Sunday 14 October 2012

Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

For a bit of a finale to Chocolate Week I thought I would make a layer cake - they always look impressive and I wanted a celebratory cake. Now whilst I am allergic to tree nuts I am lucky enough to be able to safely eat peanuts (and cashews) but I have never really paired them with chocolate before. I have seen many recipes where the pairing is made though, so thought it was about time I gave it a go (so many combinations of flavours, so little time to try them...).

The chocolate is my favourite standard recipe, with the added depth of muscovado sugar, and the peanut butter chocolate frosting comes courtesy of the Divine Chocolate Cookbook, which is rather appropriate given that Divine chocolate are the main sponsor/partner in Chocolate Week. I adapted the recipe to suit my tastes.

Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
175g softened butter
100g caster sugar
75g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs (with thanks to Suelle!!!)
155g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
a couple of tbsp milk

85g dark chocolate (I used 70%)
125g smooth peanut butter (mine was salted, but with no added sugar)
25g butter
cocoa powder (2tsp - optional)
icing sugar (to taste - optional)

- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease and line two 8"/20cm round cake tins.
- Beat the butter and sugars until soft and light (the colour will change to being much lighter).
- Add the eggs, flour and cocoa powder. Beat until combined.
- If the mixture is too stiff (won't drop off a spoon), add a few tbsp of milk to soften.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the sponge springs back when pressed and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.

- When the cakes are cool, or nearly cool, make the frosting.
- Melt the chocolate gently - either over a pan of simmering/hot water or in the microwave (carefully!).
- When melted, add the peanut butter and butter and beat until smooth.
- Taste the mixture and add cocoa powder and/or icing sugar to taste.
- Spread half of the mixture between the cakes and the other half on the top.

- Enjoy!

I have to say that this was a bit of a marmite type love/hate cake. Whereas most things I bake are well received this one did split the eater-ship slightly. The cake was universally liked, but the peanut butter frosting was slightly divisive, some liked it, some weren't so keen. I have to confess that I was in the not-so-keen camp, which was a little disappointing. Perhaps it's just a combination of flavours that I need to try again to appreciate more. After all, I love both peanut butter and chocolate, so they should theoretically be even better together! The other thing is that I used neither cocoa powder nor icing sugar in my frosting - it was late at night when I made it and I really didn't fancy tasting it at that point. Perhaps a touch of sugar would have made it much better because I think it was the salt of the peanut butter that perhaps skewed my taste off for this. I'll have to make it again and find out...


Linzi_Barrow said...

That looks gorgeous :-)

Unknown said...

good lord YES!!!... I love the salted peanut butter and chocolate combo, just love it... made some salted peanut cookies once and they were sooooo good... love your icing too, very classy!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Well personally I think it looks gorgeous and I love the sound of the flavours!

Chele said...

This sounds a pretty genius combo for a cake and that icing is so glossy. Yum!

Susan said...

Thats a work of art it looks so perfect but the sponge light. A cracker!

Dipika @ The Very Hungry Baker said...

This looks and sounds lovely! I'd be interested to see what happens when you try it again - the frosting sounds gorgeous to me and I probably would have done the same as you!

Suelle said...

I love peanut butter and chocolate together! Look at the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Buddy Bars if you want a perfect combination of the two!

I think you're right - a little sugar in the frosting might have improved the flavour.

PS - you've missed the eggs off the ingredient list - just testing us, I know!!;)

Caroline said...

Linzi - thankyou!

Dom - thanks, I was really pleased with how the icing looked, I just need to tweak the taste now!

Foodycat - thank you, as I said some people loved it, some less so.

Chele - perhaps I'll used crunchy peanut butter next time too.... added peanut value!

Susan - thank you.

Dipika - thank you. I think the frosting probably just needs adjusting for my tastes, lots of people liked it.

Suelle - I'll have to have a look at those. Thanks for pointing out my mistake *blushes* - sorted now!

The Caked Crusader said...

What a shame you weren't keen - it looks like a cracking combination. Maybe it is just a bit of sugar that's lacking - don't give up on the combo yet, I love it!

Laura loves cakes said...

This looks like cakey perfection!! The top photo looks like it should be in GoodFood magazine! I love the salted peanut butter twist too! :-)

Kim said...

That looks delicious! The only form I will eat peanut butter in is cake form. I've made a similar cake to this but don't use chocolate in the icing and have it like peanut butter buttercream.

laura@howtocookgoodfood said...

This cake is so my taste. I can't believe how good you are at icing too. What a professional finish. I would love a slice or five any time of the day!

celia said...

Caroline, that looks delicious! I especially love the smooth rings on the icing! :)

Just a Smidgen said...

I hope you try this one again.. then we can take another look:D Too bad about your icing, I'm sure you can perfect it the next time. The cake itself, icing and all, looks just heavenly!

Katie said...

Looks delicious. That peanut butter chocolate frosting looks so smooth and glossy. Yum

Maria♥ said...

You had me at peanut this cake sounds amazing. Definitley bookmarking this!



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