Friday, February 27, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

cakechocolatepeanutbutter (2)

Making this cake was a lot harder than I expected. The baking part was easy, trying to decide which chocolate recipe to use...well... that was more difficult than it should've been. Originally, I was going to make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake after seeing it on Smitten Kitchen. The only problem was, after I scanned through the recipe, I noticed that there was only 1/2 cup of cocoa for 2 cups of flour and a lot of liquid. I can't stand it when there's only a hint of chocolate flavour in chocolate cakes. Deb also said in her comments section that this cake wasn't as chocolatey compared to others. Still, the pairing of peanut butter cream cheese frosting + chocolate was too good too pass so I searched for another cake recipe. The only problem was that everyone claimed to have the 'best' version. I narrowed it down to only butter based because I find that the crumb seems finer than oil based cakes, which are coarser. I also prefer cakes made with both cocoa and chocolate because without the actual chocolate, it seems like that extra decadence and depth of flavour is missing. At the same time I had to make sure I didn't cross into brownie territory with the richness.

I decided to make the chocolate cake from CI's chocolate blackout cake. This is a cocoa based recipe, but I wanted to try it because it was a little different. The cocoa was heated and everything was done in one pot with a whisk. I've never made a 'one bowl' cake recipe because I've always been sceptical about them. There has to be a reason why we have to cream butter and sugar or ribbon eggs and sugar together...right? Plus, what if I'm not a good whisker!! Being a huge peanut butter lover, I was a little disappointed when I didn't like the frosting. There was just a little too much going on for me with the tanginess, saltiness and sweetness. The cake was moist and a little fudgy + dense, although that's not suprising because the butter was melted and everything was whisked by hand. I think it might have benefitted from some melted chocolate, although heating the cocoa defintely brought out more flavour. Overall, the cake part was good, but not the best chocolate cake I've eaten.

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Chocolate Blackout Cake
Cook's Country

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus extra for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting pans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Table salt
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup packed light brown sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
1. For the cake layers: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans (I used 3 8 inch pans because I didn't not crumble one layer). Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cocoa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in coffee, buttermilk, and sugars until dissolved. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then slowly whisk in flour mixture.
3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool layers in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour.

(This cake is originally written to be a chocolate blackout cake, so that's why 2 8 inch pans were used to get 4 layers. I didn't crumble one layer for my cake so I divided the batter into 3 8 inch pans to get 3 layers)

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. 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.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

46 comments:

  1. Now that's an amazing looking cake! You can never go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.

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  2. chocolate + cream cheese + peanut butter? wow!

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  3. Sorry this turned out to be a disappointment. It sounds like it has a lot of potential, but I can definitely see how peanut butter AND cream cheese could be too much. Good luck on your quest for the perfect chocolate cake, and let me know when you find it!

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  4. Sorry this turned out to be a disappointment. It sounds like it has a lot of potential, but I can definitely see how peanut butter AND cream cheese could be too much. Good luck on your quest for the perfect chocolate cake, and let me know when you find it!

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  5. for me that cake looks absolutely delicious. so chocolatey and yummy. I love peanut butter and chocolate they the best flavour combination I know :)

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  6. chocolate ad peanut butter....can't beat that! Looks amazing!

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  7. That is one grogeous cake. I just gained 5 lbs. looking at it! If it's wrong to want a slice for breakfast, then I don't want to be right.

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  8. Sure LOOKS delicious!! Hang in there, girl!!

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  9. The cake looks fantastic to me!!

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  10. Ohhhh my! Look at that beauty. I wish I made this cake this morning instead of my boring scones.
    Wonderful!

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  11. what a coincidence! i made a very similar cake last weekend for a friends birthday, likewise inspired by the cake on Smitten Kitchen. i wanted to use some chopped leftover reeses i had in the filling so i didn't want the cake to be that rich. i ended up using Ina Garten's "double chocolate" cake recipe and then this for the peanut butter frosting:

    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    1 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
    3-4 tablespoons milk or cream, as needed
    1.75 cups confectioners' sugar

    it was great!

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  12. I'm serious about making this cake, but the cake instructions are confusing to me. Where does pudding come into play...aren't the layers filled with the peanut butter frosting? Please double check the steps you show...I'm thinking part of the instructions were not meant to be included. Oh, the photos are beautiful!

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  13. Dear Steph
    I have missed a lot of your creative, ineresting cake recipes that you have experimented and done so well..i really admire your intensity...you will go along way, girl.Wow,the chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting looks good and you have posted to the details...simply admirable, girl !

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  14. It sounds like it should have been good. Too bad the peanut butter flavor wasn't there. Your cake does look good though.

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  15. Sorry that it wasn't all you hoped for but it certainly looks good. Better luck next time.
    ~ingrid

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  16. Thanks so much for editing the cake instructions! Now I can follow the recipe and start to bake this gorgeous cake!

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  17. Yum! PB cream cheese frosting sounds amazing!

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  18. Oof, I think my butt just expanded! There's never too much of a good thing in my book, but with PB AND creamcheese I'd probably only have a tiny slice :) The cake looks good though!

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  19. I think you definitely picked the right cake. This looks sooo good. I love the chocolate and PB combo, and this cake looks like the combo at its best!

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  20. I know what you mean when you say the PB frosting has too much going on. I prefer my PB frosting without cream cheese in it. Too tangy for my taste.

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  21. It is annoying to work so hard and then not LOVE the finished product. OTOH, a one bowl chocolate cake has a lot to recommend it! I've heard that Martha's is really good, but haven't tried that one yet.

    And to answer the comment you left on my blog, if you start your whole wheat adventures with "white whole wheat" flour, you might be surprised at how unnoticeable it is. Works great for things like muffins and quick breads and cookies. I tried a bag from the grocery store that was a flour blend - white and whole wheat flours - and it was great for casual baking.
    Nancy

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  22. That cake looks so good! Chocolate and peanut butter...mmm...

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  23. I love cream cheese frosting but I can see your concern about peanut butter combined with it. The cake turned out gorgeous. I love tons of layers. Looks decadent!

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  24. Although you said it's not the best, yet it looks good to me !

    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog anyway..

    As for your question (about my cake), I used the mixer to mix the flour into the egg mixture but since there was some flour left unmixed ( I was afraid to get it overmixed that I turned off the mixer before everything had really combined and then folded it by hand ( using spatula) to help them to incorperate just before adding the milk+butter..but as it states in the original recipe, you can let the mixer do a whole job !

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  25. Well just so you know, that's the best looking cake I've seen in a while! Mmmmmmm....... :P

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  26. One word - YUM!

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  27. Omg! I was nervous about my mixer bouncing around, but I watched the episode of Good Eats again. His mixer does the same thing!

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  28. Delicious dense cake with a great crumb. I can never get my layer cakes to look this good :).

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  29. I recently made that chocolate peanut butter cake (from Sky High Cakes)! The chocolate cake is insanely moist but you're right, it does have a coarser crumb. As for your comment on my blog about a white cake that stays moist - sorry I don't know. I haven't made many plain white cakes. There are some cakes I've made that have been really good and dense with a small crumb but might not be the moist you're looking for. Let me know!

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  30. Wow, this sounds amazing! I love it! Very, very cool.

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  31. Now that is one gorgeous cake! I love it when the cakes are more chocolate-y as well.

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  32. Oh wow! peanut butter and cream cheese for frosting a chocolate cake!! I think I'm in baker's heaven :P The cake looks scrumptious, and I love the smarties they add the perfect touch of childlike innocence to this devilishly lush cake!

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  33. A classic combo - chocolate and peanut butter! Looks amazing!

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  34. Mmm, I am loving that peanut butter frosting.

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  35. Like you I like my chocolate cake with lots of cocoa!

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  36. You had me at peanut butter frosting! Looks fantastic!

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  37. First time on your blog. You have lot's of great recipes. Beautiful cake.

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  38. Sorry to hear it didn't turn out as great as its title. You usually can't go wrong with PB. Oh well. Now you know how to make it even better next time :)

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  39. Sorry it didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped! Had a similar reaction to a butterscotch pudding this weekend myself...
    Question... the recipe is from Cook's Country... do you get that magazine? Do you like it? I just got a free copy (as I'm suscribed to Cook's Illustrated), and I'm debating! :o) Thanks!

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  40. I made this cake too and also thought it wasn't chocolatey enough so I added melted choc to the original recipe and it worked out great! I love the way you decorated yours! My big mistake with the cake was not following Deb's advice to freeze before taking out of the silver foil - my cakes crumbled too much. I hid it with decorations though so all was good! There are pics on my blog.
    YUM! :o)

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  41. HI! I was looking for a recipe for the frosting and found this-made it and fell in love! Thank you !!

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  42. Umm, I've been looking for this! Thank you, can't wait to try it on my own.

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  43. Umm, I've been looking for this! Thank you, can't wait to try it on my own.

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  44. I made the cake from Smitten Kitchen myself a couple of months ago because it looked so freakin good. But I was a bit dissapointed in the cake portion. I have a chocolate cake recipe I have found that is the most moist and chocolately chocolate cake recipe I have ever tried, baked by myself or otherwise. I don't think I have enough room to post it, but I thought that maybe if you added two extra eggs and 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate grounded up it would make it more moist and chocolatey. Just a thought, or even 1 extra egg and one yolk. I will try that next time and post if it turns out good. Plus the chocolate peanut butter genache/glaze from the original recipe wasn't the best either, I have my own method of making it better as well. NO CORN SYRUP, just do a classic genache but melt peanut butter into the chocolate before adding the cream. Good luck everyone!

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