Friday, June 15, 2007

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake

This is much better than its lackluster name implies and stands tall among the best peanut butter chocolate cakes I've eaten. I made it for Mags in honor of her graduation, and at least a few of us ate enough for bellyaches. The recipe calls for it to be made in a 13X9 pan, and it's moist, rich, and delicious that way, but, because I sometimes like excess, I've also made it as a layer cake and added chocolate-peanut butter filling. Above are pictures of it as a sheet cake and as a layer cake with added filling, respectively. Kudos to Becky for sharing a slice and then the original recipe with me!

2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Batter:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir in water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9 pan (or two 8 or 9 inch round pans).
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, 1/3 cup sugar, egg, and salt until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls over cake batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl the peanut butter. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired, and the remaining sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean (a coating of melted chocolate chip is fine, though). Cool on a wire rack before cutting. Dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

If you make it as a layer cake, the baking time will probably be a bit less than 30 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. And may I suggest, for the layer cake, the filling below? It makes this cake a world class citizen.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Filling:
This should fill and top a two-layer cake, without frosting the sides.

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2- 3/4 cup peanut butter (I can't remember how much I added; I think it was probably 3/4 of a cup, but just add to taste. Don't add too much, though, or the filling will be soupy.)
a splash of vanilla extract

Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat heavy cream in saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for one minute. Stir until smooth and silky; stir in peanut butter and a bit of vanilla until smooth. Place in refrigerator for a few hours until it reaches spreading consistency, stirring every 30 minutes or so. Spread in between cake layers and over top. Garnish with confectioner's sugar, peanut butter cups, or whatever your little, peanut-butter-loving self desires.

Then, eat up, with apologies to your hard-working heart...


heidiann(e) said...



alltheposts said...

I hadn't made this one yet, but when I found myself licking my screen I knew it was time. It was just as good as I'd hoped and loads better than my screen. A lot more moist too.

abigail said...

I bet! Did you make it with or without the creamy filling?

Either way, it would trump your screen any day. (No offense to your screen, of course...)

alltheposts said...

I made it with the creamy filling, I can't pass up any recipe that involves heavy cream. I'm making it for my birthday next week too!! I can't just be making cakes willy-nilly or I'd be eating cakes willy-nilly so I've been counting the days until I had a legitimate excuse to make it again.

abigail said...

You and I must be similar. I eat cakes willy-nilly, and I am also fond of heavy cream (which is why I haven't made a cake since Susannah's February birthday and haven't bought heavy cream for six months or so). Sigh. Why fight it?