Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sticky peanut butter chocolate cake

There is something about the smell of peanut butter – it’s more peanutty than peanuts!  I could just stand with the jar inhaling it, but eating it...on thanks; I find the texture too thick and cloying.  Baking with it, however, is a pure unadulterated joy.

This recipe interested me as the peanut butter is only in the filling/topping.  The idea of beating smooth peanut butter into molten chocolate – unsurprisingly – appealed to me and I can’t recommend it enough.  I think it would also work really well as a topping for cupcakes or even as the filling of a biscuit sandwich.

The filling packs a lot of flavour.  Initially you get chocolate and sweetness (I added the icing sugar but not the cocoa) then the saltiness of the peanut kicks in before the chocolate returns.  For a sandwich cake, this isn’t a huge amount of filling but don’t be tempted to double it as I think the flavour would overpower the sponge.  It’s perfectly balanced as it is...and I say that as someone who always thinks more is better!

Sometimes being indecisive can really work in your favour (but not necessarily help your waist line).  I spent so long pondering whether to top the cake with chocolate covered peanuts or nut brittle that, in the end, I went with both!  They added nice texture to an otherwise soft and squidgy cake.

For the sponges:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
25g light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g self raising flour
30g cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk

For the filling:
45g dark chocolate
45g milk chocolate
125g smooth peanut butter
25g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons icing sugar – optional (depends on how sweet the peanut butter is)
2 teaspoons cocoa powder – optional (depends on how ‘strong’ you like your chocolate)

To decorate: chocolate covered peanuts and broke up nut brittle


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line two 20cm round loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar until the mix is pale, light and fluffy – don’t skimp on this stage as this is where the air gets into the sponge.

Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Beat in the vanilla.

Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.

Stir in the milk.

Spoon into the prepared baking tins and level the surfaces.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Mine took just over 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins.

When cool enough to safely handle, de-tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now make the filling: melt both types of chocolate (I use the microwave) and then leave to cool slightly.

Beat in the peanut butter and soft butter until you have a smooth texture.

Taste the mix – depending on your peanut butter and your chocolate, you may wish to add additional icing sugar or cocoa powder.

If your filling is runny let it stand for a few minutes before building the cake – it’s probably just because you were impatient and didn’t let the chocolate cool sufficiently.  I’m not judging you – I did exactly the same!

Place the first layer on the serving plate and spread half the filling over it.

Place the second layer on top and gently press down to ensure the layers have adhered to the filling.

Spread the remaining mix over the top sponge and then decorate, as desired, with chocolate peanut and nut brittle.

Serve in generous slices with a cup of tea.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

I'm the same I don't like eating it but love baking with it. I love how high your cakes are...I could definitely go for a slice of this now love the topping!

Nom! x

Nics Notebook said...

Mmmmm lovely! My friend made me a peanut butter & choc cake for my 30th birthday it was sooo yummy :) x

Deb's Dust Bunny said...

The cake looks delicious but I really wanted to say that I LOVE the name.... Caked Crusader! I know who I'd call in case of emergency!

Irishbaker said...

That is my kind of cake! I love peanut butter especially with chocolate.

Cookingdragon said...

OMG! This looks absolutely fantastic. Just got the kitchen aid out and can't wait to start! Love the idea of choc peanuts on top. Another triumph, CC.

Baking Addict said...

You had me at peanut butter which is one of my favourite! This cake looks awesome - I really, really want a slice now! :)

Kezia said...

Where do you get your ideas from??? Everything you make just has me drooling with delight, especially this. Chocolate and peanut butter is a perfect combo.

I heart cupcakes said...

Looks and sounds amazing.

I tweeted it and the guys from Baked in Brooklyn want a slice ;)

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I too pass up on peanut butter on toast (is it just me or does it feel like cement in my mouth?!) but I definitely would not be passing up on a slice or two of this crackin' cake!

Lynne said...

There seems to be a general consensus about peaut butter on bread/toast, yuk, cloying, cement, yes, I'm totally with you there. However, I'm not averse to the occasional teaspoon -ful neat! And mixed with chocolate...oh yes, that is seriously toothsome! It is exactly that combination of salty and sweet, and the smoothness of both ingredients....coo this is beginning to sound a bit erotic! I'd better go before I get my marching orders!
Brilliant recipe, will be one to try next month when I'm expecting a houseful. Thanks!

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

Gorgeous, and I love the texture from the chocolate peanuts and brittle. It looks a lovely cake and chocolate with peanut butter is always a winner in my book! :)

Lauralovescakes said...

Another fab cake, I love the chocolate covered peanuts and the nut brittle on top! :-)

freerangegirl said...

Oh my! Send me a slice now!!!! Please!

Sunshine said...

Looks awesome! Love peanut butter...

Katie said...

Looks fabulous and I bet it tases even better. I adore peanut butter in all forms. Love the look of the lgossy peanut brittle on top. Delicious!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I'm with you all the way - peanut butter & chocolate = perfect combo! plus also with you in the fact that I would never eat peanut butter by itself but bake it in something and I'll eat every last piece! What a tasty looking cake!

oferte obzor said...

I`ve tried this recipe and i`m really impressed, it has a very good taste. My both child tried it and they like it a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Georgia said...

I LOVE peanut butter out of the jar via spoon, knife or finger (I'm not picky), on toast, in a sandwich, as a base for a satay sauce and especially wrapped in milk chocolate goodness (you know what I'm talking about!); but have recently discovered something humongously distressing...I don't like it in cakes! I am in the process of divorcing my tastebuds over this particular betrayal, but think I might just halt court proceedings until I've tried the chocolate/peanut butter filling. There's hope for us yet!

MissCakeBaker said...

I really want a slice of this! Now!

missflash said...

This cake looks delicious, a real treat xxx

Kim said...

Looks fabulous - I don't like peanut butter either, but in cakes it is a whole different ball game! I made a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting recently and loved it, but reckon with chocolate in the frosting too it would be even better.

Maggie said...

What a beautiful cake CC.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I've had this tormenting me in my RSS reader for over a week - looks absolutely divine!

Choclette said...

I'm a recent convert to peanut butter icing - with or without the chocolate. Now I understand what everyone's been raving about for so long! Your cake looks splendid of course.

Food Handlers Certificate said...

Well I love both Peanut Butter and Chocolate and it's a perfect combo if its being used in a cake.

Ruby Confusing said...

I made this for my BF... didn't look as good as yours but who cares when it tastes so good :) I love your recipes! :)