Monday, March 5, 2018

Peanut Butter Chocolate Drizzle Cake

This cake is for all the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Lovers out there, and I know there are plenty of you.

There are few things greater in life than a simple chocolate cake recipe that comes slathered with an equally simple peanut butter cream cheese frosting and thick chocolate drizzle!

This is that Tuesday night cake - the one that comes together fast but satisfies every single little desire that creeps up about 30 minutes after dinner. This is the one.

Make it a weeknight treat or serve it after a dinner party. It suits either occasion and suits YOU either way because it is easy. We all need easy when so many things in life feel hard. I promise, bringing this chocolate cake into your life will not be hard.

The method for this recipe is what some have termed "reverse", but really this is the method used in the food industry when they manufacture cake premixes - the ones in a box. The difference here is that we will use butter instead of shortening because, BUTTER. It will be great.

It involves blending soft butter into dry ingredients before thoroughly blending in the remaining wet ingredients, including eggs and buttermilk. The fat coats the flour particles and creates a barriers around wheat proteins to prevents excessive gluten development despite all the mixing.

This technique produces an utterly soft crumb. It is not as sticky and "moist" as an oil cake but it is tender and lovely with a very fine crumb. Oil makes cakes come across as moist (even though oil doesn't add moisture because water and fat don't mix) because it is liquid at room temperature so the cake will feel soft and squishy. With butter you get lots of flavour, but it is firm at room temperature so the cake will be a bit sturdier. The trade off is flavour and tenderness - butter makes a more fine-crumbed delicate cake and it certainly tastes blazing!

This cake recipe uses also uses few ingredients because it makes one single perfect layer so if you are running out of stuff, then this is still the cake for you!

Just 2/3 cup of flour, 5 tbsp of cocoa, some sugar, leavening and salt goes into your bowl. Mix it up well and then add softened butter in pieces. Make sure it is soft or it will not incorporate. Turn your mixer on low and blend for 2 minutes until the butter is dispersed into the dry ingredients and the mixture resembles damp sand. Now whisk up your wet ingredients and slowly add them to the bowl while mixing. Turn the speed up and beat for 1-2 minutes until smooth and thick.

That's it!

This cake is best eaten the day it is made - it is so soft! But keeps well as at room temperature. If you choose to refrigerate it to keep it longer, be sure to let it come to room temperature before serving since the butter fat needs time to warm up.

Butter cakes are best eaten at room temperature or even slightly warm so that the fat can melt slightly.

That frosting though... ugh. Peanut butter and cream cheese together just makes me sick it's so good.

Get yo'self all up into this! xo

Peanut Butter Chocolate Drizzle Cake
makes about 9 servings

For the cake base:
2/3 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (28g) light or Dutch cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (120ml) buttermilk
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp (45g) cream cheese
2/3 cup (80g) icing sugar
3 tbsp (45ml) creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp (30ml) 10% cream

For the drizzle:
4 tbsp (50g) granulated sugar
4 tbsp (24g) cocoa powder
5 tbsp (75ml) 10% cream
1 tbsp (15ml) honey
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar and salt and mix to blend evenly. Add soft butter and mix on low speed for 2 minutes until it is well dispersed, crumbly and resembles damp sand.

Measure buttermilk into a volumetric measuring cup and then whisk in egg and vanilla. Turn mixer on low and gradually add the liquid to the flour mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until smooth. Spread this batter evenly into your prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan.

To make the frosting, beat butter with cream cheese until smooth then beat in icing sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add peanut butter and beat until combined then drizzle in cream until whipped and spreadable.

To make the drizzle, combine sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan and whisk to blend so there are no lumps. Add cream, honey and salt and whisk until blended. Bring to a simmer over medium heat while whisking. Let simmer for 3 minutes then transfer to a bowl to cool completely.

Spread frosting evenly over cooled cake and then drizzle with cooled chocolate sauce. Serve and enjoy!

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