My first foodie post of 2014 is this chocolate and peanut butter cake for a friend’s birthday. This is the cake that I should’ve made many times ago, because my family has a few peanut butter lovers. My husband is one of them. Once he saw this cake, he started to complain why I had never made one for him.
I’m fine with peanut butter. But I have to say I love this peanut butter buttercream more than peanut butter. It’s light, fluffy and delicious. The perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness makes this buttercream so addictive. And the melt-in-your-mouth texture is simply… OH.MY.GOD.
2014 has gotten me to focus more on cake decoration and food styling. I don’t do fondant because I personally don’t like the grainy texture and the yucky flavor. Despite the fact that you can basically create any decorations by using fondant, I will still stand on my principle – No Fondant. It’s going to be a challenge, but I know it will be incredibly satisfying to create something not only pretty but tasty.
Ingredients (8-inch 3-layer cake):
To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Crack in the eggs, spoon in the sour cream, and pour in the oil and the vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
Pour in the hot coffee, slowly mix until smooth and liquidy.
Pour batter in the prepared pans, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then invert it and let cool completely.
To prepare buttercream, beat peanut butter and butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn the mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add vanilla and heavy cream, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with another 1/3 cup frosting. Place the last layer of cake on top, smear frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
Transfer the remaining buttercream to a piping bag with a large round tip. Set aside.
Cover and refrigerate the cake when you prepare the ganache.
To prepare ganache, place the chocolate, heavy cream and corn syrup in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes.
Remove cakes from the refrigerator. Pour ganache over the top of the cakes. Use an offset spatula to gently push the ganache over the sides of the cake to create the dripping effect.
Refrigerate the cake for 5 minutes to set the ganache before piping the big dollops of buttercream on top as garnish.