Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kristi

This cake was sooooo worth the wait!  I think its been on my radar for two years, but I've never had the right reason to make it (after eating it, I'll make it again for no reason at all).  But Kristi's birthday was just the reason I've been waiting for.  And it didn't take much convincing at all to have her pick a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache poured on the top.

She loved the chocolate to peanut butter ratio, I could have used a little more peanut butter and a little less chocolate.  But its all personal preference, I suppose.  I've altered the frosting recipe just a bit as I found there wasn't quite enough to prevent crumbs from peaking through.  As the original recipe suggested, I popped the cakes in the freezer for a bit before frosting as they are quite moist.

Don't make the same mistake I did... bake this up for your next party, not two years from now!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Celebration Cake (from Smitten Kitchen)
Serves at least 16

Cake Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together dry ingredients, flour through salt.
Combine oil through vinegar in a mixing bowl.
Add beaten eggs.
Gently fold dry mixture into wet.
Divide evenly into 3 greased and floured 8" cake pans.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Cool on wire rack and then freeze until ready to frost.

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter together with electric mixer.
Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble, frost each layer of cake and refrigerate.

Chocolate Ganache Topping
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

Melt chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler.  Stir occasionally.
Once melted, mix in corn syrup.
Take off heat and whisk in half and half.
Let cool briefly.  Pour on top of frosted cake while still warm and let drip over edges.

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