Monday, March 14, 2016

Chocolate Layer Cake w/ Peanut Butter Icing

Two years ago, for Christmas, I had just recently started my business, Sophie Stargazer Boutique.  I didn't have much money for gifts, so just like when I was in college, I turned to baking.

My stepdad had recently been purchasing store-bought baked goods, finding them not good enough or too sweet and being disappointed... but still repeating this process.  Enough was enough, and I thought of the perfect gift for the man I always have difficulty buying for anyway.   I printed out 12 1/2-pages, each one listing a type of cake or pie, including several that I know are his favorites.  His gift was that each month, he could pick from one of those, and I would make it for him - one every month for the entire year.




Well, January I was busy, February fell further behind... and then it just became a joke.  So now, 15 months later, I've finally gotten to making January's cake!  Chocolate Cake, with a special request of peanut butter icing.  And man... it did not disappoint!  My recipe is adapted from The Beachouse Kitchen, and you can find that version at the link HERE.

Chocolate Layer Cake w/ Creamy Peanut Butter Icing
  
Pre-heat oven to 350.  Line two 8" round cake pans with parchment paper or non-stick baking spray.

FOR THE CAKE:
In a large bowl, whisk together
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa  (unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp dried buttermilk
In a medium bowl, whisk together
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Then slowly add:
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (I used instant)
 ...and mix gently until incorporated. Pour the batter evenly into two pans.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let ccakes cool in pans for 30 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool.(I used springform pans and did not invert.)

FOR THE ICING:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle or single beater, beat at medium speed until smooth
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature, sliced into tabs
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
Turn mixer to low, and slowly add in
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
 ... mixing for about 1 minute.  Then add
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
...and continue to beat until relatively fluffy, about 4 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE:
Set one cake layer on a serving plate and evenly spread half of the icing over the cake, spreading to but not covering the outer edge.  Top with the second layer of the cake, rounded side up, and top with the remaining icing over top but not covering the outer edge.  Smooth as evenly and neatly as possible.

Top with
  • aprox 1/4 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate morsels, roughly shopped
Refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.


Enjoy!