The older of my two brothers’ birthday was this past weekend. He turned the big 1-5! And as birthday protocol requires, I made a cake for the occasion. However, the difference this year from the last was that we went to an outlet mall the week prior… meaning I had bought some super awesome cooking and baking supplies. My new 8″ cake pans are wonderful I might add.
My brother had only one request for his cake: “super chocolatey”. Done and done. We are a family of chocoholics (well, minus my dad sorta, sweets have a tendency of being too sweet for him from time to time. But I think he secretly likes super chocolatey things just as much as the rest of us!).
After perusing the internets for inspiration, I settled on a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Who could go wrong there? Then I discovered an unused Ghirardelli baking bar and slapped on a chocolate ganache to top it all off. Oh the intensity.
I have to say, though, even for us sweet-lovers, this cake and frosting combo is quite an indulgence. We each could only have a sliver with a glass of some sort of beverage right at hand!
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter frosting
For the cake:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, I used my trusty Hershey’s
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Beat in the canola oil, sour cream and water until just combined.
3. Add in the vinegar and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
4. Beat the eggs and then add them to your mixture and mix well.
5. Butter and flour two 8″ cake pans and evenly distribute the batter between the two. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
(*Dad, you should stop reading now! You don’t want to know how I made the frosting and ganache!)
For peanut butter frosting:
8 oz room temperature cream cheese
3/4 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (the kind that doesn’t separate the butter from the oil, we had to make a separate run out to the store for this)
1. Beat together until combined.
2. The end.
For chocolate ganache:
6 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Over medium heat, combine the chocolate and corn syrup in a saucepan until the chocolate has completely melted and mixed in well with the corn syrup.
2. Add in the heavy cream and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and use immediately. The ganache will set after about 10 minutes, so you should start drizzling it immediately so it has the nice drippy look when it sets.
To assemble cake:
Let both layers of the cake cool completely before putting your masterpiece together. Turn one of the layers onto your serving dish and lay on some of the peanut butter frosting. Place the other layer on top and frost the entire cake. Decorate with the ganache in a drippy manner by pouring the whole thing right on top and pushing out some of it over the edge.
Set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour and then enjoy with a tall glass of milk!