Triple-layer, Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream filling and Chocolate Cream Frosting with a Garnish of Chopped Roasted Peanuts
I don't know what it was that prompted me to bake a peanut butter cake...maybe I wanted to switch things up to something savory? I don't know and at this point it doesn't seem to matter all that much.
I adapted a recipe from The Daring Gourmet; the kitchen smelled like I was baking peanut butter cookies and the cake tasted exactly like a peanut butter except "more of it" [And that's a quote from one of my taste testers]. It's a good recipe, find it here.
For the first attempt at this cake, I decided chocolate buttercream would be a natural pairing. I filled the cake and applied a crumb coat of chocolate buttercream (I start with my vanilla buttercream, reduce 1T vanilla to 1.5 tsp and add 3T Hershey's Chocolate Baking Powder plus 100g melted dark chocolate, 63%).
After letting it set up in the fridge for a couple hours while I ran a few errands (code for: stop at Starbucks then swing by the CityMarkt for dinner ingredients). I pulled the cake out of the fridge when I began to make the exterior frosting so the cake could begin to warm to room temperature. Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting sounded so good for the outside of this cake.
I used a container of Cream Cheese with Milka chocolate added (this is a product readily available in the supermarket), a little bit of butter, the remaining chocolate buttercream from the crumb coat, and 3 cups of powdered sugar. I used whole milk to achieve the right consistency. I love fiddling with buttercream frosting - it's great to work with flavors.
This icing was thick and airy which doesn't lend to smoothness, so I opted for a more swirly pattern. It worked well enough. Chopped roasted peanuts on the top was just the right garnish.
When baking a new cake, I nearly always bake one or two cupcakes in order to have something to taste without having to slice the cake. If the cupcake is really awful, I don't bother with finishing up the cake. Last night my life partner and our youngest split one cupcake three ways - we all agreed it was worthwhile to frost. Yea team.
This cake sliced very well. I baked this for an afternoon filled with friends and family. It was terrific to sit around visiting and sharing cake (and Diet Coke). I'm lucky to have friends.
This reminds me of when I was still drinking, making friends was difficult. Developing long-lasting friendships was nearly impossible. It's different today.
My life partner is my best and favorite friend. And I'm grateful to have my girlfriends and my BFF.