Monday, September 8, 2014

Retro Waves: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cake

Peanut Butter Cheesecake between two layers of Chocolate Cake, a crumb coat of Chocolate Buttercream frosted with waves of tinted Vanilla

I can't believe it's been a month since I last blogged.  I've been baking for sure...I just haven't blogged about the experience.  Writing about baking and creating has taken a back seat to the actual baking and creating. I hope to do better.

This cake has been on my mind for a while now.  Sometimes, I'm more concerned with how a cake looks because I've been inspired by a art, design, style, color, etc.  It can also be the case that flavors inspire me which leads to the inside being more important than the outside. This cake is both.

Last February, we traveled to Ireland for a wedding.  While there, I visited Dunnes.  Think of this lovely department store somewhere between Kohl's and Target.  While there, I spotted the little bluebird's more turquoise, than blue.  I couldn't pass it up.

In April, I was in London for a week.  Despite gorgeous weather, I made my way to the basement of Selfridges where I found a Cath Kidson display and this pretty cake stand.  Admittedly, I wasn't familiar with this designer, but have come to learn there is a great following.  And there was no way I was going to let this cake stand get away!

Toward the end of June, we were in DC.  I was a bit overwhelmed with so many shopping choices, ginormous stores, massive parking lots, etc.  It was a bit of a bumpy adjustment to the car-culture of the DC metro area.  Anyway, I found a Home Goods store in a smaller plaza near our hotel.  Of all the things in the store, this perfect turquoise table cloth had to come home with me. 

Finally, my Fiesta works beautifully with almost everything.  Chocolate, Turquoise, and White is a classic combination.  Though chocolate has been discontinued, turquoise and white are still widely available.  It is remarkable to have a rainbow of dishes to choose from for cake and cupcake photography.

Designing this cake photo op has taken several months...but it still required the right cake - which took a bit longer to decide.  I had to wait for the cake to come to me.  And it finally did a few weeks ago... a chocolate cake with a peanut butter cheesecake middle layer.

I'm using a euro-sized spring form pan for the cheesecake layer - which doesn't exactly match up to the American-sized 8" cake round.  During my recent trip to the States, I bought and mailed to myself a new pan.  #stillwaiting  In the mean time, I fill in the space with additional buttercream and hope no one complains.  
I loved making this was great fun to watch it come together.  Baking a peanut butter cheesecake was definitely for the Test Kitchen since I'd not made one before (I used my standard cheesecake recipe, reduced the vanilla, and added one cup of peanut butter - though 3/4c. would have been fine).

I made a fudge buttercream for crumb coating, the top of the cake, and the chocolatey waves.  The vanilla buttercream was tinted with Wilton Teal Icing Color; I found it the last time I was in Paris and visited Paul at Cake & Bake Accessories.

I used a Wilton 1M tip.
Even more fun than the baking, was a wonderful dinner out with friends.  They really seemed to enjoy the flavor combination..."I just love the sweet and savory together." 

The cake slice is pictured on a Fiesta Turquoise salad/dessert plate resting on an upended, chocolate brown egg cup.
It's rewarding when a design takes time to develop and then comes together.  It's a greater feeling of comfort to know my life partner is encouraging and supportive.

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