Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate cake:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk and/or whole milk

Peanut butter buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (no-stir)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

Ganache:

  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup salted, roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


Bake the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of 4 eight-inch pans with non-stick baking spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper as well.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour, stirring just until moistened.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake cakes for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.


Make the Buttercream:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar for 3-4 minutes until smooth and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, meringue powder and salt.  With the mixer on low, add by spoonfuls.  Add the vanilla and milk and increase speed to medium high, whipping until very light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

Note that you will have plenty of frosting to also frost the sides of the cake, if you'd like to.


Make the Ganache:

Note: If you like a thicker ganache, make it before you assemble the cake, so it can sit at room temperature for a few minutes to thicken.  If you like it a little thinner, wait to make it until you’re ready to pour it onto the cake.

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring barely to a gentle simmer over medium low heat.  Remove from the heat, add the chopped chocolate and let stand for three minutes, then stir with a spatula until smooth and shiny.  Pour over the cake when it has cooled to the consistency you want.


Assembly:

Turn the cooled cakes out of the pans and peel off the parchment paper.  Spread or pipe a layer of the buttercream over the cake, leaving the sides clean and unfrosted.  Repeat with the other cake layers.

Once the fourth layer of cake is placed on top, pour the ganache over the cake, letting it drip over the sides.  Let stand at room temperature until set.  Sprinkle the top with the chopped peanuts, and a little coarse salt.  Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to finish setting the ganache.

If you have buttercream left, you can pipe it on top of the ganache, once it’s set, or freeze for another use.


Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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