August 6, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Bittersweet Ganache

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Bittersweet Ganache

Mmmmm...light and airy chocolate cake and peanut buttery sweet and creamy filling, all drenched in a rich buttery chocolate ganache. This is chocolate-peanut butter heaven...and it's low fat! However...

Take heed! This is a very time-consuming, pain-in-the-ass recipe to make! There isn't really anything DIFFICULT about it; there's just lots of steps, lots of waiting for things to cool, and lots of wasted time. I think in total, I probably spent about three hours from start to finish. If I make this again in the future, I'm pretty sure I can figure out how to better time-manage the recipe. Just keep in mind these things:
  1. The cakes bake for about 25 minutes, and will take anywhere from 1-2 hours to cool completely.
  2. The filling needs an hour of chilling time.
  3. The ganache needs 30 minutes to an hour of chilling time.
  4. Oh...and THEN once you've built the cake, it needs to chill for 20 minutes just to set it! Egads!
Anyway, enough of my rant. While the cakes are in the oven, you'll probably want to start on the filling, which is simply melted chocolate and peanut butter morsels (something else that needs to cool slightly) and frozen whipped topping. Making the ganache is simple, there's just a lot of stovetop stirring and melting...but of course, it also needs to cool. But wait until you pour it over the cake, it's such a beautiful, chocolatey wondrous thing of amazement. You may want to perform this step over a rack with a plate or bowl underneath, because you'll want to catch up all the extra ganache that pours off the sides.

The cake itself is super chocolatey, but not too sweet. It's light, airy, and fluffy, thanks to a combination of egg substitute and cake flour. The peanut butter and chocolate filling is thick and creamy, with enough sweetness to perfectly balance out the cake. And the ganache...OMG the ganache. So chocolatey, so sweet, so buttery. I could probably eat this stuff with a spoon, forget the cake! Leftovers fared surprisingly well, even after a few days. The cake started to dry out a little, but the ganache remained soft and pliable. Hell, I may have to make the ganache just to keep on hand for other desserts!

Make again? Maybe. It was an interesting cake-making experience; if I have an entire day to kill and chocolate-craving mouths to feed, sure!

Vegan variation: Whew, too many to name. You'll need vegan butter, egg replacer, buttermilk substitute, vegan sour cream, vegan whipped topping, and soy milk. And make sure the baking morsels are vegan. Hmmm, I'm not sure if I've ever seen vegan peanut butter morsels, but you probably can just use peanut butter and sweeten it to taste.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Bittersweet Ganache
Cooking Light, December 2006

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