Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Caramel Celebration Cake!

I celebrated my birthday this week, and for the first time I have decided that I wanted to make my cake and not let anyone one buy it or make it. 

I wanted to develop a cake that is suitable for special occasions, that carries a wow factor and that is enjoyed by the people you hold the dearest to your heart.
For this I decided to use some of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter!

I had a jar of peanut butter that I made a while ago and I used it to make the mini peanut butter cups that I used for the decoration for this cake. I don't have any issue with the ones you can find in the market, but strangely they're pretty hard to find in Madrid, although the normal larger sized-cups are available. I will make a future post on how to make mini chocolate peanut butter cups as they are easy to make and pretty delicious. 


The cake itself is not difficult to make but does require several steps. 

The ingredients presented below can be used to prepare a single cake or three thinner individual cakes. I opted for option one and used a 15 cm pan.

For the cake you need (serves 6 to 8):
  • 2 eggs at room temperature (abt 60 g each)
  • 50 g of unsalted butter and 50 g of peanut butter, melted together (over a gentle flame)
  • 100 g melted dark chocolate (I used chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids)
  • 130 g brown sugar (I used panela sugar, you can use castor sugar too)
  • 120 g flour
  • 5 g of baking power and 2 g of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of bourbon or vanilla extract
  • 20 g cocoa powder
  • 125 g yogurt (or cream)
  • dash of salt 

For the sponge cake, first combine all the dry ingredient, mix well and set aside. Beat the eggs slowly start adding the sugar. Keep beating until the egg mixture doubles in volume and becomes rather thick, then add  the bourbon or the vanilla. 

Add the chocolate and mix at low speed. Pour the melted butter and peanut butter slowly and mix till well combined. 

Fold in the flour mixture using a spatula, then slowly mix the yogurt, again using a spatula.

Pour the mixture in the prepared (greased and lined with parchment paper) pan and bake for about 40 to 50 min in a preheated oven (180C).

For the buttercream frosting you need:
  • 115 g butter (room temperature)
  • 115 g peanut butter (room temperature)
  • 200 g of powdered sugar
  • tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of cream or milk
Combine the butters and sugar and start mixing at the lowest speed. This prevents making a mess in your kitchen. As the sugar is mixed into the butter, increase the speed until the mixture becomes lighter in color. Add the vanilla and the milk or cream. You can add more or less cream depending on the final texture you are looking for, but of course you want to use this cream for frosting so it shouldn't be runny! 

For the caramel you need
  • 75 g sugar
  • 30 g cold butter
  • 100 ml heavy cream
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp of bourbon
Here you can find the steps you need to follow to make the caramel. Do note that for this specific caramel you don't need to add water. Once you add the cream add the bourbon and let the caramel simmer and stir every other while to make sure everything is combined!

Assembling the cake:
Cut the cake into 3 layers. Try to make the layes even, but if they aren't exactly the same thickness it's not a big issue. Brush each layer with a bit of caramel. Put a layer of the buttercream on the base layer of cake and top with the middle layer. Repeat the process with the middle layer. Frost the whole cake and decorate as you see fit.

As you can notice I covered the frosting with the bourbon caramel and the peanut cups I made. You can do the same or just serve the caramel with the cake, it's up to you! 

This decadent cake is surely a festive one and meant to be shared during special occasions. Try it next time you have a special day you want to celebrate and you will surely impress!

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