If you follow me either on WordPress or Facebook you will know that it was E’s birthday last week. And a birthday means a cake – well to me it most certainly does! So I spent a while trying to pick out something I thought he’d really like and as he loves both chocolate and peanut butter, this is what I came up with…. A dark chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.
At the same time as I was making his cake I was trying to make another cake and cupcakes for someone else’s birthday so it was a busy few days! My pics may be a bit all over the place as I kept forgetting but they’ll give you the idea. I was delighted with how the cake tasted but not so much the layers…. I really need to take some inspiration from GBBO and start actually weighing each layer so they are even and not all different sizes like mine! Next time will be better 🙂
On the plus side, he loved his cake! It’s a great one to make for a birthday treat and with it’s 3 layers it is big enough to feed quite a few people of you are making it for a party or get together.
For the cakes
225g plain flour
350g caster sugar
85g cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large free range eggs
250ml full fat milk milk
125ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
210ml boiling water
For the icing
175ml double cream, chilled
390g icing sugar, sieved
335g butter, at room temperature
255g smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
Pinch of sea salt
So let’s start!
For the cakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line 3 small sandwich tins – or if you’d prefer and you have 2 bigger tins you could use those.
2. Beat the eggs in your mixing bowl then add in the sieved flour, sugar, sieved cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarb of soda. Mix well.
3. This mixture will be really dry at this point. Next, in a jug, beat the milk and oil together. Then pour into the mixing bowl and fold it all together.
4. Lastly pour in the boiling water. It will look strange and once mixed it will be very runny but don’t worry – it’s meant to be that way!
5. Divide the cake batter between the tins and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before taking from the tins. Leave to cool completely before icing.
For the Icing
1. Combine the double cream and 30g icing sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until it’s light and fluffy and peaks begin to form. Be careful not to overmix. Transfer this into a separate bowl and leave aside for now.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and peanut butter. I used my electric whisk for all of these steps but you would do it with a hand whisk and some elbow grease! Beat until smooth.
3. Add the remaining icing sugar to the bowl a little at a time, mixing slowly so it doesn’t all blow up in the air.
Once loosely combined, turn the speed to full and beat for 2 minutes.
4. Add the vanilla extract and salt, and continue to whisk until very fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. Using a large spatula or metal spoon, gently fold one third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture before adding the rest and folding carefully to combine.
Putting it all together
1. Place one cake on a serving plate or cake board. Spoon a good blob of the frosting onto the cake and smooth over the whole surface, allowing some to spill over the edges.
2. Top with the second cake and spoon over another blob of frosting, smoothing it flat and then put on the third layer .
3. Then apply practically all of the rest of the frosting to the top and sides and smooth out using the back of a knife or a pallet knife if you have one.
The icing starts to soften if left out of the fridge for too long so serve immediately or keep it fridged.
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