The Newbie Cook
- 18,026 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
This isn’t exactly a cheesecake. Which is why I said “cheese cake.” Harhar. The cake itself is a chocolate moist cake, the frosting is made of peanut butter and cheese, and a drippy dark chocolate ganache covers it all. The strongest flavors are chocolate and peanut butter and fans of Cone Zone’s peanut butter choco ice cream would surely appreciate this.
I think that is the most times I’ve written peanut butter in one paragraph. *wipes brow*
I made this cake for Tita Edith’s birthday, not knowing that she’s a big peanut butter fan. And then I made a second cake for my family, knowing that my siblings would feel jealous if I didn’t make one for them. This is also one of the most complicated cakes I’ve ever baked. It took a lot for the batter to turn into the pretty cake on a plate.
For the first time, I used flash freezing (freezing a cake for a short time to firm it up) to make a decent layer cake. When the two cakes come out of the oven, flatten the surfaces a bit with a spatula or a potato masher like what I used here.
Let them cool a bit before inverting onto plates and popping them in the freezer. Ideally, the cakes should be wrapped in cling film but I made do with foil, having run out of the plastic wrap. Thirty minutes later, they’re ready for layering.
I put tons of frosting for the middle layer, around one third of what I made. Just work quickly so the cakes won’t warm up especially if you have a warm kitchen like mine. Because the cakes are firmed up in the freezer, it’s really easy to place the other cake on top of the frosted one without breaking the cake. Just remember to put the straight (or bottom) sides together to avoid having a wobbly cake.
I also learned how to crumb mask. Because the cake is darker than the frosting, it’s advisable to put a very thin layer of frosting over the whole cake and pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before applying the final layer of frosting. This tip will avoid brown cake crumbs from mixing with your frosting as you spread it around the cake.
The finale is the dark chocolate ganache. It makes the simple cake look elegant and avant-garde at the same time, aside from providing it with a richer taste. Between the moist cake, the rich frosting and the sweet chocolate, serving a sliver would be more advisable instead of a hefty slice to prevent blocked arteries and trips to the ER.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if it’s better to leave the cake in room temperature or refrigerate it, it depends on the room itself. If you’re in a cool, air-conditioned room or if the weather is naturally cool, you can leave it out of the fridge. But if it’s hot enough to fry eggs on your car, it’s much better to refrigerate it. It won’t affect the taste. Besides, a firm cake is always better than a wilting one.
Yum! Trust me, this looks much better in real life than in the photos. Tastes much better, too.
And as I receive my self-presented award for having passed another baking hurdle, I would like to thank Smitten Kitchen for being such a dependable baker’s bible filled with wonderful recipes and tips.
Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Cheese Cake
From Smitten Kitchen
Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake or a 10-inch two-layer cake.
Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake or a 10-inch two-layer cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter and Cheese Frosting
Makes about 5 cups
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar (adjust according to taste)
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
8 ounces (or a 200 g bar) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3-4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup half-and-half