Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Posted: 12 June 2012 01:59 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The week before last was a big baking week for me. I made 2 elaborate birthday cakes. The first one was the peach one that I posted in this forum already. The second one was a decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.

The cake was a Chocolate Fudge Cake from The Cake Bible. The frosting was the peanut buttercream from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. The topping is a peanut butter ganache from a recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

Everything cake together pretty easily! The cake was straight forward. The peanut buttercream was so easy to make: throw everything into the KitchenAid and turn it on! I used my BeaterBlade for the first time. I love it!! And the peanut butter ganache was made by putting everything into a bowl and microwaving, stirring every 20 seconds until melted.

Check out the pictures! These were taken right after applying the ganache. You can see how shiny it is. I was so happy I managed to achieve the drippy effect. I made sure the cake was well chilled, and then applied the freshly made ganache a spoonful at a time, nudging it over the edge. Since the frosting was cool, it basically cooled the ganache as it dripped down.

And do you notice the book in the background? Product placement!! smile

-James

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Posted: 12 June 2012 02:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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James, how delicious your cakes look! I love that drip effect too.

I didn’t notice the book until you pointed it out. Very cool arrangement wink

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Posted: 12 June 2012 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Looks great, and sounds like it was enjoyed by all! smile

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B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

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Posted: 12 June 2012 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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That looks ... oh ... amazingly delicious.  And so beautiful!  I love that chocolate fudge cake!!!

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Posted: 12 June 2012 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yum!  That looks incredible…I may have to try out the PB ganache…so many yummy things!

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Posted: 13 June 2012 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Great job James!!!  Looks yummy and well executed.  The drips are great and YES it is temperature critical.

Now let me coax you for a slight cleaner look when frosting.  I remember your words that wish u could do it like me!  Let me give u the first pointer:  always use a cardboard round!!!! It should be the same size as your cake pan, use the pan to trace it or buy cake rounds already of ur most useful size such as 9”

The baked cake on a 9” pan is always narrower, thus you will have the cardboard slightly wider, just right to cover it with frosting!

Frosting a cake which is sitting on a cardboard round allows you to have better borders (straighter).  When u r done frosting, transfer the cake still on the cardboard to your serving plate such as ur cake carrier.  To prevent the cardboard to slide off the serving plate use some tape or a slip mat.

The cardboard also protects your serving plate from knife marks, oh mine.

I never ever frost a cake sitting directly on its serving plate.  Is messy to clean up and some serving plates can make the turntable cumbersome to spin!

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Posted: 15 June 2012 01:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Sherrie, this is the post from Smitten Kitchen with the PB ganache. http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cake/ I ima.gine Rose must have one in her books as well.

Thanks Hector! One difficulty with using a cardboard round is that the surface of my cake carrier actually isn’t flat. The center of the cake carrier is higher than the rest. If I put a cardboard round, I’ll definitely have to use some tape to secure it so it won’t slide or wobble.

If you put a 9” cake on a 9” round, do you frost the cake all the way to the edge of the cardboard? Say for example that the 9” cake shrunk to 8 1/2”, do you then put a 1/4” thick layer of frosting on it? When you smooth the frosting on the sides with your knife/offset spatula, do you actually lean it against the cardboard as a guide, so you’re essentially running the spatula along the edge of the cardboard?

I don’t have a turntable. Maybe I’ll look into buying one.

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Posted: 15 June 2012 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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James.  YES to all smile

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Posted: 15 June 2012 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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How do you deal with the layers settling? If you get the sides straight and then the frosting in the middle starts to squish out after the cake sits for a bit, it’ll ruin the work you did on the sides. How do you avoid that?

Or is that not an issue, as long as your cake layers are flat and level, and your base is level? In the cross section picture above, you can see that the frosting on the sides started to bend, but you can also see that I didn’t bother trimming my layers to get them level.

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Posted: 15 June 2012 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Cakes should be leveled by cutting with a long serrated knife.  As much as possible, at least get rid of most of the unlevel center.

More important is to balance out and be knowledgable of your filling comsistency and the weight of ur cake.  Thinner fillings u must for soft things like lemon curd and jams and whipped cream.  Thinner fillings also when ur cakes are heavy (butter cakes vs sponge cakes).

Ganache and chocolate buttercreams can be whipping thick as a filling, specially for genoise!

Back to level cakes, think of grabbing surface area, the more level then the more contact and even force across the surface.

If u follow cake bible as written, u will be following what I am saying.

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