Saturday, December 11, 2010

Birthday Cake 2010

For Thomas' birthday this year, I put together this fancy little cake, the recipe for which I originally found here.

Although it looks beautiful, my opinion on the first day was that the cake was too dry. This may have something to do with the fact that I baked it in the morning before work, left it out to cool, and completed the assembly several hours later. However, letting it sit in the fridge for a few days (covered) has improved it. At any rate, if you love chocolate and, more importantly, peanut butter, this cake is for you!

Reese's Cake

Chocolate Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
 (I used margarine)
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (I substituted 1 3/4 Tbsp cream of tartar with 1 cup of milk)
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional) (I used chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease & flour two round cake pans using shortening and then dusting with flour.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flour through salt). Set aside.
  3. Mix the other ingredients (butter through vanilla) in a large mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately. Fold in melted chocolate last.
  4. Pour into cake pans.
  5. Bake for 26-30 minutes. Use the toothpick test to ensure they are done before removing them from the oven.
  6. Tip out onto wire racks. The original recipe suggests using a knife to loosen the edges; mine were very loose already so I did not bother.
  7. Cool before decorating.
Peanut Butter Frosting:
(The original recipe as found on the website referenced above says to use 1 1/2 to 2 batches of the frosting. I made 1 1/2 just in case, but ended up with too much. You should have plenty with just one batch)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used margarine)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
  1. Mix ingredients from powdered sugar through salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Add cream and mix until frosting is "light and smooth" - or, in other words, it looks like something you would want to use to frost a cake.... 
  1. Place one cake round on a plate, cake tray, or whatever you want it to remain on.
  2. Cover the top with frosting.
  3. I used some crushed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as a filling in the center; after mashing them with a potato masher, I sprinkled the pieces on top of this layer.
  4. Put a little bit of frosting on the surface of the other cake that you want to face the center. Place it frosting side down onto the other cake, making sure it is centered.
  5. Continue frosting the cake by covering all exposed surfaces of the cakes with your peanut butter frosting.
  6. To finish, you can cut some more Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in half and arrange them on the cake. I also crushed some more candies and sprinkled them on the top of the cake.
  7. Serve with ice cream of your choice.... or not :o)
using a paper towel to grease cake pan
cake pans, greased & floured
Cream of Tartar + Milk = substitution for buttermilk
Everything for the cake!
Melted chocolate chips and cake batter
Cakes cooling
Frosting ingredients
Frosting... not mixed yet
Peanut Butter Frosting
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
A potato masher works very well to mash Reese's
Cake 2 ready to be placed on top of Cake 1
Finished Product.

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