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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ty's Birthday Cake - Chocolate Peanut Butter

A few months ago, Ty was using my StumbleUpon account and came across this site.  He showed it to me and my mouth immediately begin to salivate.  Then, being the fool I was, told him I would make it for his birthday if he wanted.  Oh, he wanted.

The closer to his birthday, the more concerned I'd become.  This was no ordinary, from-the-box, throw-it-together kind of cake.  I'd have to put in some serious man power and I was beginning to doubt that I'd be able to pull something like this off.

Because I love my husband....because it was his birthday....and because I don't go back on promises....
I gathered up my courage and went to work.

First thing I did was measure out all the ingredients for the cake.  I've done it before where I measure as I go along.  Doing it beforehand really takes out a lot of the hassle.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  This will not be fun.  This will not be easy.  And your arm will be begging for mercy half-way through the flour.

Then whisk until evenly mixed together.

Now add the oil and sour cream.  Whisk to blend.  I received an AWESOME Hamilton Beach hand mixer that came with a wire whisk attachment.  It's now the love my baking life.

Beat in the water and wonder how it will become batter when it looks so....well, watery.

Next add the vinegar and vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs.  (I swear there are two.  The other drowned before I could take a picture.)

Now, you're ready to put the batter into the cake pans.  The recipe calls for 3 8" round pans, but I only have 2 9" rounds.  I did end up making three layers, I just had to wait for the other cakes to finish cooling before I could bake another.

Butter the pan's side and bottom.

Then place parchment paper at the bottom.

I measured out the batter and came up with 7 cups exactly.  In order to divide it up into three cakes, each pan will hold 2 1/3 cup of batter.

Bake in oven preheated to 350°F for 30 - 35 minutes, or until cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.  (*I did mine for 30.)

The recipe says to cool in pans for 20 minutes, but the site where I got the recipe from said that because the cakes are so moist she put them in the freezer for 30 minutes, so I did that.  If I ever reclaim enough mental strength to do this again, I'll let them cool for 20 minutes in the pan, and then put them in the freezer for another 30 minutes.  Maybe that's what she meant, but I have to learn the hard way.
 Either way, they'll come out looking luscious and quite evil.  It's like devilish chocolate eyes staring at you saying....."EAT ME!!!  SUCCUMB TO THE DARK SIDE!"

Next for the Peanut Butter frosting:
 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted  **(I totally forgot to sift!  Oh well.)**
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)  *****(I just used Safeway's Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter, and it worked just fine.)*****
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy like little yummy clouds.

Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, otherwise you'll end up wearing most of it and you'll have to go through the trouble of having to measure all over again........not that that's ever happened to me.  Scout's honor.  If only I had been a scout.

Now the whole reason we're here:  the Peanut Butter.
You didn't forget about the cakes did you?
Place the first cake on a cake platter or your serving tray.
And be careful.  I had a hard time keeping mine from falling apart on me.

Take 2/3 cup of frosting and spread it on top of the cake.

Add next layer of cake, again being careful, and repeat with frosting.

Finally, add the last layer of cake and then smother the whole thing in the rest of the frosting. I ended up with about an extra cup of frosting left and I'm already thinking of ways to put it to good use.
Technically, I was supposed to let the cake (after frosting) chill for 15 to 20 minutes, but I was on a time crunch and it turned out fine anyway.

It's time to put together the last piece of the puzzle.  Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache:
8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the Peanut Butter and corn syrup.
Once it's finished, put it in a small bowl (I just used a glass measuring cup) and pour in the half & half.

Whisk and enjoy the beauty of liquid chocolate/peanut butter.

Now for the final touch to complete the madness.
Pour the ganache on top of the cake.  It will sort of dribble down the cake (this is where having had it cooled in the fridge would have come in handy), but to help it along use an offset spatula to spread it around.

The final masterpiece.

I seriously cannot believe I did this.
From start to finish, it took about 3 1/2 hours.
Using my calorie counting site,, 1/16th is 747 Calories.
Couldn't you just die?!  You might if you eat the whole thing.

I'd say it was well worth it.

Happy Birthday Husband!!!  I love you so very much.  You mean so much to me.  So much that I spent 3 1/2 hours making the best birthday cake ever for you.

Now I'm going to take a nap.

(*Note:  I cannot be blame for any bad photography.  I'm not a professional, nor do I have the equipment.  So there.  Have a nice day.*)


  1. Wow! That is such a fancy cake! I don't know if I have the patience for it, but it looks delish. My mom's best friend's daughter has a food blog that has a lot of yummy stuff on it:

    Happy Birthday Ty!

  2. Mmm. That looks amazing. Good work!! And happy birthday to your husband. :)


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