June 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

"Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake"

I bake. I don't decorate. If at all, its a smothering of icing, usually rough around the edges for an obviously intentional rustic appearance. Glazing is far easier. Simply pour over and sugary stick liquid does the rest of the job.

But I guess my to-be seven year old cousin didn't know all this when she asked me to bake the cake for her birthday party. Damn it. She is the epitome of girly-girls! That meant, pink, purple, flowers, butterflies, princess,  fairies, ... that sort of thing.

Luckily, my aunt(absolute icing goddess) was visiting and the cake would have a chance of looking pretty.

Recipe from 'Cakes and Slices' (Australian Women's Weekly)

First melt 125g of chopped dark chocolate over a double boiler. In another bowl, cream 125g butter, teaspoon of vanilla essence and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Separate 4 eggs, and add yolks to creamed mixture. Add the melted chocolate. I've read and been told that the chocolate should be cooled to room temperature so that they don't cook the eggs, but in a hurry, I've poured hot melted chocolate into an egg mixture, and I don't remember any eggs being scrambled! Still, I advise you leave the chocolate to cool.

Add 1/4 cup of peanut butter. The recipe calls for smooth, but the only peanut butter in my house is homemade crunchy. I didn't measure the peanut butter, I used about 6 tablespoons, but the flavour was still quite dominating.

Add 1 cup of sifted self raising flour (3/4 cup plain flour : 1 tsp baking powder) and 1 cup of milk. Whisk egg whites and fold gently into mixture. Pour into greased and paper-lined baking pan and bake at 170 degrees for an hour. The recipe said and hour and a half, but mine was done in about 65 minutes.

(note: my cake was a bit of a disaster. Got a burnt at the bottom and had to slice off about 2mm. I had made a double recipe. Placing the two layers on top of each other made a sloping mountain shape as apposed to the 2 tier plan)

Icing: The fun part. 
Icing sugar and butter at room temperature (2:1) mixed with an electric whisk. Add food colouring as desired. If you want pink, test the strength of the red colour in a bowl of milk. 
We used pink as the base and purple piping.

Icing was a bit of a mess. We were a bit clueless as to what to do with the cake to cover up the unevenness. We found chocolate chips, chocolate fingers, smarties and some wired butterflies and used them as best we could.

Last touch- chocolate butterfly. Paint the shape onto aluminium foil and refrigerate till firm. We had to add more chocolate layers to prevent it from breaking.

All in all, it was fun baking and icing, despite the mishaps and messiness. Plus I also learnt that piping isn't as hard as I imagined. :)

The birthday party was most enjoyable. The little birthday girl changed outfits about 5 times. Loved the excitement. One highlight was the magic candles. What priceless expressions. :)


shraddha said...

this is one of my favourites:),very colorful n d lil gal changing dresses 5 tyms reminds me of d sleepover:)

m-burrows said...

please make this for me one day? :)