Friday, November 22, 2013

We Can't Help Ourselves: Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and a Slathering of Chocolate Ganache

Dear Friends,

Oh, my. What happened to my simple country life? We're just way too busy to find it anywhere!

And that's fine with me, at least for  now. I'm very, very grateful for all of the people and activities that keep me so busy!

Last night was another bustling Pizza Night, with many new friends from Memphis (MO) joining us. The cake we served was our Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Ganache Icing, developed originally for Bear's birthday a few year's ago. I think we've finally found the perfect combo of PB and Chocolate. The frosting is sweet without being overwhelmingly so, and has a light but very peanutty flavor. The chocolate ganache is, well, the icing on the cake (pun intended).

 Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Ganache Icing

Before we get started, here's a note on Corn Syrup, which is an ingredient in the ganache. It is what gives the ganache that glorious shiny gloss. Corn Syrup is NOT High Fructose Corn Syrup. Click here to learn the difference between the two.

 To begin - use the Dancing Rabbit Chocolate Celebration cake recipe found here.
 Put the batter in two 9" round pans. When cake layers have cooled, it's time for frosting!

Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
 makes approx. 2 cups

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups powdered sugar

  1. Place the SOFT butter and peanut butter into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low until the butter and peanut butter are completely combined.
  2. SIFT the powdered sugar. While there are many things worse than lumpy frosting, none of them would ever be put on a cake. I just use a regular kitchen strainer, a big bowl, and  a spoon. Takes 3 minutes. Just do it.
  3. Gradually mix in the sugar, scraping down the sides regularly to make sure everything is well mixed in.
  4. When the frosting starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable.
  5. Beat for at least 3 minutes on HIGH for it to get good and fluffy. You many need to adjust the consistency with more sugar or milk.

Chocolate Ganache

2/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  1. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil.
  2. Place chocolate pieces and corn syrup in a large bowl.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and corn syrup and stir until completely mixed and glossy.
  4. Allow ganache to cool before pouring over cakes as a glaze. The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set.
  5. When it is ready to pour onto the cake, begin pouring slowing in the middle. Using a long pastry spatula*, slowly smooth the icing onto the cake in a circular motion. I find it helps if I slowly turn the cake plate while keeping the spatula steady. As the icing moves from a pool in the center of the cake to the edges, encourage it to “overflow” to create delicious drips.

That’s it!

If you haven't yet voted for the Milkweed Mercantile in the Green America People and Planet Grant program, PLEASE take 20 seconds and do so. We SO APPRECIATE YOU!

Someday soon I'll get back to reporting all the dirt on Ecovillage life. Or maybe not. We'll see. In the meantime, be kind to yourself and one another. 


* Offset Pastry Spatula. You don't have to have one, but it sure makes frosting/icing a cake easier!