Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Reese's Cake

I was searching for a new, fun, delicious peanut butter/chocolate cake recipe to make for my husband's birthday. He LOVES Reese's... so when I stumbled upon a picture of a Reese's cake on Pinterest...I just knew that I had to try it out!
Yeah, it was kind of risky trying out a new recipe for his birthday...especially when we were having family over-luckily it was delicious.
I was a little worried while I was making the cake because the batter was extremely thick. But the texture of the cake is brownie like and dense..and matches perfectly with my homemade peanut butter  buttercream frosting. Sometimes I use a creamcheese/peanut butter frosting..either way will work.
The recipe is from the Annie's Eats website, but was posted to pinterest. If you haven't checked out Annie's Eats.. you should stop by.. there are some Pretty AMAZING recipes there. Oh, and if you haven't been on pinterest...holy cow, check it out (click here to see my boards and follow)- I promise you are going to LOVE love love it!!!

Ok, back to the cake...here's what ya need:

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
2 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups of regular sugar
2 large eggs (room temp)
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk (all I had was regular and it worked out fine)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional) (oh and I used 3 oz of semi-sweet because it was all that I had)
1 1/2 - 2 batches of your FAVORITE peanut butter frosting
miniature reese's cups, halved and some chopped

Here's what ya need to do for the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, butter or spray two 9x2 pans, dust the inside with flour...tap out the excess. (Annie's says to line the bottoms with round parchment paper, go for it if you usually do- I didn't and it worked out just fine)

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. ( I actually sifted mine because sometimes my cocoa powder gets a little clumpy)
Set aside.

In your mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately w/ the buttermilk/milk; add the ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending w/ the dry ingredients) Make sense?
Mix each addition until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate- fold in with a spatula. Divide batter between the prepared pans. THE BATTER IS really thick.

Bake for about 26-30 minutes. (mine took closer to 30)
Or until springy to touch and cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer to cooling rack to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them (if you used parchment peel off the liners) Invert and cool to room temp right side up.

To put the cake together:
Place on cake on your cake board. Frost first layer with the peanut butter frosting. Sprinkle some Reese's if desired. Place second layer on cake and frost the top and outside of the cake with the remaining pb frosting. Decorate the cake with the chopped and halved Reese's!! The more the better!! :)

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

90th birthday party cake

When my Uncle asked me to make the cake for a surprise party that was going to be given for my grandparents...of course I was very excited. They are two of the kindest, most real, honest-loving...live life to the fullest people I know. They have travelled around the world...been everywhere you could ever imagine wanting to go- had 7 children, started a huge family which consists of more aunts, uncles, and cousins than any one person could dream of having. They created simple family traditions (such as Friday night homemade pizza, family dinners, zeppoli on Christmas eve, initial cookies at Easter, Vermont..just to name a few) that we will all carry with us and share with our children. They have strong beliefs in their faith as well as  education. They have given all of us opportunities such as a college education and many many memories of huge family gatherings & good times at the lake---
They are perfect examples of living the American dream.
They both are Italian Americans. My grandfather came over to America as a young boy and my grandmother was born here.  They both spoke Italian first and are both brilliant, loving, good people.
Most time spent with my grandparents involve some type of food!! Whether it be a weekly visit, a holiday or shared dinner or even a quick trip to Friendly's for an ice cream sunday- time spent with each of them is always a gift.

This year they are both turning 90! An amazing number.
Here's to many more years of good health, (possibly from juicing..or maybe good genes) and MUCH happiness!
I love you both.

(vanilla cake top layer has chocolate ganache filling, bottom has chocolate buttercream)

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