If there were ever a definition for "sometimes" food, there would be a picture of this cake next to it in the dictionary. Unfortunately, the picture wouldn't be particularly good since I ran out of batteries and back-ups for my camera, and had to use my iPhone.
This cake was part of Stephen's birthday present (the other half were awesome seats at Cirque Du Soleil in September), and it took me all day to make it. It's a pretty simple cake recipe, but it's the assembly and waiting for the cake layers to cool that takes the most time - especially since I only had one cake tin at the time.
This badass cake is a tribute to the wonders of peanut butter - three layers of a simple, moist chocolate cake, separated by peanut butter buttercream, then topped with a chocolate and peanut butter ganache. The original recipe found at Bird On A Cake called for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but I had trouble finding them on short notice, so I used Maltesers instead and they worked a treat. Just make this cake when you're expecting a lot of guests, because it's addictive and you'll want to scoff the leftovers.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Layer Cake
*Adapted from Bird On A Cake
1 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and beat with mixer until combined.
Add 1 cup of the boiling water and beat for 1 1/2 minutes with mixer. Pour the batter into pans and bake for roughly 20 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
2 cups creamy peanut butter
4 cups icing sugar
approx. 1/3 cup milk
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, add the milk a little at a time and beat, alternating between the sugar and the milk until frosting is light and fluffy.
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a metal bowl. Heat cream over medium heat, then just before it boils take it off the heat and pour over chocolate chips and peanut butter. Let sit for 2 minutes, then slowly stir until the chocolate and peanut butter is melted and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Stir in the vanilla, then allow to cool to room temperature.
Take a large 230g bag of Maltesers. Trim the cake layers so that they are even. Spread peanut butter buttercream on the first cake layer, then top with the second cake layer. Spread more buttercream on top of the second layer, then place your third cake layer on top. Cover the whole cake with buttercream, then stud the bottom of the cake with Maltesers. Chop up about a third of the packet of Maltesers, then use them to top the cake. Pour ganache on the top of the cake, and smooth it with a spatula if needed. Garnish the top by piping on the remaining buttercream, then top with Maltesers.