Friday, June 4, 2010

PB & C

Like peanut butter? Like chocolate? Like cake and fudge? Then you have to try my Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cake. A few years ago I read about a recipe contest for chocolate/peanut butter desserts and I started experimenting. At the time I had never used peanut butter as a base in any dessert but cookies, and was determined to come up with a cake from scratch. It was tricky because I have no formal culinary education and know very little about the actual science of cooking and baking. And peanut butter is a tricky ingredient because of its natural oils. But I persevered... and through trial and error (many errors) came up with a cake that's moist and tender, a little bit like old timey fudge, and has a peanut butter cream cheese frosting that melts in your mouth. I eventually cut back on some of the calories because it's sooo good you'll definately eat more than you should.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cake

Cooking spray
1 T baking cocoa

Dry Ingredients
1-1/2 cups AP flour- I use my trinity blend for more fiber
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients
4 T unsalted butter softened to room temp
3 T canola oil
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 T Splenda Blend
2 T Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup lite sour cream
1/2 cup 1% milk- or fat free half & half
1/3 cup Hershey's lite chocolate syrup
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

4 oz Neufchatel cheese softened to room temp
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T dry roasted peanuts crushed or finely chopped
1 T mini chocolate chips

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray and dust bottom and sides with cocoa. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk with a fork. Set aside.

In large bowl combine butter, canola oil, peanut butter and both Splend Blends. Add eggs and vanilla extract, then sour cream and milk until mixture is smooth and silky (at this point you'll want to eat it and not bake it, so just take a small taste- it's yummy). To this mixture add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix on low, scraping sides of bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients until mixture is incorporated. With measuring cup, remove 1/2 cup of batter and place it in a separate bowl. To this batter add chocolate syrup and mini chips and blend with a fork or spoon. Set aside. This will become your chocolate swirl.

Place half of peanut butter batter in prepared baking dish. Pour chocolate batter on top. Spread with knife if necessary. Pour remaining peanut butter batter on top of chocolate layer. With blunt knife make irregular swirls through the dough to create a marble effect. Smooth top of cake and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool on wire rack. When cake has cooled, remove from baking pan and prepare frosting.

Frosting: With hand blender, combine first four ingredients until icing is smooth and creamy. Frost top of cake and sprinkle with chopped peanuts and chips.

Since this is such a rich cake I cut it into four 2 inch strips. And then I cut those strips into 1/2 inch pieces, so they're little bites, slightly larger than a piece of fudge. My friend Carol was visiting last weekend and we polished off half a cake in one sitting. It really is that good.

No comments: