Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake with Cream Cheese and Butterfinger Frosting

Do you ever just see the title of a certain recipe and immediately start salivating? That's what happened to me when I saw this cake on Epicurious' list of their Top 30 cakes. This is the first cake I've ever made simply because I HAD TO HAVE IT -- not for someone's birthday or a potluck of some sort. And does this cake ever live up to its name! It is so unbelievably rich and delicious. I made it on Sunday, and Joe and I have single-handedly nearly finished it off. Ah, now I remember: that's why I never make cakes just for us. They're too tempting. Especially this one. There are just no words for it. It is truly a thing of beauty.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake with Cream Cheese and Butterfinger Frosting
Source: Epicurious

For the filling:

2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 pound golden brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 8-ounce packages), room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
Butterfinger candy bars, coarsely chopped

1. For filling, bring cream and sugar to simmer in saucepan, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; let stand 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in peanut butter. Chill uncovered overnight.

2. For cake, preheat oven to 350°. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and peanut butter in large bowl until blended. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. At low speed, beat in flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions.

Divide batter among pans and spread evenly. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes 5 minutes. Turn out onto racks; peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.

3. For frosting, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Whisk whipping cream and 3/4 cup powdered sugar in bowl until mixture holds medium-firm peaks. Fold into cream cheese mixture in 3 additions; chill until firm but spreadable, about 1 hour.

4. For assembly, place 1 cake layer, bottom side up, on 9-inch tart pan bottom. Spread with half of filling. Place another layer, bottom side up, on work surface. Spread with remaining filling; place atop first layer. Top with remaining cake layer, bottom side up.

Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before continuing.) Press candy onto top of cake.