Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ganache

Welcome to adult life. I'm a new kitten mom and starting a real job on Friday. With a retirement plan. So weird, honestly. But also I read a tweet saying that adult life gets better once you realize you don't need an occasion to make and eat a cake. So that's what I did, although arguably I'm celebrating my new kitty.

Meet Nissa:

I got Nissa unexpectedly this past Saturday. My fiance and I had been talking about getting an animal for quite awhile, but he was gunning for a dog or bunny. I had begged for a cat, but pretty much given up on ever having one. I made all my arguments for a cat, explaining that it was probably the best pet for our lifestyle, but my fiance wasn't really swayed.

Enter Nissa.

On Saturday I was in a store with a friend when I suddenly heard high pitched meowing. A guy had come in with a little kitten in a cardboard box. He explained that he had found her under his car and couldn't keep her and that since it was kitten season all the ethical shelters were full. My heart melted. I asked if I could touch her, and she leaped right into my arms. I explained to the guy that I needed my fiance's permission, but was interested in keeping her.

After some begging, sweet Alex reluctantly agreed. Nissa was mine. The Humane Society thinks she's about 8 weeks old, and other than being a little skinny, was healthy. They even gave me a grant to get her spayed and her shots for free, a long with some kitty kibble.

She is the kitten I always wanted. She's playful but loves to cuddle, and loves to "talk" to me. She's the sweetest little thing, purrs like a lawnmower. I'm so in  love. I feel like a new mom, constantly posting pictures of her everywhere, but I can't help it. She's mine. Since I haven't started work yet, we just cuddle and play all day.

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ganaches
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup coffee, cooled

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
8 Reese's miniatures, chopped

1 stick butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (buy it on Amazon. it's cheaper than buying the pods. and amazing.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
  1. To make the cake, start by stirring together the dry ingredients.
  2. Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, and blend together until smooth.
  3. Pour in coffee. Batter will be thin, once stirred together.
  4. Pour into two pans (I used 9x9 squares, but rounds will work just as well). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the middle springs back when touched.
  5. Let cool thoroughly, and remove from pans.
  6. Using a wooden spoon, poke holes in the top of one of the cakes (like the picture above).
  7. While the cakes are cooling, make the ganaches. Melt together the peanut butter and coconut oil, then stir until smooth. Let cool.
  8. Melt together the chocolate chips and cream. Stir until homogeneous.
  9. Once the cake is cool, spread the peanut butter onto the cake, making sure to get it into all the holes. Sprinkle on the peanut butter cups, then carefully spoon on most of the chocolate ganache. I sprinkled on some salt at this point. Highly recommend.
  10. Stack the other layer on top, and let set.
  11. Make the buttercream frosting. Ensure that the butter is room temperature and soft. Stir in two cups of the powdered sugar.
  12. Add in the cream, the remaining sugar, and vanilla paste. I also added a dash of salt, but that's up to you and your taste.
  13. Carefully frost the cake, then drizzle on remaining ganache, swirling with a spoon. Keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

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