My oldest son turned 14 this year. Gulp. He goes to high school next year! How can that be??
Anyway.........for his actual birthday a few weeks ago, he requested a chocolate and peanut butter cake. Today was his birthday party - a skating party - and we decided that instead of another cake, we'd try cupcakes - something a little easier to handle once we were at the rink.
I can't say that I was overly thrilled with the cake part of either of these recipes (which is why you'll find that I'm only linking to them instead of posting the full recipe here). I like a really deep, dark chocolate cake. Both cakes were fine, they just didn't wow me. I'm still going to share them because I did really like the peanut butter filling/icing for both.
The cake was a double layer chocolate cake with a peanut butter filling and chocolate icing. It turns out I was out of regular peanut butter for the filling so I subbed natural pb and it worked beautifully. In fact, I think it might have given the filling stronger peanut butter flavor which, in my book, is definitely a good thing. I was very pleased with the consistency and flavor of this filling and would definitely use this again.
Even with 2 sticks of butter and a 1/2 cup of sour cream, the cake turned out a bit dry. Could have been user error though - my oven tends to run a bit hot and sometimes things get a little overdone if I'm not vigilant.
The icing for this cake was very different from any I've made before - it was made with just sour cream and melted chocolate - that's it. I wasn't at all sure what to expect as far as consistency goes - turns out it was pretty similar to a ganache-type icing, just not quite as rich. I'm not sure I was crazy about the "sour" flavor of the sour cream in the icing and since there are other icings that I have liked better, I doubt I'd use this recipe again. It's too bad too, because it sure was easy! So, I will keep the pb filling filed away and keep searching for a better cake recipe.
For the peanut butter icing, I used regular peanut butter as the recipe instructs because I wanted the icing to be light and fluffy and I wasn't sure that natural peanut butter would work quite as well here. The icing did in fact turn out nice and fluffy and although the peanut butter flavor wasn't quite as pronounced as with the filling above, it was still delicious and I think perhaps the more subtle peanut butter flavor was appropriate for an icing as opposed to a filling.
One note on the cupcakes. The recipe claims it makes 14-15 cupcakes. I increased the recipe by half and instead of ending up with about 22 cupcakes, I ended up with closer to 30. I may not have filled the muffin tins as full as I could have, but they were at least 2/3 full.
Even though neither of these baked treats were exactly home runs in my book, chocolate and peanut butter combinations are never complete failures - they may not have been fabulous, but it's pretty hard to go wrong with this popular combo.
So I guess I'm now on the lookout for a rich, chocolate cake that can measure up to what I taste in my head...........