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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Pinterest inspired me to make my husband's birthday cake this year. I was excited about this new recipe and after posting a (terrible) mobile picture on Facebook, I had tons of comments and even a recipe request. So here it is!

This cake is very, very rich. You'll want to cut it into small slices or else you'll have a belly ache. You can find the original recipe here. I've noted my edits below with the recipe.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

CAKE:
1 box cake mix and ingredients for cake.
Make the cake according to the package, two rounds, and cool it completely.

FILLING:
8oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I always use Baker's in the red box, and I don't chop it)
8oz heavy cream (also called heavy whipping cream)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Peanut Butter Cups - I purchased two bags of the minis and had leftovers even after decorating and sampling.

Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate in a medium bowl. Let sit for five minutes. Whisk until the chocolate melts, then whisk in the peanut butter until it's all incorporated and smooth. If you've never made chocolate ganache before, know that it can be tricky. Sometimes after it's all mixed, I let it set for 15 or more minutes to cool and thicken. You can always encourage thickening by putting into the refrigerator, but set a timer, and be sure to check it every five minutes. When it is completely set, it's similar to fudge. If you need to soften it, put it in the microwave for a minute at a time, at 50% power. Stirring after every minute. While my ganache sets, I made the frosting. 

FROSTING:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the vanilla, then the sugar. I beat mine until it was pretty fluffy. But then it seemed too solid, so I added a touch more vanilla. You can probably add milk, so it's similar to a frosting consistency.

ASSEMBLY:
Place one round cake on a cake stand or plate. Cover the top in the peanut butter fudge filling. I only used about 1/3 of the peanut butter/fudge filling/ganache here. You'll need some for the next few steps, so don't use it all. I also speckled the top of the ganache with mini peanut butter cups. This is completely optional.

Place the second 9-inch round on top. Using ganache, spread a thin layer on the outside of the cake. Refrigerate until the fudge is set and firm to the touch.

Slather the whole thing in the peanut butter frosting. I struggled with this part because my frosting was thick, but it was delicious so I kept going. I did manage to get the frosting to cover the entire cake, but it was somewhat thin on the top so I decided to take the remaining ganache and pour it on top of the cake before decorating it. I think it polished the piece nicely. To decorate the bottom of the cake, I cut the peanut butter cups in half, because I was afraid I might not have enough.

I tossed it into the fridge and took out to "thaw" before serving. It is best at room temperature because the ganache and frosting will become firm. 

This might look intimidating, but it is not. I encourage you to try it!