The day I decide to chuck the packed lunch from home, in the mood for a nice fat sub, go straight up and order my favourite sub for once without looking at “The sub of the day” without dillydallying, the group behind me is arguing in great detail about the best deal – “sub of the day as salad + this – that is better than sub of the day + that. You save 10 bucks da machaan”. I didn’t need that. Is that a message? I didn’t need that. I order mine with extra cheese and then add a toastie as well. There, take that!
I made this cake for Jagan’s birthday last month. I was just a few weeks into my so called “no-dessert, keep your hands off the extra biryani” diet, I’d eat leftover vegetables or a carrot or some fruit before going hungry to bed and almost getting used to it. Then I made this cake. After everybody had had their slice after cutting the cake, after sharing with friends and family, I still had more than one quarter of the cake plus the trimmed pieces of the cake dome plus some of that over-the-top swiss meringue peanut butter frosting. I didn’t need that.
What is one to do?
For my nightly supper I substituted the carrot with a super-thin slice of the moist, peanut butter cake. When I was finished with the cake in said manner, I cut up pieces of the trimmed cake and dipped it in the super smooth, luscious peanut butter frosting and ate that up too. I licked the last of the peanut butter frosting. Circumstances… Aah. Circumstances can make even the most determined woman lick peanut butter frosting. What chance do I have? I am not even as determined.
This is a special occasion cake I’ll be making several times. It is peanut butter bliss, from the moist, tender, peanut buttery cake to the luscious, smooth swiss meringue peanut butter frosting, a lovely bittersweet chocolate ganache to cut all the peanuttiness and a golden crown of crunchy peanut chikki shards to finish it off. By the way, I am terribly proud of my crushed peanut chikki sprinkles. So easy, so cheap, DIY and looks and tastes wow.
Make this cake for a special occasion. Enjoy!
Prep time: 15 mins (cake) + 30 mins (frosting) + 10 mins (ganache)
Baking time: 30 mins
Serves: 12 – 16 slices
Ingredients – Peanut butter cake
Maida/All purpose flour – 2-1/2 cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Oil – ½ cup
Peanut butter – ½ cup
Granulated white sugar – ¾ cup
Eggs – 3
Vanilla – 1 tsp
Buttermilk – 1 cup
Ingredients – Swiss meringue Peanut buttercream
Egg whites – 4
Granulated white sugar – ¾ cup
Butter – 3/4 cup
Peanut butter – ½ cup
Ingredients – Chocolate glaze
Fresh cream – 80 ml
Dark chocolate – 80 gm
4 peanunt chikki pieces – crushed roughly using a rolling pin (optional)
Method – Peanut butter cake
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees centigrade. Grease and line two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.
3. Beat together oil, peanut butter and sugar together in another bowl until smooth.
4. Beat in eggs one at a time until they’re well mixed. Then add the vanilla and mix.
5. Alternately add buttermilk and flour starting and ending with flour and beat on low speed just until incorporated.
6. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake in the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake pans from the oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then invert on to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Method – Swiss Meringue peanut buttercream
1. Wipe down the bowls, beaters you are going to use with some vinegar to make it totally grease proof.
2. Cut butter into cubes and keep ready.
3. To one bowl, add the egg whites and granulated sugar. Place it over a bowl containing barely simmering water and keep whisking the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and until temperature reads 160 degrees centigrade.
4. Remove the bowl from the double boiler setup and beat with an electric mixer until the sides of the bowl are cool to the tough and the egg whites attain stiff peaks.
5. Beat in butter 2 cubes at a time at low speed. The mixture will turn soupy. Continue anyways. When all the butter is added, add the peanut butter one tablespoon at a time until the buttercream reaches a thick smooth consistency. Stop. Refrigerate for 30 minutes for the buttercream to thicken even further.
1. Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Heat cream in a saucepan just until little bubbles appear along on the edges. Switch off and pour over chopped chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and it is smooth and glossy. Chill till the time you are going to use it.
1. Slice away any domes from the two cakes and have them ready.
2. On a cake turn table, place a cake board and apply a small dab of frosting at the centre. Place one of the cakes on top of the cake board. Using an offset spatula, spread a layer of the peanut buttercream and place the second cake on top of the buttercream. Spread peanut buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. You may need to go over a couple of time to make sure everything is covered. Chill the cake for 15 minutes.
3. In the meantime bring out the chocolate ganache and give it a quick stir.
4. When the cake is chilled, pour the ganache using a spoon. Use the offset spatula to gently spread the ganache over the top of the cake. Drizzle very small amount of ganache at the edge of the cake and let it flow over the sides naturally.
5. Sprinkle the crushed peanut chikkies in a circle around the edge of the cake for a crunchy, sparkly finish. Chill until serving time. Enjoy!