Monday, April 27, 2015

Chocolate Decadence

Inside Out Chocolate Peanut Butter Pound Cake

Yesterday we celebrated my husband's birthday. While I request the same cake every year, my mother's heirloom recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake, my husband changes his cake every year. I'm rather boring, I know, but, I eat cake so rarely my birthday is really my only chance to have my favorite cake! Anyway, when I asked my husband what kind of cake he wanted he just said "chocolate peanut something." So, I asked if wanted a cheesecake or a cream pie type thing or cake cake and he said "cake cake," which surprised me because he usually prefers cheesecake. I don't have any chocolate peanut butter cake recipes that aren't cheesecakes or similar, so I had to make one up. I adapted the 1960's classic Tunnel of Fudge Bundt cake so it's filled with peanut butter and it is FABULOUS. This cake will definitely make it into the rotation!

I do have a few helpful hints if you'd like to make this yourself. This recipe is designed to fit in the vintage Bundt cast iron pans. Today's Bundt pans, which have become NordicWare, are smaller. I found my pan in a thrift shop, but just be aware you will have leftover batter if you use a modern pan. You could also use a tube pan, such as those used for Angel Food cake for this recipe. The original Tunnel of Fudge recipe had a notation that you MUST use 2 cups of nuts in order for the cake to turn out. I ground peanuts nearly as fine as flour and used that. You could substitute almond flour if you don't have a grain mill or powerful blender. If you are allergic to nuts I think you might be able to substitute coconut flour for them but I haven't tried it. The cake is done when the top is set and the sides start to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick test will not work with this recipe. You can fill this cake with all sorts of things besides peanut butter. Pudding, jam, caramel sauce, and marshmallow creme are just a few possibilities, but a filling is not actually required. On its own the cake will make a fudge-filled center. The batter is extremely thick, so unless you have a powerful stand mixer you will want to mix it by hand after you add the flour to avoid burning out the motor of your mixer.

Inside Out Chocolate Peanut Butter Pound Cake
Serves 15-30

1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups butter, softened
6 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus some extra for preparing pan
2 cups finely chopped peanuts
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Save and set aside the butter wrappers as you add the butter. Prepare the pan by greasing it using the butter wrappers. Then sprinkle cocoa powder all around the inside of the pan so it coats the butter. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour and all remaining ingredients except the peanut butter. Pour half the batter in to the prepared pan. Drop the peanut butter over the batter all around the center of the cake. Don't let the peanut butter touch the pan; keep it inside the batter on both sides. Gently spread the peanut butter into a ring around the middle of the cake, but don't press so hard the peanut butter sinks down into the batter. Pour the remaining batter over the peanut butter and smooth the top. Bake until the sides of the cake start to pull away from the pan and the top is set, 45-50 minutes. Cool 1 hour in the pan on a wire rack (to set the filling so it doesn't run out), then turn out onto a cake plate and cool for at least an hour. 

Since the cake has a creamy filling and is very rich I don't feel like it needs frosting. You could make a ganache glaze to pour over it if desired. I sifted powdered sugar through a decorative slotted spoon to make a pretty design on the cake.

The cake has a tunnel of peanut butter and fudge inside.

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