Cho­co­late cake with peanut but­ter and cream cheese frost­ing

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - MICHELLE ESHKERI’S

Serves: 16-20 Adding height to a cake with ex­tra lay­ers is a sim­ple way of mak­ing it look el­e­gant and spe­cial. Ed­i­ble flow­ers ( mad­docks­far­mor­gan­ics.co.uk) are beau­ti­ful and for­giv­ing so the frost­ing doesn’t need to be per­fectly smooth.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS For the cake

240ml hot, strong black cof­fee 225g 150g co­coa pow­der 240g dou­ble cream 225g un­salted but­ter 275g brown sugar 275g caster sugar 1tsp vanilla 4 large eggs, beaten 350g plain flour, sifted with: ½ tsp sea salt 3tsp bak­ing pow­der

For the frost­ing

125g un­salted but­ter 250g cream cheese 80g peanut but­ter 1kg ic­ing sugar 100g dark cho­co­late, melted 50g peanut but­ter (op­tional) Sea salt, to taste Ed­i­ble flow­ers, to dec­o­rate

METHOD

First make the cakes: Grease and line two 20cm cake tins. Pre­heat your oven to 160°C.

Add the hot cof­fee to the co­coa pow­der and whisk to a smooth paste, then add the cream.

Cream the but­ter, sug­ars and vanilla in an elec­tric mixer for 5 min­utes.

Add the beaten eggs slowly then add one third of the flour mix then one third of the co­coa mix, com­bin­ing well be­tween each ad­di­tion. Con­tinue un­til all the in­gre­di­ents are in­cor­po­rated.

Place the mix­ture in the tins and bake for 50 - 60 min­utes un­til a skewer in­serted in the cen­tre comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack and then wrap and chill.

For the frost­ing: Melt the but­ter in a small pan.

Com­bine the cream cheese, peanut but­ter and one third of the ic­ing sugar in a bowl.

Mix the peanut but­ter/cream cheese mix­ture with an elec­tric mixer un­til smooth then add the re­main­ing ic­ing sugar - it will be dry and lumpy.

Pour the melted but­ter into the ic­ing mix­ture and mix un­til smooth.

Fold through the melted cho­co­late then add salt and ad­di­tional peanut but­ter to taste.

You will need to use the ic­ing im­me­di­ately, adding a splash of milk if it is too dry to spread easily.

To as­sem­ble the cake: Halve each cold cake hor­i­zon­tally through the mid­dle.

Lay the first half up­side down on a cake board so the top is on the bot­tom and spread a layer of frost­ing over it with a pal­ette knife.

Top with the next half and another layer of frost­ing then re­peat with the last two cakes.

Coat the whole cake in a thin layer of frost­ing, chill un­til firm and then coat with a fi­nal layer.

If the frost­ing sets too much while you are work­ing you can warm it very briefly in a mi­crowave.

For a smooth fin­ish use a dough scraper or plas­tic ruler — or go for a more rus­tic fin­ish.

Ar­range the flow­ers on the cake a few hours be­fore serv­ing. Michelle Eshkeri is the owner of the Laven­der Bak­ery www.laven­der­bak­ery.co.uk

PHOTO: MICHELLE ESHKERI

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