Chocolate cake with peanut butter and cream cheese frosting
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
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