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Food

The ultimate chocolate cake and peanut butter cheesecake combo

by Sarah Alcock

Warning: this cake from The Yummy Yank, is not for the faint hearted. We're talking chocolate, peanut butter, frosting, ganache, more chocolate, the works. It does take a bit of time to make, but it looks extraordinary and tastes even better. So forget the diet, slip into something with an expandable waistband and prepare for a taste sensation like no other – it's worth the calories, trust us. What's your favourite sweet treat? Get our mouths watering in the comments box below.

DAY ONE

For the peanut butter cheesecake layers
unsalted butter, for greasing
50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
3 x 300g packs cream cheese, at room temperature
275g granulated sugar
3 large eggs, plus 1 additional egg yolk
275g smooth peanut butter
300ml soured cream
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 8.

2 Grease two 23 x 5cm deep loose-bottomed cake tins with butter, line the bases with baking paper, then grease again and lightly dust the insides of the tins with flour.

3 Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sugar and flour and continue beating for about 3 minutes.

4 Add the eggs and the extra yolk one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly combined.

5 With the beater on slow, mix in the soured cream and the vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Don't overbeat.

6 Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 110°C, fan 90°C, gas ¼ and bake for another 30 minutes.

7 Switch off the oven, open the oven door slightly and leave the cakes inside to cool.

8 When completely cooled, remove the cakes from the tins. Put a piece of kitchen roll on top of each cake, followed by a circle of baking paper. Wrap tightly in kitchen foil and refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the cake.

DAY TWO

For the chocolate cake layers
unsalted butter, for greasing
230g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
400g granulated sugar
100g good-quality unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
300ml buttermilk
120ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly made coffee (mix 1 tsp instant coffee granules with 240ml boiling water)
For the chocolate frosting
350g good-quality dark chocolate chips (about 53% cocoa content)
500g soft unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
300g sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
For the chocolate ganache
90g unsalted butter
175g good-quality chocolate chips (about 53% cocoa content)
For the peanut butter drizzle
275g smooth peanut butter
To decorate
peanut butter M&Ms, or any other chocolate you like

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.

2 Grease two 23 x 5cm deep loose-bottomed cake tins with butter, line the bases with baking paper, then grease again and lightly dust the insides of the tins with flour.

3 Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on a low speed until the dry ingredients are well combined.

4 In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

5 On a low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.

6 Put the mixer on a low speed again and very slowly add the coffee, mixing until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. It will be quite runny.

7 Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

8 Remove from the oven and cool the cakes in their tins for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out of the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

9 To make the chocolate frosting, put the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir gently until melted. Leave to cool

10 Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.

11 Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat for a further 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

12 Turn the mixer to a low speed and slowly add the icing sugar, then beat on a medium speed until very smooth.

13 Dissolve the coffee granules in 4 teaspoons of very hot tap water. On a low speed, add the cooled melted chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix well. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. The frosting should be smooth and creamy.

lisa-cake-prep.jpg

To assemble the cake

1 Place one layer of chocolate cake, flat-side up, on a 28cm cake board. If the cake is domed, trim it so that it lies flat on the board. Spread the top of the cake with a layer of chocolate frosting.

2 Remove the peanut butter cheesecake layers from the fridge, unwrap and blot any excess moisture from the surface of the cheesecakes with kitchen paper.

3 Place the cheesecake layer, flat-side up, on top of the chocolate cake layer. Spread chocolate frosting on the top of this layer, too. Repeat the process with the two remaining layers. Don't frost the top of the final cheesecake layer until later.

4 With the 4 cake layers neatly stacked, trim the edges of the cake with a large sharp knife until they're smooth and even. All the layers should be flush with each other. Brush the excess crumbs from the cake board, then cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting.

5 Run a spatula around the sides and top of the cake to smooth down the frosting.

6 Next, make the chocolate ganache. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes, making sure it doesn't burn. Mix until smooth.

7 For the peanut butter drizzle, heat the peanut butter in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until melted – be careful not to let it burn.

8 Using a teaspoon, drizzle the melted chocolate ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to cascade down the sides of the cake. Do the same with the smooth melted peanut butter.

9 Sprinkle the finished cake with peanut butter M&Ms or any other chocolate you fancy.

10 Store the cake in the fridge.

Tip

Make the cheesecake layers the day before making the chocolate cake layers. Assemble the cake on a 28cm cake board

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