Friday, May 27, 2022

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Zoë Bakes Cakes


This recipe is from Zoë François’s cookbook Zoë Bakes Cakes, which looks mouthwatering! So, this isn’t even remotely low-carb or “healthy” or anything, but it had been living in my head rent-free ever since I saw it on Instagram, and I just had to make it. I finished my Lakanto sugar (all 125 grams of it) in here and just topped it off with regular cane sugar. The only problem I had was that I used vegan whipping cream, and it can be hit-or-miss: I’ve used it with great success some of the time, and other times, it just wouldn’t whip up properly – this was one of those times. Also, I didn’t have enough cream after that, so the ganache was a bit thicker than it should have been. Therefore, please pardon the appearance of the cake, and just know that a) if you use lactose-free cream it’ll work, and b) it was absolutely delicious anyway. As in, this was insanely good! The cake itself was rich and dense and moist, and would have been wonderful even without any topping, but of course the topping tasted wonderful too. I really recommend this! 

Note that I have seen some comments saying that you could reduce the amounts of peanut butter whipped cream and chocolate ganache from the original recipe and still have enough, so that’s what I did, and the changes are reflected below. 

For the cake 
2 ½ cups (280 g) all-purpose flour 
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar 
2/3 cup (50 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp. kosher salt (I used ½ tsp. of Morton-brand kosher salt) 
1 ¼ cups hot strong coffee 
2 Tbsp. rum or brandy 
2 eggs 
1 cup lactose-free buttermilk substitute 
½ cup mild-flavored oil (such as vegetable oil) 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 

For the peanut butter whipped cream 
1 cup lactose-free cream, divided 
65 g smooth peanut butter 
1 Tbsp. icing sugar 

For the chocolate ganache and garnish 
1 cup lactose-free cream 
250 g (almost 9 oz.) quality dark chocolate, chopped
chopped salted peanuts, to decorate 

For the cake 
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Generously grease a 9 by 4-inch (or two 8-inch round cake pans), then line it with greased parchment paper. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. 

In a small bowl, stir together the coffee and rum. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until well combined. Add the egg mixture and half the coffee-rum to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until smooth. Slowly add the remaining coffee-rum and whisk until totally blended and smooth. The batter will be quite thin. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to release excess air bubbles. 

Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes (30 minutes for 8-inch rounds). Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan and inverting onto a serving plate. 

For the peanut butter whipped cream 
Meanwhile, gently melt the peanut butter and half the cream in a small saucepan. Stir until combined, remove from the heat, and add the remaining cream. Cool completely in the fridge until ready to use. 

When you are ready to assemble the cake, whip the mixture with the icing sugar until the cream forms stiff peaks. (The whipped cream can stay in the fridge for a bit if there’s a delay.) 

For the chocolate ganache and garnish 
Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, then pour over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, making sure the chocolate is completely covered. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth and glossy. Leave to cool and stiffen a bit. 

To assemble, pile the peanut butter whipped cream on top of the cake. (Try keeping it on the top rather than letting spread to the sides.) The cake can be chilled at this point to make the next step easier. 

Finally, pour the ganache gently down the middle of the cake, allowing it to flow over the sides. While the ganache is still soft, top with the chopped salted peanuts.

No comments: