Chocolate layered sponges, oozing with chocolate and peanut buttercreams, dripping with chocolate ganache and topped with peanut brittle shards and Thorntons chocolates!
Well that intro was quite a mouthful I must say, but it is so worth it for this irresistible piece of cake heaven. Today is my 21st birthday, woohoo! So I had to bring you something good to celebrate and this definitely fits the bill. My two biggest loves are chocolate and peanut, and earlier on I put them together to create the Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Cake to enter into the Thornton’s Baking Competition 2015. Boy am I glad I did and now it’s finally time to share the recipe with you as a celebrate a pretty big birthday! I’ve written the ingredients lists out in stages to make the instructions clearer, but so they’re easy to find when you pop ingredient shopping I’ve also highlighted them all in blue for you!
The sponges in this cake are adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe for Chocolate Fudge Cake in her Baking Bible.
For the sponges:
50g cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
100g softened butter
3 large eggs
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
275g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180’C/160’C if a fan oven and line three 20cm sandwich tins.
Dissolve the cocoa powder in boiling water and mix until it forms a thick paste. Add the butter and mix again. Then add in all of the remaining ingredients and mix until it is smooth. Divide evenly between three tins and bake for 15-20 minutes. Your cakes are done when they are risen, spring from the edges slightly and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
It’s decorating time!
Chocolate peanut buttercream filling:
150g softened butter
150g icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
As with the cake, dissolve the cocoa powder in the water and then combine all the remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth, then spread on to two of the sponges, sandwiching them together as you go to create a three layered cake.
For the peanut buttercream coating:
200g peanut butter
100g softened butter
300g icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Combine both butters and icing sugar, adding the milk if needed to create a smoother consistency to match the chocolate buttercream filling.
Cover the top and sides of the cake with the peanut buttercream. To get a neater effect, do this in two parts. Lightly cover the cake first (crumb coating), chill it in the fridge so it sets a little and then add the rest, using a straight edged tool (I used the edge of a palette knife) to smooth and level the top and sides. Return to the fridge for one hour, this will help with the ganache set in the next step.
For the ganache:
150g chocolate, chopped very finely
150g double cream
Heat the cream gently until it is around 90’C on a sugar thermometer if you have one, if not until it is very hot. Then pour over the finely chopped chocolate and whisk to form a smooth, shiny ganache. Let it cool for fifteen minutes before adding to your cake, or it will be too runny and drip everywhere.
If you have a ganache disaster and it splits/looks grainy, don’t worry! If you catch it quick enough, you can either whisk it until it incorporates again or add in a few more pieces of chopped chocolate which should melt and encourage it back to its proper state. If not, stick it in the fridge for truffles and start again!
Once suitably cooled, remove your cold cake from the fridge and use a spatula to spread the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. Gently push it at intervals over the edge to create a moreish dripping effect.
Then decorate by piling Thornton’s Moments chocolates on the top and adding in some shards of peanut brittle! You can buy or make the brittle depending on how much time you have.
Store in the fridge but allow to come to room temperature before serving as a decadent chocolatey Thornton’s treat!
Happy Baking! I’d love to see how yours turn out 🙂
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