I love peanut butter. Though I've mentioned how much I dislike nuts in baked goods (and peanuts are included in that), I still love peanut butter. But if you search on this website, you'll only find a handful of PB recipes. I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps because many of my close friends (with the documented exception of my friend Esti), and one of my brothers, doesn't like peanut butter, and when baking for groups I'm always mindful of allergies.
Well, when I got the opportunity to test out a recipe from America's Most Wanted Recipes - which recreates recipes from famous restaurants - and I was flipping through the book to select a dish to try, I immediately bookmarked Romanos Macaroni Grill's Reeses Peanut Butter Cake. Since I recently celebrated a birthday, I figured I deserved something I really liked.
Like many cakes that seem daunting, this one is really just a simple combination of three parts. The peanut butter cake, the peanut butter filling, and the chocolate topping.
This recipe created two 9-inch-layers which can either be left separate or combined into a layer cake.
To my surprise, this recipe was lacking in one thing: sugar. The filling has two ingredients, peanut butter and cream cheese. When mixed together, it is creamy and a little bit tangy but not very sweet, and I don't think I would have liked biting into it very much in the middle of my cake. So I added around 1/4 cup of sugar, perhaps a little less. I did it gradually, and you can adjust it to your tastes.
So I sandwiched the cakes together with the peanut butter and cream cheese filling, and then spread the rest of it on top.
Next came the frosting. Again, I felt it lacked a little sweetness, and added in a couple tablespoons of confectioner's sugar to get the right taste.
The chocolate glaze was also pretty...liquidy. I may have made a little bit of a mess.
I think it's smiling at me though.
In the end, I wanted a little neater look for the cake, so I filled it all in with more frosting, and did a little chocolate drizzel on the top. Perfect for every dessert, remember?
Overall the cake was pretty good, but really heavy. The cake itself was very dense - almost like the filling of a peanut butter cup - hard to eat a whole lot at a time. I also spent a while cleaning up after the glaze.
I think the idea of this cake is definitely one I'll try to perfect in the future,
Tip of the Day: Fillings and frostings will have very different consistencies at different temperatures. For most, room temperature will be ideal for spreading. Refrigerating will often make them much thicker and sometimes solid. When heated, many frostings will be pourable. Make sure yours is at the right temperature for your needs.
Recipe: (from America's Most Wanted Recipes)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
sugar, to taste
1/2 cup water
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat the butter and peanut butter together.
Mix in the brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.
Add in the flour, baking powder and salt gradually, then the milk and vanilla.
Pour into two greased 9-inch pans. Bake on 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack. Cool completely.
Mix the cream cheese and peanut butter together. Add sugar to taste.
Spread over both cakes, and sandwich together. Refrigerate.
Bring the butter and water to a boil. Add the cocoa, sugar and vanilla.
Mix until smooth. Spread over top and sides of cake.