Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reese's Explosion Cake

This blog post may be a little short, consider I have to write three of them today, plus a staff meeting, plus Zumba®, plus yoga, plus work, plus a group meeting.  I also went to bed at 4am, and then my body just decided it would be a good idea to wake up at 10am.  Thanks, internal clock.

In terms of life updates, I officially submitted my enrollment deposit for the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in Boston, and will be there for at least the next 4 years in their clinical psych doctoral program.  YAY!

OK, on to the cake.  Friday was my wonderful friend Greta's birthday.  She's normally a huge fan of my birthday cakes, especially the chocolate ones, so of course I had to make her one that was super chocolatey and decadent.  My friend, Joel, showed me this cake a few weeks back, and I decided I wanted to try to make my own, so I figured this was the perfect occasion.

Birthday girl and her cake!
Unfortunately, it was a huge disaster.  The cake crumbled, the ganache stiffened into a putty, and it just generally looked like a mess.  That's why it's called a Reese's "explosion" cake- it looks like a bomb went off inside it.  If I make it again, I am going to leave it alone and not try to cut the sides down and make it look like a big Reese's cup.  The flavors speak for themselves.

Reese's Explosion Cake
Cake recipe adapted from here (one of my favorite and easiest go-to chocolate cake recipes)

Ingredients
2 cups granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour milk (1 cup whole milk + 1 Tbs white vinegar)
1 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
Ingredients
Whisk together all dry ingredients
Add all wet ingredients at once, and then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes
Grease and cocoa two 9" cake pans.  Evenly divide batter between pans.
Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes (I always do 30).  Let cool for 15 minutes in pans, then remove from pans and finish cooling completely on wire racks.  When completely cool, stick each cake into a freezer bag, and freeze for at least an hour before assembling and frosting.

To make the peanut center, combine 1 jar creamy peanut butter with two cups confectioners sugar
Spread evenly on cake
Invert the second layer
I tried shaving it to look like a Reese's cup, and it was a disaster.  I really don't recommend you try this.
Pour a simple ganache of chocolate chips and heavy cream over the cake, and then decorate
Joel came over to help me assemble/decorate it, and end up playing cake doctor with me.  We ended up molding the hardened ganache onto the cake with our hands, patching in holes with extra peanut butter mixture, and bandaging it together with foil.  We tried to hide it's crumbles with melted peanut butter chips, chopped peanuts, and chopped Reese's cups minis.  What a mess... At least everyone said it tasted delicious!

The final product
Happy Birthday, Greta!  Next time I promise you'll get a prettier cake!

Love and cookies,

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