12 September 2010

Peanut Butter Cake

Finally! It's here. I know everyone has been waiting. Perhaps some of you thought it would never come, thought that I had overstated my feelings or that my love had wavered. But here, here it sits, a wonderful expression of my love. The coming together of baker and ingredient. Behold the first of many more peanut butter themed recipes, Peanut Butter Cake, named after its mother.

Just a sec, I need a moment... I promised myself I wouldn't cry...
Okay, I'm good...

Beautiful isn't it?

This particular recipe was a bit of an experiment. But I knew it wouldn't be bad, it couldn't be. To me peanut butter is the Philosopher's Stone turning led into gold. I was inspired to make this wonderful cake after sitting down for a meeting at work and flipping through Kraft's What's Cooking magazine (no, the meeting hadn't started yet :P). I was drawn to a Peanut Butter Muffin recipe but didn't want to make muffins again and surely 1/2 cup of peanut butter was not enough. Nevertheless, inspiration was mine. I went home and looked up a bunch of recipes for peanut butter muffins and cakes, finally coming up with my own. This recipe has no filler, it is reduced only to core components. It's wonderfully simple and incredibly tasty. What can beat that?

At first I was a little disappointed, the cake was fluffy and moist but lacked the peanut butter flavour I desired. As with most cakes it was better after some time in the fridge. When I took it out the next day there was a distinct aroma of peanut butter. But it didn't just smell peanut buttery it now possessed a nice full peanut butter flavour. It was not in an overpowering and unpleasant way (not that I think there could be such a thing) and it didn't make the cake taste too rich or decadent. As the third bear said: “├Čt was juuuuust right”** :). Try taking a bite as you would a spoonful of peanut butter and it seemed to almost melt in your mouth. Needless to say it was quite an enjoyable.  Could it use more peanut butter flavour? For me, yes, but I never think there is enough peanut butter in anything. I'm the type that would bake this cake as a loaf, cut two slices, slather a giant spoonful of peanut butter in between, and top it off with crushed Peanut Butter Cups. For people who are not insane the flavour will definitely satisfy.

This cake definitely has a future. It's what I consider a test cake. A recipe destined for baking extravagance. I promise you this won't be the last time you see this cake, but you might not recognize it when you see it next. Like Pinocchio before, one day this cake will be a real boy (or something like that).

~ Adam

**It has been brought to my attention that my reference is a bit off. It's actually Goldilocks who says "it was just right" not one of the bears. I knew this cake was too enjoyable for something to have not gone wrong :) (I'm just glad it was with my idiotic ramblings and not the cake :)).

~Adam (19/09/10)

Peanut Butter Cake

Inspired by Kraft's Peanut Butter Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (163g)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 2 tsp packed golden yellow sugar (84g)**
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter (195g, not natural, and you could use crunchy if that's your thing :) )***

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8" square cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a medium size bowl add brown sugar and eggs and stir together until thoroughly combined, it will be very thick. Add milk and stir until completely combined. Add peanut butter and stir until even and smooth (peanut butter will clump when first added).

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Do not over mix, you want the batter to have lumps in it, so keep a soft touch.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (depending on your oven you may want to check between 25-30 minutes, my cake took 30).

Allow to cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely.

Once cooled contain your excitement. Wrap the cake and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours. You can thank me later ;).

**Originally listed as 1/3 cup.
***Originally listed as 3/4 cup and 188g
~ Adam (27-10-10)

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