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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bundt Cake

In celebration of some friends' anniversary, I made this cake while babysitting for them at their house. So far, they don't seem to mind being guinea pigs for my baking adventures. They have reported that this cake was good, so I'll take their word for it. (I trust their tastebuds!) I added some chocolate ganache to the cake, which made for a rather nice presentation.

This recipe hails from Culinary in the Desert Country, which he adapted from Canadian Living. It seems to be quite a keeper. I forgot my camera, so no pictures to share yet; however, Joe has a good photo on his blog so you can see what it looks like.

For the filling:
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the cake batter:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
12 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
3 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons sour cream
12 tablespoons butter, softened
1 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

To make the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese and butter until combined. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla. Be sure to scrape down the sides. Pour in sugar and flour, mix until combined. Fit a pastry bag with a large plain tip and scoop the filling into the bag. (I didn't use a tip on the pastry bag, and it worked just fine.) Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a medium metal or glass bowl, add cocoa and whisk in boiling water. Add in chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Mix in sour cream.

In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, and then beat in vanilla. Alternatively mix in the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until combined with each addition.

Spray a bundt pan with a nonstick spray that has flour included (like Baker's Joy or Pam with Flour). Spoon a little less than half of the batter into bottom of the bundt pan. Using the pastry bag that has the peanut butter mixture, carefully pipe a ring of the filling over the center of the chocolate batter. Pour the remaining batter on top and gently tap the pan to remove air bubbles.

Bake until top springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs attached - about 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Place a wire cooling rack on top of the cake and carefully turn over - remove the pan and let cool completely.

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