Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Our favourite double, Mr. P

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2016-03-27-16-03-06Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting

For the cake tiers

  • 60 g chopped dark chocolate
  • 140 g cocoa powder
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 220 grams flour
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 1.5 tsp  baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 125 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 160 C fan. Butter two 23 cm round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.

Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add the cup of boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined. In another bowl, stir together sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients and the melted chocolate to the dry ingredients, and beat for 2 minutes

Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the peanut butter buttercream

  • 300 g softened butter
  • 300 grams powder sugar
  • 20 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g smooth peanut butter

Beat the butter until smooth and then incorporate slowly the powder sugar, beat until smooth, for 3 minutes. Add premixed cream and vanilla and finally the peanut butter. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

To assemble the cake

Place the first layer, spread frosting on top, place the second tier. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top and sides of the cake (crumb seal) and place it on the fridge to set. Finally frost the top and sides of the cake.

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Peanut Butter Cookies with Fig Jam

St. Joan is around the corner and by then fig trees become a fruity beacon of hope that make my stomach rumble and my eyes weep with joy. If you have ever approached a fig tree, taken one of the fruits and eaten it there on the spot, you know what I’m talking about. This year I will have to reluctantly accept some seasonal fig jam instead… sad face.

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Peanut Butter Cookies with Fig Jam

Makes around 20 cookies

  • 175 g flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 170 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 100 g room temperature butter
  • 65 g brown sugar
  • 65 g white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g fig jam (or another kind if you can’t find it, my condolences)

Preheat the oven to 150 °C fan and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate, baking powder and salt and mix thoroughly. Beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy, then add the sugars and keep beating until the mixture is whitish (as whitish as it can be considering the brown sugar…), light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla and finally fold in the flour (or beat at low speed).

Take ice cream scoop size portions of the dough and bake for 5 minutes. Take the biscuits out of the oven and make a hole in the middle with a dessert spoon (or with your thumb if it’s insensitive to heat, this is a thumbprint sort of cookie). Bake the cookies for 5 more minutes, until golden. Let them rest for another 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack and wait until cold. Finally fill the well with the fig jam and enjoy.

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate to peanut butter is a match made in heaven. Like goat cheese to tomato marmalade, whipped cream to strawberries or a social life-less postdoc to a tyrannical PI. For these last ones, there goes a working weekend cheer-up recipe.

P1120499Chocolate peanut butter cookies

For 25 big or 50 small cookies (depending on how busy your lab is on the weekends).

  • 225 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240 smooth peanut butter
  • 340 g self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp NaCl
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 150 g white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170 °C fan.

Cream butter and sugars together, then add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla and the peanut butter, beating to mix. Finally add the flour and salt.

Distribute the cookie dough in baking trays and bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.

Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle over the cold cookies, still placed on the wire rack (remember to put a piece of baking paper under them to catch the chocolate spillover). You can do this by placing the melted chocolate in a plastic bag and cutting out a little hole in one corner. Let the chocolate solidify and then melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the cookies in a perpendicular motion.

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