I was pretty sure July started yesterday, but the calendar keeps telling me we are 20 plus days into the month. What!? I don’t want to but you know I have to say it… Time flies when you’re having fun! I thought those 28 days of February lasted an eternity, yet here we are in my favorite month of July and it’s just about disappeared on me before I could notice.
In typical summer fashion this month has been full of beach time, family bbq’s, birthdays, cold beers, and mostly importantly LOTS of dessert.
When you have a blog that you create new recipes for weekly, and your mother is your number one reader, the issue of her birthday cake is not something that can be taken lightly. So I in fact made the opposite of a ‘light’ cake. I went over the top with rich decadence to make this a sinful and unforgettable cake. (Apologies for not having enough time to take good photo’s, but the recipe was too good not to share.)
The cake begins with a simple but moist and perfect chocolate layer cake. But what comes next is a thick layer of Cheesecake stuffed with mini Reeses Peanut Butter cups. This is not that stuff people call cheesecake that is just a quickly mixed filling. We are talking a full on New York Style cheesecake that is then taken to the next level with the addition of candy.
While we are talking cheesecake, water bath is where it’s at. Yes people, it is pain, it is an added step, but bake your cheesecake in a water bath and it will come out perfectly risen and crackless. Well fingers crossed it will.
Back to the cake. In order to secure all three layers in the sky high cake frosting is required. And if you’re going to the trouble of making frosting you minus well add peanut butter to it. Be warned, it tastes so good you can eat it with a spoon, make sure you save some to frost the cake.
To top things off warm chocolate ganache is flowed over the top of the cake and the remaining mini Reese’s crown the cake. I told you it was going to be decadent.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake Chocolate Cake
4 (8 ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sour Cream
8 oz Mini Reese’s PB Cups (plus more for decorating)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In your mixer beat the cream cheese until soft (2 minutes). Add in sugar and mix to combine. One at a time mix in the eggs. Make sure to scrape down to sides of the bowl. With mixer on low slowly add the milk. Once all the milk in combined add the vanilla and flour. Finally add the sour cream.
Bake for 75 minutes. Turn oven off and let set 15 minutes to prevent cracking and falling. Open the oven door and let set 15 more minutes. (It may anyway, just use a knife to level the edges if the center falls in.)
Dark Chocolate Cake
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cups Milk
1/3 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Canola oil
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cups Warm Coffee
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Measure the milk and pour into a heatproof measuring cup or bowl, add the Chocolate Chips. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in your mixer bowl, give it a quick mix on the lowest speed. In a separate bowl, pour in the milk, oil, add the eggs, and vanilla. With a spoon stir the wet ingredients until just combined. Add the wet ingredients 1/3 at a time to the dry ingredients in the mixer at a medium-low speed. Once combined pour in coffee. Mix for one minute longer.
Pour equal amounts into two greased 9-inch cake layer pans (a quick spray with cooking spray works).
Bake for 35 minutes, or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
I found my cakes baked up pretty even but if you desire once cool use a cake leveler or a knife to create flat and even layers if you need to.
Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
(makes a double batch)
2 Cup Butter, unsalted room temperature
2 Cup Peanut Butter
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons of Milk
In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes. Add peanut butter to combine with butter. One cup at a time add the powdered sugar. Add milk until desired consistency is reached. Beat one minute more. Frost as desired.
5 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (or Semi-sweet)
5 ounces Light Cream
Using a double boiler to melt the chocolate with the cream in a small bowl over simmering water. Stir constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and continue stirring for one minute to let cool slightly. Spoon over top of the cake and let drip down the sides. Decorate with more Reese’s if desired.