Nothing is too sweet for me. Have I said that before? Probably. I’ll eat every last mouthful of every sugary delight you care to serve me. Chocolate dome cake, caramel fudge, mud cake, baklava, treacle tart, butterscotch this and praline that; do your worst. My brother draws the line at halva, my mum stops at dulce de leche chocolate mousse cake. All the more for me, I guess.
In my opinion, if a cake leaves you wanting more, it has failed. A cake should satisfy every sugary urge and leave you wanting nothing. If I didn’t have such a sweet tooth, I would suggest that the recipe I’m sharing this week achieves this and more.
Peanut butter and chocolate are a popular combination right now and the internet is awash with all kinds of cakes that bring together these two favourites. One thing that I noticed was the lack of chocolate log action in this department. Enter The Last Piece of Cake. I tested the best components from a number of peanut butter and chocolate recipes to come up with a cake so delicious, it would surpass my previous efforts. The result was a peanut butter and chocolate log of epic proportions.
Essentially, I made a chocolate log filled and covered with a fluffy peanut butter icing and then coated in a darkly decadent peanut butter and chocolate ganache. This approach has been made popular by the American cake recipe book, Sky High. My version holds true to the decadence of the original idea. I’ve noticed, however, that some famous blogs warn readers to cut only the thinnest of slices because of how sweet the cake is. Pathetic! To these bloggers I say, “Halt your feeble whimpering and let the people enjoy a huge slice of one of the tastiest cakes in the blogosphere!” To you, dear reader, I say, “Have a go at putting together this joyful bundle of ingredients and rest assured that it will bring a peanut butter and chocolate smile to every face that tries it.”
Peanut butter chocolate log
(For the cake)
115g caster sugar
45g melted butter
40g Fairtrade cocoa powder
(For the icing)
250g smooth peanut butter
250g icing sugar
110g softened butter
(For the ganache)
200g dark chocolate
3 tblspoons double cream
2 tblspoons golden syrup
2 tblspoons smooth peanut butter
To make the cake, put the eggs into a glass bowl over a small pan of water and heat gently. Whisk the eggs continuously. Take the eggs off the heat when they are foamy and tip them into a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs for another five or six minutes. Keep going on the highest speed until there are no bubbles left and the texture is silky and smooth.
Sift the flour and cocoa into the eggs and fold them in gently with a spatula until they are combined and there are no dry bits. Gently mix in all of the melted butter.
Pour the batter onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. My tray is about nine inches by fifteen inches. Make sure the batter is spread equally so that it cooks evenly. Put it into the middle of a hot oven (190C) for about ten minutes. When a skewer comes out clean, you’ll know the cake is done.
To roll it, you’ll need to get some baking paper ready on your work surface. Dust it with plenty of icing sugar. This will prevent the cake sticking to the paper and breaking up. Tip the cake out onto the dusted paper and carefully roll it up. Take time to roll it carefully because it is hot and also delicate at this point. Leave the roll to cool down on a wire rack.
Now it’s time to make the icing. Yum! Clean your electric whisk and use it to mix together the peanut butter and the softened butter. Add the icing sugar in stages until fully combined. Don’t put it all in at once, or you’ll finish up looking like Casper The Friendly Ghost. If the icing gets too dry, add a little double cream. Keep going until there is no more icing sugar to add and the icing is a nice, thick and creamy consistency.
Now it’s an assembly job. Unroll the cake and peel off the paper without breaking it. Using roughly half of the icing, spread a thick layer all over the cake right up to the edges. Roll it all back up and put it on a plate. Use a spatula to spread the rest of the icing all over the log. It should be completely covered in the peanut butter icing incuding the ends. There might be just a little left in the bowl for you to enjoy! Put the log in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour to firm up.
Once the icing is firm, make the peanut butter and chocolate ganache which will coat the log. Melt all of the ingredients together in a glass bowl over a small pan of water and mix it well. Let it cool a little before you use it.
Okay, so I had a slice before the ganache had set. I just couldn’t resist!
The ganache should be thick and spreadable. Pour it onto the log and spread the ganache all over. Place the log back in the fridge for the ganache to set. I’ll admit, I couldn’t wait and I had a slice while the ganache was still melted. The cake tasted far better once the ganache had set, but it’s your call.
When you can tap the top of the log and it has set properly, it’s time to dig in. My advice? Cut a beautifully thick slice and let your cares float away! Let me know what you think…