The following are 2 dessert recipes to drool over..
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake
Ingredients: 2 cups plain flour,
1 ½ cups castor sugar,
¼ cup cocoa powder,
2 tsp baking powder,
250 gms sour cream,
1 cup rice bran oil,
1 tsp vanilla essence
Peanut butter frosting
250 gms cream cheese, softened,
125 gms butter, softened,
5 cups icing sugar, sifted,
375 gms whipped peanut butter,
2 tbsp. cocoa powder.
Method: Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease three 20 cm cake pans and line the bases with baking powder.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking powder into a large bowl until well combined. Whisk the sour cream, eggs, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in another bowl until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of water and with the beater running add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until well combined and smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. The cakes are done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake completely.
Meanwhile make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar starting with a table-spoon at a time. Then beat in the peanut butter until smooth. Transfer about a cup of the frosting to a separate bowl and reserve. Level the tops of two cakes with a knife. Spread with some of the frosting using a spatula knife. Place one frosted cake on a platter and place the other frosted cake on top, frosted side on top, and top with the third cake. Cover top and sides of the layered cakes with frosting and smooth all around with the palette knife. Chill for half an hour.
Meanwhile fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Add half the reserved frosting to the piping bag, placing it towards one side. Stir 3 table spoons of the cocoa powder to the remaining bag, placing it towards one side. Stir 2 table spoons of the cocoa powder to the remaining frosting and spoon it into the bag on the other side if the plain frosting. Pipe swirls on top of the cake to have a two-toned effect. You can each swirl with some candy or chocolate shavings.
Nutty Butterscotch cake
200 gms butter diced, plus extra for greasing,
200 gms dark chocolate roughly chopped,
300 gms brown sugar powdered,
4 large eggs,
175 gms self-raising flour, sifted,
1 tsp baking powder,
75 gms salted peanuts, (can substitute with salted or honey roasted almonds)
80 gms butter,
120 gms brown sugar,
¼ tsp flaked sea salt,
120 ml double cream,
1 ½ tsp vanilla bean extract
Malted Meringue Buttercream
3 large egg whites,
240 gms castor sugar,
1 tsp vanilla bean paste,
360 gms butter, diced at room temperature,
3 tbsp. Horlicks.
Method: Preheat the oven to 180c. Gas mark 4 and lightly grease three 20 cm cake tin. For the butterscotch sauce, heat the butter, sugar and salt in a pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, until melted and bubbling. Rake off the heat and add the cream and vanilla; return to the heat and cook for 2 more minutes.
To make the cake, put the cocoa powder in a small bowl and pour over 100 ml boiling water, mixing together; set aside to cool. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl; set over a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally, until melted. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Put the sugar and eggs in a separate large bowl and whisk with an electric beater for about 5 minutes until pale and thickened. Continue whisking on medium speed and whisk in the chocolate mix, then the flour, and the baking powder, until just combined. Finish by beating in the cocoa mixture. Divide the batter equally between the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, put the egg whites, sugar and vanilla bean paste in a large heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water making sure the bowl does not touch the water directly. Whisk the mixture together lightly until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are warm. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking with an electric beater until a thick and glossy, meringue forms and the meringue is cool. Continue to whisk, add the butter a piece at a time. Once it is being added, you should have a silky-smooth buttercream. Lastly add the Horlicks and mix until combined.
To decorate the cake, set aside 1/3 of the peanuts and roughly chop the rest. (If using almonds chop all but reserve 1/3 for the topping). Place the first sponge on a platter or stand and spread a thin layer of the buttercream. Drizzle over about 1 tablespoon butterscotch sauce and ½ the chopped peanuts. Repeat with the second sponge layer and finish placing by placing the final sponge on top. Scrape the remaining buttercream to top of the cake. Using a palette knife, carefully work the buttercream over the edge to cover the sides of the cake smoothing it to have a straight, smooth edge. Smooth out the top of the cake as well and place it along with the covered butterscotch sauce in the fridge for about an hour.
To finish remove the cake and butterscotch sauce from the fridge and very carefully spread the sauce over the top of the cake, teasing it over the sides of the cake in places and letting it run down the sides. Sprinkle the reserved peanuts around the edge of the cake and serve at room temperature.