Question of the day: Whatever happened to mixed tapes? I mean, is this totally a thing of the past? I am a 90s child... and I'm pretty sure a lot of mixed tapes were circulated around in my day. They're perfect. Like, you get to communicate all of your feelings and thoughts to a person via a rambling bunch of non-sequitur songs. Simply wonderful. If I ever receive a mixed tape (err, or in modern terms: a mixed usb?) from someone, we're getting married. (Total joke, but I would definitely appreciate the thought... and SO curious to see what songs people relate me to!!??)
Ok, my inquires to the social cosmos are finished. That was my small digression. Moving on to... cake?
Yes, oh sweet cake. I think (and I've probably said this before) one of my favourite reasons for birthdays is cake. Ah how I love cake. It never fails me. For example, I was a bit stressed with this cake. I made it for my friend's birthday, and he's a pretty typical American, living in Paris. Therefore, like any good American away from home, he misses dearly peanut butter, snickers, cookies, etc... you know, all those things that Parisians replace with fancy smancy croissants and petits fours. Don't get me wrong, I love pastries, but sometimes you want a big piece of, well, cake.
Ah, so many digressions...
So, I was stressed because I thought this cake would be "too much". Like, there is a peanut butter cake, stuffed with chocolate chip - peanut butter cookie dough, wrapped up in chocolate frosting. I was thinking: too sweet, too dense, too much. But, I proceeded on with the cake just because I thought it would be a very "American" cake to bake.
Happy results! (Ode to the cake...) It was sweet, obviously, for it's cake, but not too sweet! The peanut butter made it moist, but not terribly dense, and because the frosting was very dark chocolate-y and not applied too thickly, it counterbalanced the "what the...?" of the rest of the cake. I'm pleased.
Oh, p.s. it's vegan!!
Peanut butter cake - What you need:
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups of golden sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup peanut butter*
- 1 cup oil
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or almond milk, or even water if you don't have any of these on hand)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*I made my peanut butter from scratch. I.E.: threw a ton of (unsalted, blanched) peanuts into a food processor until it was super creamy and peanut butter-like. Therefore, there is no extra sugar. If you're going to try this with normal peanut butter, perhaps cut down the sugar? Just a suggestion!
Peanut butter cake - What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180c.
In a large bowl, beat together the wet ingredients until they are really well incorporated (around 3 minutes). Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
In another large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
In three additions, add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and stir in each addition until well combined.
Grease a baking pan with (vegan?) margarine and coat with flour. Pour in half of the batter. Smooth out the batter and tap the cake pan on the counter a few times. Repeat with another cake pan to make a 2 layered cake!
Bake at 180c for 25 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then with a knife go around the edge of the cake. Flip the cake over onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
In the meantime, make the chocolate chip - peanut butter cookie dough filling!
Chocolate chip - peanut butter cookie dough - What you need:
- 100 grams of vegan margarine, softened
- 75 grams of peanut butter
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used a chocolate bar that I cut up into small pieces.)
Chocolate chip - peanut butter cookie dough - What you do:
With a beater, cream together the margarine, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Add in the confectioner's sugar, and beat until smooth. Slowly beat in the flour and salt. Again, combine until everything is smooth and creamy. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Once the cakes are completely cooled, slather the cookie dough on one cake, then top it off with the second cake. Push down lightly and carefully to secure the cake.
Almost there! Now it's time for the chocolate frosting finish. I used the same frosting from this chocolate cake.
Chocolate Frosting – What you need:
- ½ cup vegan margarine, softened
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ cup soy milk
- ¾ cup cocoa
Chocolate Frosting – What you do:
In a large bowl, beat the margarine and powdered sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the cocoa and soy milk, beating until well combined.
Frost the cake! I did this in two layers to make it smoooooth.
^Lovely waves of chocolate.
Afterwards I added some "happy birthday" frosting and an assortment of colourful sprinkles... but I shall leave you with the image of a classy cake... not something that a five year old may have decorated. : )
Nom. I LOVE CAKE.
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
This song takes me WAY back. I was looking to see how to draw an "ampersand" (this thing: &), and then for some reason remembered this song (ahem, ampersand is in the lyrics...). I used to listen to it with one of my best friends in high school when he toted me around in his lovely old school BMW. Ah how I miss those days!!! (Shame, I never got to try his motorcycle!) If I were to make him a mixed tape, this would be the feature song!