Monday, May 10, 2010

semi-failed cake...

I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. Why? Well because I finally started baking again...

I can honestly say... it has been far too long since I pulled out my KitchenAid, filled it with flour, butter, sugar and eggs; preheated my oven, greased a cake pan and baked a sweet treat. Far too long.

The month of April was a complete whirlwind for me... it started with my trip to France; then some serious apartment hunting, followed by lots of packing, moving and then... settling. This move was a little traumatic for me... my 11th move in 12 years (yes... I'm a nomad with very patient parents who help me out with just about every move); I didn't expect to be as thrown as I was... but I was. I dealt with it the only way I know how... by baking!

Last night I gathered all my ingredients and introduced myself to my new oven (which should be replaced shortly), my work space and a new recipe. Chocolate and peanut butter cake... all the flavours combined in the batter rather than a cake/buttercream combo.

I would like to introduce you all to my semi-failed cake :0) It's not pretty (seriously, look at the pictures!) but the flavour was there... and all my co-workers seemed to enjoy it too. I left a note saying it was a "failed attempt at a new recipe" and they folded over the "failed attempt" so that all you could read was "a new recipe"... sweet eh? ;0)

Tweaks will follow: I don't like the crumble on top, or the chocolate chips on top of the batter rather than in the batter... but for now, here's the original...

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake aka Lynne's semi-failed cake
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c. peanut butter (smooth)
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat you oven to 350 F. Grease either 2 round cake pans, or a large rectangular pan with some non-stick spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, using your paddle attachment, combine the flour, brown sugar, peanut butter and butter together. You want to beat these ingredients on a low speed until they are crumbly (like dry sand). Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and set that aside.

Now, add your baking powder and soda, salt, the milk, vanilla and eggs to the stand-mixer bowl (with the majority of the crumb mixture) and beat until moistened (at low). Increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan, sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly on top of the batter, followed by the chocolate chips.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (until your toothpick comes out clean) and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. I found them easiest to cut while still in the pan... but that really is just me. I was able to get 2 dozen good sized pieces out of my rectangular pan... which made a whole lot of people pretty happy to be at work on a Monday morning ;0)

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