[This recipe is on number 2 position on Foodbuzz Top 9 today (14 February, 2011). Thank you once again, dear readers, for making my Valentine’s day even more special!]
Love is in the air… Right now, I can’t think of eating anything more romantic than chocolate… With Valentine’s day just round the corner, it’s a perfect excuse to indulge in this irresistible homemade chocolate cake oozing with the goodness of almonds and peanut butter.
This is the first cake recipe on my blog. I loved this cake. I made some changes to my mom’s chocolate cake recipe. I added finely chopped almonds and just 1 tsp of finely chopped dried apricots to the batter. I also incorporated a little peanut butter, condensed milk, chocolate essence and a little berry-flavoured yogurt to this. The result was startling! Here is the cake loaded with mouthwatering chocolate in many forms, and each bite will only entice you for the next bite of this sinful pleasure. And yes, the roses are edible too!
For the decoration part, I did put some extra effort, which was really worth the occasion. I made the homemade chocolate hearts and leaves. For this, I melted 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips in a double boiler with ¼ tsp butter and ½ tsp milk. When the chocolate was molten, I poured this mixture into a piping bag and piped heart and leaf patterns as well as the alphabets I want to use, on a butter paper. I kept this in the deep freeze and removed after 30 min. I removed each pattern very carefully (and fast), taking care not to break the same while removing these slowly from the butter paper. These patterns waited back in the fridge, till the cake was ready for decoration.
I made the roses one day in advance (I used store-bought fondant icing and mixed a little gel-based edible food colour. I used pink and yellow colours for these roses). Here is a great video to get started with making pretty fondant roses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R8MsL-5oKA.
Chocolate-Almond Cake with Peanut Butter Icing
- Sifted all-purpose flour: 1.5 cups
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s): 4 tbsp
- Kosher salt: ¼ tsp
- Baking powder: 1.5 tsp
- Baking soda: ½ tsp
- Eggs: 5
- Unsalted butter: ½ cup
- Chocolate essence: ½ tsp
- Berry-flavoured yogurt: 1 tbsp
- Water: 4 tbsp
- Peanut butter: 1.5 tsp
- Condensed milk: 1.5 tsp
- Dried apricots (finely chopped): 1 tsp
- Deskinned, finely chopped almonds: 2 tsp
For peanut butter icing:
- Cream cheese: 4 tbsp
- Light cream: 4 tbsp
- Icing sugar: 8 tbsp
- Peanut butter: 5 tbsp
- Coffee essence: ½ tsp
Grease an eight-inch circular, deep-bottomed cake tin and line with butter paper. Preheat oven at 180˚C for 15 min.
Sift the first six ingredients and mix together very well. Set aside.
Whisk the eggs till these are light yellow. Slowly add the softened butter and keep on whisking. Keep aside.
Blend the essence, yogurt, water, peanut butter and condensed milk in an electric mixer. Add the whisked egg mixture and blend for a few seconds. Add the sifted flour mixture and beat on a medium speed, till the whole of the mixture is incorporated and there are no lumps or dry ingredients. Add the apricots and dried almonds. Fold in (lightly) once more for an even composition.
Pour this chocolate cake batter into the cake tin and bake for 40 min at 180˚C.
To check whether the cake is done, pierce a thin skewer at the middle of the cake. It should come out clean if the cake is done. If some cake is sticking to it, bake for another 10 min and recheck.
For the peanut butter icing, nicely beat all the ingredients for the icing, except the cream. Add the cream after that, little at a time, and fold in lightly, till soft peaks are formed.
When the cake is done, let it come to the room temperature. Chop off the dome and make the cake flat from the top. After that, cut the cake horizontally into two pieces. Apply some peanut butter icing inside and stick the two discs again. Apply the icing generously all over the cake and cover the cake completely. Flatten and smoothen the icing all over.
Decorate with fondant roses and chocolate hearts, alphabets and leaves. I have also added mini decorative sprinkles (heart-shaped) to keep in tune with the Valentine’s day theme. Indulge!
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