Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Caramel

Happy Tuesday everyone,

I hope that everyone had a great weekend and President’s Day.  Last Friday was Stan’s birthday and my babydoll decided that she didn’t want to have barbecue (Stan had told us all week that was his planned meal for the big day) so she called a cousin to get out of the meal and didn’t return until late yesterday evening as much as we tried to persuade her to come home.  What do you do when you have a three-day weekend with no crumb snatchers underfoot?  You catch every movie that has a high kill count you want to and hang out with that loved one like you did before you began to procreate.  🙂 Mind you we still had Sasha-bear, but my pup is starting to lose some of her rambunctiousness (or maybe it was because babydoll was gone) so she was pretty chill too.

I think I’ve mentioned several times that I love to bake and I’m pretty darn good at it, so you can imagine the total and utter confusion I feel that my husband purchases himself a birthday cake from a bakery or grocery store every year. 

I mean if I wasn’t made of sterner stuff I would be totally offended, but I just go with the flow of it.  Regardless of his purchase on Friday, I had already come up with a plan for dessert this week…and it involved, you guessed it…chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel.

I knew I was going to make a chocolate cake and I wanted to make something different with it, so I thought why not peanut butter.  Everyone loves Reese’s Cups right?  I was discussing my great idea with my mother (I always bounce ideas off of her) and she started telling me about a peanut butter-caramel cake that she and my babydoll had seen Giada make a few days previously.  I asked her if it was a chocolate cake and she said no.  She said it was a vanilla cake and she that she had used caramel that she melted.  I said I would make a homemade caramel sauce and that it would be even greater with a chocolate cake…I mean chocolate and caramel go well together and chocolate and peanut butter go well together, so let’s do a trio.

I made my caramel sauce

 

and basic chocolate cake with the addition of about 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the batter. I tasted the batter and found that it didn’t have enough peanut butter taste, so I decided to mix some peanut butter with the caramel sauce.  This I swirled into the cake batter before baking (I felt this would help the caramel sauce from sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking).

Once the cake had come out of the oven and began cooling, I took some more of the caramel sauce and put it all over the top of the cake layers after I had poked holes in the layers (I do this with my caramel cakes to help infuse the cake with the caramel flavor).

To make this cake extra luscious I thought what icing would push it over the edge?  Mocha Chocolate Buttercream Icing of course.  I don’t like coffee, can’t stand the smell or taste of it actually.  But you add coffee to chocolate and something magical happens. 

 The chocolate becomes more chocolate if you can imagine or believe it.  As you can see from the beater that I stood in the  middle of my kitchen and licked clean, it was a dessert all on its own.

The final product was soooooo good.  The plate is not really neat after I finished, but doesn’t it look delicious?

My favorite dessert is ice cream and cake.  Of all the delicious things that I make, there is nothing that gives me more joy than having a slice of birthday cake and ice cream.  And you must have an equal amount of both with every bite….no bite of cake without ice cream on the spoon at the same time.  You HAVE to have the complete package.

What about you…how did you enjoy your weekend?  Did you have to work on President’s Day?

Caramel Sauce

1 cup light brown sugar

1 stick of butter

1/4 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp of vanilla

pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Continue to cook until desired thickness is achieved.  This stuff is good, you can pour it over ice cream also and swoon. 🙂

Mocha Chocolate Buttercream Icing

1 stick of butter softening

2 tsp instant coffee

2 tbsp boiling water

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

2 cups powder sugar (confectioner’s for you sticklers)

1/2 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

Combine coffee and water until dissolved.  Add melted chocolate and set aside.  Beat butter until light and smooth.  Gradually add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Add coffee/chocolate mixture and beat until smooth.  Lick the beater clean( :)) and frost you cake accordingly.

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