Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dessert | Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Peanut Ganache

This cake is just how it looks - decadent, rich and very very delicious. Which is why a thin slice is more than enough to satiate you for that moment. And I say that moment, because this cake will leave you craving for more.

It's sweet, salty, crunchy and smooth all at the same time, making this cake an all time winner in my bucket of recipes. The crunchy peanuts are worked into the cake batter and also on top of the ganache, giving you that unexpected texture with every bite.

Ofcourse I served this cake as dessert, but as my friend Mr R puts it, "This is a 4 pm cake best enjoyed with a shot of espresso." Why I asked him, because it deserves to be a meal in itself.

Point is, this totally delicious chocolate cake slathered by a thick layer to peanut butter and cream cheese frosting can be eaten straight out of a spoon. The addition of the chocolate peanut butter ganache is the game changer as the slight bitterness from the ganache contrasts beautifully with the sweet sweet frosting. But the icing on the cake, quite literally, are those salted peanuts. So don't omit that under any circumstance.

Yes, this seems like a really long recipe. Yes, it seems like a lot of ingredients. But no, it's not time consuming, infact a lot of it can happen simultaneously. And the best part it, once it's refrigerated it becomes a joy to slice.

Adapted from several recipes, this is perhaps one of my favourite cakes ever, and I can't wait to go at it another time.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Adapted from this recipe by Smitten Kitchen
Serves as many as can handle

For the chocolate cake

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ cup oil
1/3 cup cream
1/3 cup yogurt
½ water
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup salted peanuts

For the peanut butter cream cheese frosting

200 grams cream cheese at room temperature
100 grams butter at room temperature
2 cups of icing sugar
½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate peanut butter ganache

100 grams dark chocolate
100 grams low fat cream
2-3 tblsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp honey

For the topping

1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/4 cup grated or chopped chocolate


1. Start by making the cake. Preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients in a large bowl - flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder.sugar and salt. Keep it aside.
3. Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl - oil, vinegar, yogurt, cream, vanilla, egg and water. Mix well.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add the peanuts to this mix.
5. Pour into a parchment paper lined round tin. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Remove and cool until it comes to room temperature.
6. While the cake is baking make your frosting. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
7. In a large bowl cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the icing sugar one cup at a time and then add the peanut butter and vanilla and whisk well. Keep it aside in the refrigerator until you're ready to frost.
8. Make the chocolate peanut butter ganache by bringing the cream to a boil and then pouring it over the chocolate. 
9. Once the chocolate has melted, add in the peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Add the honey to make it glossy.
10. When you're ready to frost  - put the cake on a flat surface and smother on a thick layer of frosting. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. And frost again to get neat edges.
11. Warm your ganache slightly and pour over the peanut butter frosting. Let it drip down the edges. Finally top with the salted peanuts and bits of chocolate.
12. Let the cake rest for about 1 hour before you decide to slice and eat. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dessert I Pasta di Cacao. Chocolate Pasta with Chocolate Soup and White Chocolate Mousse #DelMonteItalianEscapades #Indiblogger

Ok ok don't freak out, I'm not trying to kill you with a dessert that I pulled out of thin air. And as odious as it might sound, it's really quite delicious.

I know that most of us, don't think of pasta as anything but savoury, but trust me, this sweet version of the pasta will knock your socks off.

Chocolate Pasta or Pasta di Cacao is an Italian specialty that is made aplenty across Europe. Especially during the Eurochocolate Festival in Mid October.Yes, traditionally the chocolate pasta is handmade, with flour chocolate and eggs, I decided to see if the same could work with Del Monte Pasta  as well.  Plus this Indiblogger contest seemed to good to miss.

I boiled my pasta with a bit of good quality cocoa powder, some sugar and salt. The fusilli took on a beautiful brown colour as it simmered away and the pasta absorbed a delicious amount of cocoa and sugar, making me want to eat it just plain.

As odd as it sounds, chocolate pasta is quite a versatile treat, you can toss it in a bit savoury sauce, you can drizzle lemon curd with it, you can even do a mascarpone and sausage stir fry to make it a part of your main course.

I, ofcourse, decided to go the straight jacket way. For my sweet tooth, this just seemed the best bet. I couldn't find any fresh strawberries because I love the combination of strawberries and chocolate so instead decided to pair with a simple white chocolate mousse and some cold chocolate soup. Plus I had everything at home, so it just sort of worked out well.

The soup was simple to make, melt the chocolate, a bit of cream, a bit of milk, salt, sugar and vanilla and a touch of cornflour just allows the soup to thicken. Iadded a little bit of orange zest and a capful of Cointreau because, well, I love chocolate orange. You can totally omit the orangeyness.

The White chocolate mousse, was more to soften the dark chocolate tones. The sweetness of the white chocolate mousse worked beautifully against the slight bitterness of the cocoa. I made a shortcut version of the mousse, with white chocolate ganache and whipped cream.

So hows this pasta supposed to be eaten - cold, I say cold. There's a bit of texture in every bite and the smooth chocolate soup makes you want to slurp the dessert, making it quite a delicious and different dessert.

Chocolate Pasta with Chocolate Soup & White Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4


For the pasta

200 grams Del Monte Fusilli Pasta
4 cups of water
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Soup

200 grams good quality dark chocolate
100 ml cream
100 ml + 4 tblsp milk
1 tblsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tblsp corn flour
 1 tsp vanilla / orange zest / Cointreau

For the White Chocolate Mousse

100 grams white chocolate
100 ml low fat cream
a pinch of salt
100 ml whipping cream

For the garnish

Chocolate flakes
Mint leaves


1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add sugar, salt, cocoa powder and the pasta to it. Cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
2. Make the Chocolate soup by adding the chocolate,cocoa powder milk and cream to saucepan and allowing it to melt together.
3. Meanwhile mix the cornflour with the 4 tblsp of milk and make a thin paste. Pour into the chocolate mix.
4. Stir well, so that there are no lumps formed and add the sugar and salt and the vanilla or orange zest if using, to it. Bring to a boil. Turn off the gas and set it aside to cool.
5. To make the white chocolate mousse, chop the white chocolate into small pieces.
6. Bring the low fat cream and salt to a boil and pour over the white chocolate. Using a whisk, stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.
7. Whisk the whipping cream until soft peaks and using the cut and fold method, whisk into the white chocolate ganache. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
8. To assemble this dish. Pour the chocolate soup into the desired bowl. Add as much of the chocolate pasta as you'd like to it. Top with a spoonful of the white chocolate mousse. Sprinkle with chocolate flakes and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.