10/30/2013

10/17/2013

The Cake Files: Reese's Overload Cake

A couple of months ago one of my Caketastic Confections regulars messaged me and begged I make this Reese's Overload Cake she'd found floating around the internet. As I sat sizing up the recipe she'd emailed, my immediate thoughts were something along the lines of: 'holy shit, batman. That's one hell of a make-your-ass-expand-peanutbuttertastic-completely- caloriffic-dessert.' Nevertheless- calories aside, Chris was admit she needed a bit of TLC in the form of this chocolate peanut butter coma. And so I attempted the tower that was the Reese's Overload Cake.

The God's honest truth is that I found this cake relatively stress-less and easy to create. The only slightly time consuming aspect being that it has 2 separate cakes and 2 separate frostings. But all together, it's nothing more than 4 straight forward recipes blobbed together to create one big chocoholic monster. And the finished result could make even a penguine with a peanut allergy drool. That 10" tall beast is truly a beaut. And never before have I been asked more for a recipe than I had when sharing this picture.

And so as promised, here I am, sharing with all of you the recipe for this one hell of a make-your-ass-expand-peanutbuttertastic-completely- caloriffic-dessert. May you, as Chris and her family did, enjoy it in all of it's overwhelming richness.

Peanut Butter Blondie Layers:
Butter two 9" pans and line with parchment. Butter the parchment. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2 sticks butter
1 c. SKIPPY peanut butter
6 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder

Melt butter and Skippy together over double boiler. Once melted, pour in mixer and add sugar. Beat until smooth. Continuing to beat on a low speed, add eggs one at a time. Once all of the eggs are incorporated, add vanilla. Stop the mixer to add flour and baking powder. On medium speed, mix until just combined. Evenly divide the batter between the 2 pans. Bake approx 35 mins, or until a toothpick can be removed cleanly. Cool completely. ( Once cool, I freeze all of my cake layers as it makes assembly and frosting easier. Little trick I learned in culinary school).

Crustless Cheesecake Layer:
Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease one 9" pan with shortening, line the pan with parchment and then grease the parchment. Set aside.

1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2- 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 oz. package cook and serve vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
2 melted Hershey bars (I used dark chocolate)
1/2c. melted Ghirardelli bittersweet chips

Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add cream cheese, half a package at a time until smooth. Scrape bowl down and beat again on medium speed, adding eggs one at a time. Be careful not to incorporate tons of air. Add remaining ingredients. Mix again until just smooth. Pour in pan, smoothing the batter with offset spatula. Bake for 50-55 mins, or until it has a slight jiggle on the middle but is otherwise set. Cheesecake will puff up during baking, then deflate when taken out. Do not turn the cheesecake out when it has finished baking. Put it directly in the freezer in the pan and leave until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove from pan and return to freezer until cake assembly.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

4c. confectioner's sugar
1c. SKIPPY peanut butter
2T. soft butter
1 tsp. vanilla
few T. of milk

Beat the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and 2c. powdered sugar on slow speed. SLOWLY add the remainder of sugar and then the milk a teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached (should be creamy and smooth, just as a buttercream). Beat on high until fluffy.

Chocolate Frosting:

1/2c. + 6T cocoa powder
3/4c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
dash salt
1 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla.

Heat cream in microwave and pour in mixer with cocoa powder and 3/4c. confectioners sugar. Mix well. Add the butter, salt, 1 cup confectioners sugar and vanilla. Whip on high until fluffy. Set aside.

Cake Assembly:

Remove both peanut butter cakes and chocolate cheesecake from freezer. Divide the chocolate frosting between the top of one of the peanut butter cakes and the top of the chocolate cheesecake.

Layer it as follows:

1)Peanut butter cake topped in chocolate frosting
2)Chocolate cheesecake topped in chocolate frosting
3)Peanut butter cake

Frost the entire stacked cake with peanut butter frosting. Once the sides have been smoothed (or ribbed - I achieved that look using an offset spatula) sprinkle broken Reese's peanut butter cups on the top. If you're interested in a more 'polished' look, you can melt the remainder of your Ghirardelli chocolate chips over a double boiler and spoon over the top rim so that it luxuriously flows over the sides. The chocolate will immediately cool and harden as the cakes are still frozen.

Keep refrigerated until enjoyed.

The Cake Files: Alexis' Doc McStuffin's Birthday Cake



10/16/2013

♫ Wisdom teeth. Huh-yeah. What are they good for? Absolutely nothin'. Say it again, ya'll ♫

I consider myself to have a pretty high pain threshold. In my lifetime I've been paralyzed for a week (I  contracted transverse myelitis, in case you're just as nosy curious as I am), had 3 kidney stones (now that's a throw up and think your insides are on fire kind of pain) and in high school I fell down the school bus stairs getting my arm caught in the railing - royally messing up my rotator cuff (just call me Grace). But there's just something about tooth pain that sets it apart from any other bodily discomfort. Piercing, throbbing, relentless agony that resonates right through your jawbone to your core. Like the time I got a basketball to the face in elementary school. My bottom front tooth snapped right in half, exposing the nerve. Breathing was like having a demented frosty the snowman smoosh a freezing cold popsicle to my tooth. For hours. It was horrendous. But nothing like the vindictive popcorn kernel that last night managed to wedge itself between my bastard wisdom tooth that is uselessly protruding through my gum. 

(do excuse the momentary rant with use of unnecessary profanity)
But...
WHAT THE FUCK IS THE POINT IN WISDOM TEETH ANYWAY?! SERIOUSLY? WHY WOULD SOMETHING GROW WHERE IT ISN'T WANTED OR NEEDED?

The honest truth is that I look more forward to giving birth than I do to ever having a kernel wedge itself into my wisdom tooth again. I'd rather be in labor for 18 hours, pushing out a 10lb baby with a head the size of the moon (you do realize I've just jinxed myself in writing this, right? Have any of you seen the size of my husbands head?) than suffer with tooth pain. 

Why, you ask? How in the world could someone ever wish that, you say?

Because at least at the end of labor you have something wonderful to show for it. A BABY. A beautiful child that you brought into this world to love unconditionally, support and watch grow up into totally awesome rap-loving teenager who thinks you're about as lame as Pewee Herman. 

All I end up with at the end of today is one less sick day at work, a swollen infected wisdom tooth and the inevitable feat of paying an ungodly amount for the looming oral procedure to have these useless teeth removed.

The eviction notice has officially been posted. Guess my sorry ass better start saving.