Dom’s Random Recipe Challenge back in October was “storecupboard finds” - to use ingredients found lurking at the back of the cupboard. A rummage in my cupboard turned up a can of Carnation Caramel and a jar of peanut butter. I remember buying the Carnation a while ago for some recipe that never got made but is long since forgotten – but why the peanut butter was there is a total mystery !!
I spent a happy half hour or so looking through my cookbooks for a recipe using Carnation caramel or peanut butter. There are plenty of recipes for peanut cookies but I really fancied making a cake. Eventually I found one in my most recent treat to myself, a book by Rachel Allen called “Cake” and luckily it required both of my storecupboard ingredients. (It’s a lovely book and there are lots of other recipes I can hardly wait to make….I just need the opportunity.)
So with good intentions I took the jar of peanut butter, the tin of Carnation and the recipe with me to France in October but ……… time ran out and I brought them back home again, unused !! We seem to do that quite often – i.e. take stuff all the way across the channel and bring them back home again, untouched. C’est la vie !!
A few weeks later it was time for our Children in Need cake stall at work with the perfect opportunity to make lots of cake so I fished my tin of Carnation caramel and jar of peanut butter back out of the cupboard again and set to making the cake.
It was dead easy to make and I can vouch for the fact that it tasted very peanutty! I used a smooth peanut butter (because that’s what I had) and I think I would do that again – I’m not sure I would have liked the cake quite as much with crunchy bits in it.
The icing is made by beating cream, caramel and peanut butter into melted chocolate – almost like a chocolate ganache, something I have never knowingly made before. Very nice it was too and the cake looked gorgeous.
Except that the top layer slid very slightly off the bottom layer while my back was turned, making the cake look a little wonky. Once the filling had set there was nothing I could do about it – but I don’t think anybody noticed !!
I decorated the top with some chocolate covered peanuts and it looked, even though I say it myself, really nice with a caramel coloured crumb and glossy icing. It sold well at the Children in Need cake stall and I cut myself a small slice just in time to see what it was like before it sold out. It was perfectly yummy so I would definitely make it again, even though peanut butter is not usually one of my favourite things. I bet kids would love it.
Here’s my version of Peanut Butter Cake:
200g softened butter
75g peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, as you prefer)
200g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
For the icing
100g milk chocolate
3 tblsp double cream
50g peanut butter
100g Carnation caramel
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/gas mk 4. Grease and base line two 20cm sandwich tins.
Beat the butters together until creamy, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture.
Divide evenly between the tins and level the top. Bake for about 30 minutes until done. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes then remove and cool on a rack.
To make the icing, break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and beat in the cream, peanut butter and caramel. While it’s still warm use half to fill the cake and half to ice the top.
Decorate with a few chocolate peanuts, chopped peanuts or just a sprinkle of icing sugar.
Cuts into 8-12 slices.