Happy Birthday to my wonderful Paul! For his birthday this year, he asked for a Peanut Butter Twix Cake. I decided to mix and match a few different recipe components to create this cake. It has four main components. A shortbread-like cookie crust, a fluffy peanut butter cake, a layer of salted caramel, and topped with chocolate ganache.
He usually asks for variations on a Reese’s peanut butter chocolate cake. The fact that he asked for something different was a huge shock, and I knew that I wanted to make sure I knocked this cake out of the park. I used the base for my lemon squares (which I haven’t yet posted, but I will have to soon) as the shortbread crust, this recipe for the peanut butter cake (which I modified slightly), as well as using just the salted caramel from this tart recipe. Finally, I just made my own chocolate ganache with chocolate and cream. Perfection.
This cake worked so well together. I was definitely a little hesitant when Paul asked for this, but after trying it, no more. Amazing. Not trying to brag, but this little creation of mine, I am quite happy how it turned out. Granted, I couldn’t have done it without the other components from my fellow food bloggers, but the combination is a wonderful mixture of crumbly cookie, moist cake, sumptuous caramel, and rich chocolate.
As for the pictures, the caramel was deliciously oozy, and the ganache was also slightly soft in the center, but I just updated with some better pictures I got of the layers. To me, to really tasted like a peanut butter Twix bar, and that’s the feeling I was going for. Mission accomplished!
Yield: 1 9 inch cake
For the shortbread crust:
1 c. softened butter
2 c. flour
½ c. sugar
For the peanut butter cake:
½ c. chunky or creamy peanut butter
¼ c. shortening
½ c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/8 c. flour
½ plus 1/8 c. sugar
½ plus 1/8 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
For the salted caramel:
1 c. sugar
6 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
½ c. heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. kosher salt
For the chocolate ganache:
½ c. heavy cream
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
For the shortbread crust, in a medium bowl, melt the butter, then add the flour and sugar and toss with a fork until evenly combined, and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool.
For the cake, in a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the peanut butter and shortening until well mixed. Once the peanut butter and shortening are well combined, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter over the pre-baked cookie crust, and spread evenly. Bake for 25-27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For the salted caramel, in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, melt the sugar, stirring constantly until sugar has clumped up, and continue stirring and cooking the sugar until it has melted and turned brown. This can take 10-15 minutes, so be patient. When sugar has completely melted and there are no clumps, add in the butter. The mixture will bubble, but continue to stir until butter is completely melted. Once butter is melted, add in the cream and whisk until incorporated. Boil for 30-45 seconds longer, then take off the heat and let cool about 15-20 minutes, whisking occasionally.
To assemble cake, release springform pan sides, lift from the pan bottom and place on a cake stand. Once caramel has cooled, slowly pour over the cake. (My cake sunk a bit in the middle, so it created a perfect little well for the caramel to collect.) Refrigerate cake until caramel has solidified.
To make ganache, place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat cream until quite warm, almost boiling, and pour over chocolate. Let sit for a minute or two, then whisk to combine. If needed, microwave chocolate and cream together to combine until smooth. Whisk until smooth and glossy, then pour over cake in a smooth stream. Spread over cake in an even layer, until ganache is even and starting to cascade over the sides.
Refrigerate until ganache is slightly solidified, then sprinkle a small amount of kosher salt over the ganache. Slice and serve.