Monday, June 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Fudge

Where to begin......sadly my injury that I thought I was done with has reared it's ugly head.  More than a year since my last surgery it started to slowly show itself again.  I stupidly ignored it and just thought it would go away.  Boy was I ever wrong.  Last week it really got painful, and I ended up back in my heavy duty brace and running on very little sleep due to the pain waking me up in the middle of the night.  I refuse to let this stop me or get me down.  Found a good doctor and now I'm just waiting until my appointment to see what's going on in there.  So for now Aleeve is my new best friend and I'm functioning on a less than normal amount of sleep and a lot of coffee.

I wasn't planning on baking this weekend, but when BP and I were going over to a friends house for dinner and some sports watching, we both knew I would be making something easy and quick, and with what we had in the house.  Out came my expandable folder of recipes and I found this gem.  I showed it to BP and he said 'that's a winner'.  Off I went to make the fudge.  And anyone can make this.  The hardest part is melting the butter and peanut butter together.  From start to finish I was done in 5 minutes - and that included doing the dishes.  BP couldn't believe how quick it took. 

nom nom nom
Time to go and BP and I cut up the fudge - and of course had to try a piece.  You know, gotta make sure that it's good before we bring it somewhere.  BP tried a piece and looked at me and the look on his face I knew he liked it.  Now I'm warning you, cut this into small pieces.  It is really rich, but extremely tasty.  You will be amazed that something this quick tastes this good.  And it will be your go to for anything dessert wise needed in a quick fix.  Off we went to enjoy a great night - and the fudge was a hit. 

Peanut Butter Fudge
2 sticks butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup - 1 cup chopped peanuts
In a medium saucepan (or microwave safe bowl if you don't feel like using your stove), melt together butter and peanut butter and mix until smooth.  Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and confectioners sugar.  Mix until combined.  Spread evenly into foil lined 8" pan and press chopped peanuts into top of fudge.  Chill until firm 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chocolate Blackout Cake

This cake has been on my list to make for over a month now.  So when one of my co-workers had a birthday, this was the perfect excuse to make it....even if we already celebrated her birthday.  Why not keep the celebration going? We talked about the cake and it was decided - continue the celebration and make the cake. I was excited, I mean a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and a chocolate frosting.  Sounds amazing. 

This is best to be made in stages.  I made the pudding first - from scratch.  We all know my issues with instant pudding (yes - I really can't make it.....I know it's so easy but for the life of me I can't do it), so I knew that making pudding from scratch wasn't going to be an issue.  Pudding made and chilling in the fridge, all that's left is to make the cake, let it cool and then frost away. 

I know what you're thinking - that's A LOT of chocolate, but it all works well together and it's not overpowering.  I'm getting ahead of myself though.  It's time to assemble the cake.  Easy......or so I thought.  I take the cakes out of the tins and start layering.  Cake, pudding, cake, pudding and cake.  Then all of the sudden, pudding starts oozing out of the sides of the cake.  My heart sinks.  I frost the top of the cake and pudding is oozing out everywhere. 

whomp whomp
There was nothing I could do.....the damage had been done.  BP comes up and sees the cake and the look on my face and asks what's wrong.  My reply as I'm looking at this sad hot mess is "it doesn't look like the picture".  The perfectionist in me was so upset.  But I couldn't take the cake apart - pudding was EVERYWHERE.  BP sees this and pulls me in and gives me a hug and some kisses on the top of my head and tells me it's a waterfall cake and it will still taste amazing.  I made it look cooler than the picture I found online of it.  I had to give him credit, he made me laugh and smile and I knew even though it wasn't the prettiest thing it was going to be damn tasty. 

Into the fridge it went, and all I could hope for was that the pudding was going to firm up and the cake layers would stop sliding around.  (Note - when you make this, I suggest freezing the pudding after applying each layer for 10 minutes at a time so it sets up and won't ooze everywhere like mine did).  I went to bed and said a little prayer that when I woke up in the morning and opened the fridge that my cake would still be in one piece and not all over a shelf in BP's fridge.  Morning came and it was now or never.  I closed my eyes and held my breath as I opened the was still in one piece.  I let out a huge sigh of relief.  Now I just had to get it to work in one piece - normally not a challenge, but all of my baking stuff isn't at BP's yet, and all of my baked goods containers (except a cookie bin) are at my place.   So I held onto the plate the cake was on all the way to work.  And happily made it in one piece, cake unharmed.  

Everyone was excited to try it.  And once the first person went in for a piece it was on.  Sooooo good.   Perfect balance of chocolate throughout the whole thing.  And all of my co-workers loved it.  I even got to hand some out to some patients of ours and one of the responses was priceless.  He is an older gentleman, around the age of my grandfather, and he was a couple bites into it and looked at me and smiled.  Then he asked 'Are you married?' I replied no I'm not.  His next question 'Would you like to be?'  We all burst into laughter and my response was 'yes to my boyfriend someday'.  Being the cute older man that he is he smiled at me and said 'I hope he knows what he's got in you'.  I said he did, very much so.

The cake was almost half gone by the time I left work today - a sign of a hit.  So now I'm home, and really wanting a piece of cake.  Totally should of taken a piece home with me.  But I have a feeling I will be making this cake again. 

Chocolate Blackout Cake
makes one 3 layer cake

Chocolate Pudding:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (preferably Dutch processed)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature


  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa (preferable Dutch processed)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 dozen chocolate wafer cookies


To make the Chocolate Pudding: Combine 1 cup milk with 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan and bring to just under a boil.

In a mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar with salt, cocoa, and cornstarch. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup unheated milk. Gradually whisk in hot milk and place entire mixture back into the saucepan. Heat, over medium heat, stirring, until mixture thickens and just starts to bubble.

Whisk in egg and egg yolk and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk in chopped chocolate and butter. When both are melted, strain pudding through a fine-mesh strainer, and cool. Cover with plastic and reserve in refrigerator.

To make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 (8-inch) cake pans and line with parchment. Butter the parchment and flour pans, shaking out the excess.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.

In a mixer with a whip attachment, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in vegetable oil. Alternately add dry ingredients with buttermilk, scraping the bowl once or twice. Add the coffee and vanilla to form a thin batter. Divide between prepared cake pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks, peel off paper and cool completely.

When cool, split each cake in half with a serrated slicing knife. Reserve 1 layer for another use. Spread bottom layer with half of the reserved Chocolate Pudding. Place second layer on top and spread with remaining pudding. Top with last cake layer.

To make the Icing: Over a double boiler, melt chocolate with butter. Remove from heat, whisk in brewed coffee, corn syrup, and vanilla. Place icing over an ice bath and chill, whisking often until the mixture is of soft but a spreadable consistency. Working quickly, ice the sides and top of cake.

In a food processor, pulse the cookies into crumbs. Press the crumbs onto sides and top of cake.

Serve cake at room temperature. If holding for more than 2 hours, store in refrigerator for up to 48 hours, but bring to room temperature before serving.