Nicola Millbank: Death by Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Cake Recipe

Nicola Millbank: Death by Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Cake Recipe

  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. 350g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  3. 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
  4. 150g good-quality dark chocolate, broken-up into pieces
  5. 150g good-quality milk chocolate, broken-up into pieces
  6. 350g caster sugar
  7. 6 eggs, beaten
  8. 2 tsp baking powder
  9. 8 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder
  10. 1 tbsp vanilla paste or extract
  11. For The Icing:
  12. 200g unsalted butter at room temperature
  13. 400g good-quality smooth peanut butter
  14. 400g icing sugar
  15. 80g soured cream at room temperature
  16. sea salt
  17. To Decorate:
  18. 100g good quality dark chocolate, broken up into pieces
  19. 25g unsalted peanuts
  20. Equipment:
  21. 3 x 20cm sandwich tins and an electric whisk (the whisk isn’t essential but makes the job easier)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas mark 4.

Grease three 20cm round cake tins with butter and then dust with flour until they’re fully coated. Cut 3 strips of greaseproof paper and line each tin with a strip going across the middle. This helps lift the sponges from the tins once cooked.

Make a bain-marie by placing a non-metallic bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure the base of the bowl isn’t touching the base of the pan. In the bowl, melt the dark and milk chocolate. Once the chocolate is fully melted, remove the bowl from the simmering water and allow to cool.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the sugar for 10 minutes until soft, or for 5 minutes if you have an electric whisk. Slowly mix in the beaten eggs and then gently fold in the sifted flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and vanilla paste with a metal spoon, scraping the mixture up from the bottom to the top in circular motions until the mixture is just about combined. If the mixture feels stiff, add some milk to loosen it a little. At this point, gently fold in the melted chocolate.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 25–30 minutes until the cakes have risen and are springy to the touch. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the tins, then using the greaseproof paper strips, gently lift up and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the peanut butter icing, beat the butter, peanut butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add in the soured cream and a good pinch of salt and continue to beat for another minute.

When the cakes have fully cooled, halve the icing and then divide one of the halves in half again. Place one of the cake layers onto a cake stand and spread evenly with one quarter of icing. Top with another cake layer, and spread on the other quarter of the icing. Add the final cake layer and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake, using a palette knife to smooth. You want the icing to lightly cover the cake, but the sponge to show through.

To decorate, slowly melt the chocolate over a bain marie over a medium heat. Once fully melted, drizzle the edge of the cake with the chocolate and allow it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts around the edge and allow to set fully before serving.