A CAKE DECORATOR!
... How about this??? This was my wife's first birthday cake of the season (so far, she has had three, but this is the one I made). I made this to serve at the neighborhood chili throwdown. It is made with my wife's favorite candy bar, and the guts are all influenced by said candy bar... The REESE's PEANUT BUTTER CUP!
OK, first thing first, I need to credit the inspiration for this recipe to a fellow blogger. I spend about an hour a day surfing around some of my favorite different bloggers. I have a data base with over 100 recipes and links I want to try. Someday I will get to them all (but I suspect by then, my hydra headed data base will have 5,000 recipes... but I digress). When I saw this cake, I knew I was going to have to try this to launch the two week long JACKIEtober celebration...
I have tried to direct you to my blog buddy, REALLY RAINEY's site, THE PROJECT TABLE before. It really is the prettiest blog on the net, and she gives great content as well. Including this masterpiece that you can find by clicking HERE. A Reese's Peanut Butter cup decorated Chocolate cake that my wife would LOVE. But, I made a few minor changes...
First change... no cake (OK, maybe the changes were more major than I implied). I made a two layer brownie cake. I made a box mix (actually, two boxes, as I was making two layers). I selected a mix from that fancy chocolate factory in San Francisco (rhymes with Bhiradelli). That was the brand that also included a package of fudge topping that was to be spread on top (will get to that soon).
Mix the batter and be happy in our work.
Bake as directed on the box. My wife let me borrow her spring pans to make it easy to get them out (she is always very agreeable when she suspects JACKIEtober is about to start). I made two, one a little smaller than the other.
Jackie's favorite frosting is a butter cream. Since this is all about Jackie, I made a butter cream frosting...
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (best if it is clear, I didn't have any clear, so her cake is a dirty white... could you expect anything more from my hands???)
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
if needed, 2 tablespoons milk to thin
Apply a layer of frosting over the large piece of brownie.
Take that package of fudge from the box and put that on the top... BUT
Only spread around the top leaving an inch around the edge white (off white).
Melt 1/2 cup of Peanut Butter.
Spread the peanut butter over the chocolate... again, being careful NOT to get any peanut butter outside of that magic 1 inch white barrier, so that when you lay the smaller size hunk of brownie on the larger one, you have only white (off white) showing.
Well, mostly not showing... But as master cake decorators know, "a bit more frosting will cover all mistales". Then, put the smaller hunk centered on the bigger piece. At this time, cool the entire thing in the fridge for awhile. This will make the PB hard again, and make the cake solid, so that while you are frosting the edges, it is easier to not have it all ooze out and mix with the white.
And now, ice the whole thing. A thin layer on the top, as you have more Chocolate and Peanut butter to add...
Same as before, add the Chocolate fudge carefully (remember, I used two boxes, so I had two packages of the fudge frosting).
Melt another 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and spread over the top... Again, let it cool.
Once it is cool, it is easy to add another layer of white (off white) frosting.
It's a grown up cake for a grown up girl (celebrating the anniversary of her 29th Birthday). I went to MICHAEL's, that hideous store with all that arts and craft crap, and bought a fake flower to use as a top.
I also started cutting the mini REESE's Cups in half and started arranging in a pleasing pattern.
My buddy who smokes helped me light the candles...
I didn't want my smoke alarms to go off, so I didn't use all the candles she earned. Instead, I used 10 candles on the top level and 11 candles on the lower level (married 10 years, and we adopted our cats 11 years ago ... in my opinion those are the important years anyway).
And she was very happy. Actually, I told her I screwed up and that it was a cake that was just flat because I didn't plan right... Sadly, her response says a lot about me. She of course believed that without blinking. I wanted the brownie part (her favorite) and the inside tribute to Reese's PB Cups (again, her favorite) to remain a secret till she took a bite.
The girl can blow... she got em all out in one breath!
It was a very rich cake... er, BROWNIE. Two layers of brownies, double fudge icing in the middle, the "extra" kick of the peanut butter and lots of butter cream icing... But heard no complaints. There were 12 people at the party, this was the only piece left at the end of the night.
And here is why she was so touched by the gesture...
My wonderful bride is a bit of a cake decorator. She took a few lessons, and happily makes wedding cakes for our friends that are getting remarried. She has yet to make a cake for a first time bride, but she has made over a dozen for those taking a leap for the second, third... and in one case sixth time. Here is the cake she made just Friday night for a Saturday afternoon wedding. Kind of a busman's holiday to have someone else go to effort to make something special for her. She knew I was WAY out of my comfort zone, yet thanks to REALLY RAINEY's site, THE PROJECT TABLE, I was able to make unique, pretty, specialty cake that screams that I made it just for her. So, THANK YOU, my fellow blog buddy for making me look good!
And BTW, click on the smaller pictures of my wife's wedding cakes and the magic of the internet will make them bigger and you can see just how talented my wife is.
And one more BTW, I suggested she start blogging. Her response, "Are you just trying to get me to cook again?"
******************************Dave again... Do me a favor and drop by REALLY RAINEY's site, THE PROJECT TABLE, and thank her for being a great help to this blogger jumping out of his comfort zone of sorts today, as I stole her ideas for decorating this incredible cake. Take a minute, drop by her site and let her know how much we appreciate great ideas, and thank her for sharing to make us all better... grillers, cooks, bakers and in this case... Cake Decorating! I hope that she is honored by my efforts and pleased with how well her instructions worked! Rainey, thank you so much for inspiring this post!
Just a reminder, I am in the middle of the BIGGEST giveaway contest I have ever held... Coupons for 4, 15-oz bottles POM WONDERFUL (you pick the flavor). Check my post from Sunday (you can get there by clicking HERE) for the details on how to win, but one of the important ways to enter is to go to http://theprojecttable.blogspot.com/and leave a comment, then return here, and comment to me that you thanked Rainey for her guest inspiration blog. You will get one entree for each of my guest bloggers (or inspirees) you thank for giving me a blog vacation. On Sunday, I will select one commenter to win this terrific prize!