I have written before about how lucky I am to receive copious of amounts of cookbooks to review in my day job as a journalist. It seems every blogger and his dog has a book these days and some tomes are waaaay better than others. Putting my professional impartiality to one side for a moment I must confess that the books I enjoy reviewing the most are those published by the venerable Australian Women’s Weekly. I have been using their books for decades, as have my mum and nana. Their recipes always work and recently their books have undergone a stylish transformation.
One of their newest titles is Indulgent Cakes – and it does not disappoint. Page after page has incredible looking cakes, in a range of tastes (chocolate and coffee is one chapter, as is ginger and spice, another personal fav).
I adore peanut butter so I was instantly attracted to this number. It makes a really big cake – I had enough batter left over after filling the tin that I managed to make some mini cupcakes.
The AWW team garnished their cake with peanut butter ganache and decorated with peanut butter filled chocolate. I went for a simpler topping of dark chocolate glaze and a sprinkling of salted peanuts. I reduced the amount of sugar.
¼ cup peanut butter
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
½ cup plain flour
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup dutch-processed cocoa
½ cup boiling water
2/3-cup caster sugar
185g softened, diced butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
LET’S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a deep, 20cm square cake tin.
Stir cocoa and boiling water together in a small heat-proof jug until cocoa dissolves; set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
Cream butter, sugar and extract in bowl of electric mixer until pale. Scrape down sides then beat in eggs, one at a time.
Add cocoa mixture and peanut butter and beat until combined [it will look curdled but it will all work out fine in the end.]
Beat in sifted flours and buttermilk in two batches.
Pour into tin and bake for an hour-ish / until a skewer comes out clean.
Stand for five minutes before removing to wire rake to cool completely.
When cold top with ganache [find recipe here: http://thehungrymum.com/2012/02/13/a-sorta-valentine-day-sweet-aka-mini-chocolate-marsala-cakes-with-choc-ganache/ ] then scatter the top with peanuts.