Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peanut Butter Cake

I can't believe that I've never blogged this recipe before.  Peanut butter and chocolate cakes are one of the most frequently requested cakes that I make. 

You can't really go wrong with this flavor combination.  Rich, dark chocolate cake layered with smooth, creamy peanut butter buttercream, topped with a sweet layer of chocolate ganache and decorated with a sprinkling of Reese's peanut butter cups. 

I made this one for a birthday party and I forgot to take the pictures before I put the writing on the top so just pretend like it isn't there.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
1 cup butter                
3 cups brown sugar                  
4 eggs                 
3 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup cocoa   
3 cups flour                  
3 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups brewed coffee
1 1/3 cups sour cream

Combine cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream.

Beat in hot coffee.

Divide batter between 3 greased cake pans.

 Bake 35 minutes at 350.  Cool 10 minutes in pan.  Invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make buttercream, combine 2 1/2 cups sugar and 10 egg whites and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar in bowl of standing mixer.  Heat over double boiler, whisking frequently until hot to the touch.

Place bowl on mixing stand and beat with whisk until light and fluffy.

Remove bowl from mixer.  Replace whisk with flat beater and beat in 3 1/2 cups (7 sticks) butter.

 Beat in 1 cup peanut butter. 

Seriously - best peanut butter buttercream EVER!!!

Start by placing one cake layer on a cake circle and top with a layer of buttercream.

 Repeat the process with a second layer of cake and buttercream.

Top with final cake layer.

 Spread a thin layer of icing over the entire cake.  Refrigerate until firm. 

Once the buttercream sets, spread another thin layer of frosting along the sides of the cake.  Refrigerate again.

Make a batch of chocolate ganache.

Spread warm ganache over the top of the cake - allowing it to drop down the sides of the cake.

The chocolate peanut butter combination is a classic.  I have a feeling, I am going to be making even more of these cakes in the future.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grilled Fish Tacos

Dinner is served - some assembly required.

I love taco night.  No need to worry about pleasing everyone's taste buds.  Everyone creates their their own individual taco and everyone's happy. 

I've made lots of fish tacos - You could say that I'm slightly obsessed with them.  I have a lot of fish taco recipes that I love and I wasn't really looking for another but when Cook's Illustrated publishes a recipe for Fish Tacos - I just can't pass up the opportunity to try it.  And as you might imagine - it did not dissapoint.

Grilled Fish Tacos
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup orange juice
1 lime, juiced
2 pounds fish filets (I used flounder)
1/2 pineapple, sliced thin
1 bell pepper
corn tortillas
1/2 avocado

Heat oil in skillet.  Add chili powder and heat until bubbles form.

Stir in oregano, coriander, garlic, salt and tomato paste. 

Stir in orange juice and lime juice.

Pour into a glass baking dish.  Add fish and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Brush pineapple slices with oil.

Place on a hot grill along with fish.

Remove fish and pineapple from grill.

Brush bell pepper with oil and place on grill until blackened.

Wrap tortillas in foil and place on grill to warm.

Flake fish into a bowl for serving. 

Place grilled pineapple in a bowl for serving.

Slice pepper for serving.  (I decided not to peel mine but you certainly could.)

Slice avocado.

Add a bowl of salsa to your table.

Place bowls on the table and let your family start to create the perfect taco.

As for me, it's fish, peppers, avocado and salsa - pineapple on the side.