- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup nonalkalized cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 lb. Philadelphia cream cheese, @ room temperature
- 2/3 cup Powdered peanut butter
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup Heavy cream
- 210% of cream weight in dark chocolate (use quality chocolate)
- Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 3 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with a circle of parchment or wax paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. (Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if needed.) With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat.
- With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about a 1/4 cup at a time. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lightly drop each pan onto the counter to settle the batter.
- Set the pans on the middle rack in the oven. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and the center springs back when touched lightly, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Cool the cakes, in the pans, on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake layers out of the pans and cool on the rack. (If not assembling the cake right away, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 2 months.)
On medium-low speed, blend cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add peanut butter powder and continue blending until combined. Increase speed to medium and mix until fluffy.
Ganache is a weight ratio. For a frosting for this cake, use a 2.1 to 1 ratio, by weight, of chocolate to cream, Use the highest quality chocolate available, chopped fine.
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 210% of cream weight in chocolate
- Place the chocolate in a heat-proof mixing bowl
- Heat cream to just before boiling
- Pour cream over chocolate and stir with a spatula until
smoothWhipwith wire whisk or electric mixer until thick and fluffy.