The Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cake

The full title of this post should be…

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

Michael (@mdanbom) joined me in making this delicious cake for the last Cake and a Movie night (#CaaM) which happened last night.

We had a wonderful crowd come over…

@laurenreid, @aurablush, @taylorjm10, @ok2baprincess, @brooding_soul, @savannahbrooke and @coreyschmidt.

It was suggested that we watch Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and it was a great film. But I’m a sucker for Michael Cera and Kat Dennings; oh and any movie with a band full of really hot gay guys, especially when the gay characters aren’t so annoying.

Now I guess it’s time to post my Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache.

This is an original of Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes modified by the SmittenKitchen.com and further adopted by me.

With no further adieu… the

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake Base
Makes about 7 cups

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa w/ 60% cacao
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes.

Place cakes in freezer for thirty minutes. This will allow these incredibly soft, moist cakes to firm up before frosting. Now is a good time to make the frosting.

Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese FrostingMakes About 5 cups

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time to prevent lumping. Mix thoroughly after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended. Use the spatula to fold frosting to ensure it is smooth and creamy.

Frosting a dark cake with a light frosting can be difficult. Here are some tips to make this as easy as possible.

Measure out just enough frosting to put a thin layer of frosting on the cake using an offset spatular. Microwave frosting for 20-30 seconds to make frosting soft and spreadable. Let this cool on the cold cake, firming up the frosting and preventing any rips in the cake.

Place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread about 1/2 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer.

For a smoother frosting, use 1/2-2/3 of the remaining frosting to finish up the top and sides, reserving 1/3-1/2 for later. Place layered cake into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Warm frosting in microwave for 20-30 seconds before smoothing the rest of the frosting on the chilled cake.

Place cake back into the refrigerator while you prepare the ganache.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter GanacheMakes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the whipping cream, beating until smooth.

Let the ganache sit for a few minutes. It should be warm but not hot when applied to the cake.

Slowly pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips.

Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely.

Use warm, sharp, thin knife to slice the cake, cleaning between each slice with warm water and dry towel. This will make each slice as beautiful as the first.

Let me know how it works for you and if you have any suggestions for modifications or cake suggestion for the next Cake and a Movie night. So far it sounds like a carrot cake is winning out. If you’ve got a great recipe, send it over!


The Princess’s Birthday

Holy cow. I had a ton of friends with birthdays yesterday.  It seems like people that had birthdays yesterday are just really awesome friends. Kohl, Patrick and of course, Karen in particular.

Karen (@ok2baprincess), it turns out, is super popular.  Nicole, who set this whole deal up, had something like 30 people at Sycamore’s for her birthday dinner.  How she got everyone together from such different circles, who really knows.

The wait at Sycamore was pretty intense, but a few of us decided a bottle of wine would fix that.

Oh, and for this post, just click the little pictures to see them larger. Didn’t want to make the page super slow to load. Also, you can click the right side of any picture to go to the next one.

After our delicious dinner, we headed over to Top Ten Wines for a few glasses and some ping pong. Just about our entire troupe of people made the voyage. We totally took over that place haha.

Oh, and the wine was amazing.

Uh oh, now I’ve gone into a rant…

I don’t understand how people can NOT just love a good wine. Here in Missouri, many people don’t know what a good wine is. There are several Missouri wineries but most make crap wine, in my opinion.

Those who think they are connaisseurs of wine out here TYPICALLY think Yellow Tail is a top notch wine and Korbel, or worse, André are fabulous champanges, don’t even try to explain sparkling wine to them.

I’m not hating on Missourians, just leading up to how incredibly happy I am that most of my friends aren’t these people, especially those I was with last night.  And even if you do love André and even Riverboat Red, that’s totally fine. I’m glad that you like those wines. Just saying, I don’t and can’t stand when people compare their $8.00 bottle of Hahn Estates’ Cycles Gladiator to my Seghesio.

See it isn’t about the price so much, there are awesome bottles of economical wine. Just do the research.  A bottle of Seghesio costs you under $25 and will mop the floor with that stupid Hahn Estates’ Cycles Gladiator that my father’s side of the family is so obsessed with right now.

Though I pretty much love anything from the Dry Creek Valley.

Where the hell did that come from? Back to the festivities. So we played some ping pong and drank our wine, had our conversation. Awesome time.

Time for some more pictures!

After Top Ten, we broke up a bit, some went for karaoke while others headed home.  Of course, @bigred77 @ericcox and @turtis couldn’t help but model for the camera as we walked to our cars haha.  I love those tweeple!

The night was so much fun. We talked about changing out Sunday mornings around a bit too.  Very excited about that, oh and Cake and a Movie night.  The next one is tomorrow, Monday night! I need movie and cake suggestions.

Happy Birthday Karen! HUGS!

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Loft Party

I joined Karen (@ok2baprincess) on her trip to St. Louis to welcome her boys Alan (@alangeor), Dave and Joe into their new downtown loft.  The loft was beautiful and her friends great!

They have a wonderful puppy too.  I think his name is Rascal Baxter, but I could be wrong.  I had a few drinks haha.

Did I tell you how nice, and super attractive, Karen’s gays are? That’s about when I met Will and Roger.  They have been together for about as long as Ryan and I.  I saw a lot of similarities between our two couples.  I just loved these two.

Later on in the night we ventured up to the roof where I got off a few shots. I was just testing my new Nikon D700’s low light performance.  Everyone that has written about the D700 mentions the incredible low light performance and, I must say, I was pretty impressed.  These were taken without a tripod, hand held, yet incredibly sharp.  Awesome!

After the roof we went out to Erney’s 32* which is this Miami-style (some claim) gay bar/dance club.

It was interesting, I saw a couple of friends there which was crazy, Viktor Englund in particular.

I was supposed to meet up with Geoffrey but I think we partied a little too late for him. haha

Woke up the next morning, we went to this great crepe restaurant for brunch and then headed back into town.  It was a fun time and I’m so glad that I joined Karen.

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Tape Me Up

Mark Jenkins

Image by C-Monster via Flickr

Ryan send me a link to this really awesome artist named Mark Jenkins and his tape sculpture project.  You really must check out his site and view the incredible scenes he has created with plastic wrap and packing tape.

I have taken this idea on and will be making pictures tonight using one of the models Micheal and I made.  He was such a good sport holding still for a few hours while I wrapped him in plastic wrap and then taped him up… followed by the sometimes painful cutting off of his exoskeleton.

We only had time to make one and we didn’t actually get to take any pics with him, we were too tired after the four hour construction!  We also didn’t make him quite strong enough, needed a few more layers of tape but I felt awful holding Micheal up like that for 180 feet of packing tape.

I hope to make a few more for this project and will, but tonight I’ll have to make due with the one.

What would be really cool is if I had access to a mannequin.  Can anyone help?  I, for some reason, feel that Karen (aka @ok2baprincess) has a connection here.  She never ceases to amaze me.

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Election Paaarty!!

We all knew November 4, 2008 was going to be a big deal.  What we didn’t know was exactly how it was going to play out.  And what better way to deal with uncertainty than with a large group of similar thinkers?  So off to the watch parties.  But first, I had a drink with Chase.

Since the theme of the evening was Change, we decided to check out the all new, very tall, Quinton’s Bar and Deli.  This is a bar that went from basically a wide hallway to a full downstairs bar, a second floor bar, a third floor bar and a fourth floor terrace.  Yes.  Four levels.  The views on all three (?) balconies/patios are great.  For a moment we joked that we weren’t in Columbia.

Then we saw the water tower.  Blurg!

I was interested in how well they built this thing.  It certainly doesn’t feel like it was built by Missourians, in Missouri.  It’s built like a tank, no jankity, ghetto going on here.  Nice stuff, especially for a college town.  Go there, you’ll understand.  They even have outdoor couches.  Nice touches like accent lighting and speakers built into the metal guard rails and 3/4″ thick glass walls just really seal the deal.

Even the bathrooms smelled nice.  For now at least.

It’s very industrial, have a look!

After we had our drinks there, I just had a Monster Vodka since I had taken some vicodin earlier in the day…  Chase took down a few beers.  Like a man, hurrah!

Then it was drinks and Texmex with Karen (aka @ok2baprincess).  Ryan and I shared the vegetarian fajitas which were amazing, his peach margarita was pretty tasty too.  I just had a sip, he can be a bit of a booze hog!  (j/k j/k!)

Finally we made it to the watch party at Ragtag Cinema Cafe.  There we found a few other friends, but not the ones we were aiming for.  Nevermind that, apparently they went to Bleu, our other haunt.

We watched The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert report the election results.  Hilarious.  Plus there were drinks and popcorn and it was full of like minded liberals, which are the best kind, IMHO!  So many that it scared away the Republican we had in our group.  Like Minded Liberals FTW!

I remember when they announced Obama won.

The crowd went wild, and thus so did the rest of the night.  Well for everyone else there.  Ryan and I went home to watch the rest of the festivities on the big screen in HD in the comfort of our home.

Who else absolutely loved Obama’s acceptance speech?  I’ve never heard anything like it.  I’ve never seen such a crowd that wasn’t celebrating New Years.  It was a sight to be seen for sure!  I posted the video earlier, check it out if you missed it as well as McCain’s Concession Speech which was also quite good.

This election ended as it should have begun.  Anyone else with me on this?  Especially for poor McCain.  He would have won had he been himself, the maverick he really, and truly is.  He is a hero for America and for half a decade, one of her greatest servants.

gObama.  I’ll be reliving the night over and over until it finally becomes real to me.  Perhaps sometime in late January 2009…

Mizzou Obama Rally

Apparently you had to line up for the Obama Rally at 9:00am to get a good spot… That’s 12 and a half hours before he even was to take the stage!  I got there at 6:00pm and here’s what the line looked like.  Apparently the total was around 40,000 people, though some estimates go up to 65,000!

And apparently there were some 16 charter buses on the way!  Basically a freaking ton of people were all anxious to see Barack Obama speak.  As I type this I can hear the cheers and music from the quad, it sounds like victory to me!

Here’s a few pics of all the people waiting.

I hung out with the media folk for a while.  With my camera, lenses and tripod, I totally fit in.  Might have even gotten to go further into the rally area if I’d stuck with them but I wandered too far out and the cops sent me across the street.  Apparently you need real credentials haha.

Oh, and of all the people there, I only saw two guys who were for McCain/Palin.  Oh, yeah, you could totally tell too, besides the Obama is a socialist t-shirt… look at that face!  Holy moly…

Yikes right?!

Micheal, Ryan and I walked around, bumped into a few friends but ultimately decided not to stay for the event seeing as we probably wouldn’t even see Obama from where our standing room only spot would be.

I really don’t think there is anyway 50,000 people could fit in the area they designated.

We went to Flat Branch for appetizers instead. I bumped into one of my fellow photography peers.  Her photography is absolutely amazing.  I’m always amazed at how incredible and personal her pictures are.  Stunning stuff.  What’s great though is that she saw me first and told her boyfriend and buddy that I was a really awesome photographer in her class… Wow, so cool.  She’s better haha.

We had a great time, then we headed back to my apartment where we are currently watching the zombie movie, 28 Days Later.  I’ve never seen it, it’s pretty decent though 🙂

Fun night!

Gossip Girl Night

Micheal came over today for some Gossip Girl and to have dinner and wine.  The idea was Indian and Rieseling but due to the Indian place we like closing a couple of hours early, we were forced to enjoy Bangkok Gardens.  Thanks to Micheal for treating me to dinner, it was yum!

We met this awesome girl named Biaca Sammy Sam Samantha who was eating some Thai at the bar.  She works for a local company as a receptionist and was just about as cute as a button.

She seemed facinated with Micheal and I, of course she would be haha.  Of course, I was probably just as facinated with her.  I love meeting really fun and loving people like Samantha.  Yay!  She actually reminded me of the waitress Ryan and I had last Valentines in Kansas City at the amazing vegetarian restaurant, Eden’s Alley.

Shout out to Samantha!

After picking up the Thai and heading home, we started up the AppleTV and got our Gossip Girl on.  I love how we both agreed on every aspect of the show, the good and the bad.  We found ourselves making the same comments about outfits and plot point at the same time.  Awesome.

I have yoga in the morning with Max and then class and then yoga again and then lunch and then I’m meeting with my photography professor just to chit chat.  Looking forward to that, kinda.

So anyways, a really fun night, sorry I missed out on having a drink with you Karen!  Next time, I promise!  Oh and really looking forward to Saturday.

Night night!

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