When my husband and I first started dating over 10 years ago, he told me something that almost ended our relationship. He, very seriously, turned to me and declared: “I don’t like chocolate.” What were you, raised by wolves?! Get out. Just get out. What kind of person doesn’t like chocolate? There must be something wrong with him, I thought. Damn, I really liked this one, too. But after a short while, the reality of his chocophobia dawned on me…
Eating out: You wouldn’t want to share the molten chocolate cake (which I order every time I see it on a menu) with me, would you? Oh that’s right, you don’t like chocolate. Damn, I’ll just have to eat it all myself. Have fun with your fruit tart.
On Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas: Look at all of these chocolates from friends, family, work, etc. What are we going to do with all of this? I’ll tell you…They’re mine. All mine.
While camping in the woods: Oh, what’s that? You only want a plain gram and mallow s’more? Be my guest (FREAK!) More chocolate squares for me.
You can see that I quickly learned to make lemonade out of lemons. Or perhaps it would be more apropos to say that I made chocolate cake out of unsweetened chocolate. Well, I did the same thing earlier this week when celebrating my husband’s 28th birthday. Literally.
Yes, a lot has changed since that fateful night when he first told me he didn’t eat chocolate. He’s since learned to love it and is now as much of a chocoholic as I am. Which is why I was not so surprised when he told me that all he wanted for his birthday this week was for me to make him something decadent that involved chocolate and peanut butter. (Like father, like son?) He didn’t want to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant. He didn’t want to see an expensive show. He just wanted a home cooked meal, complete with the epic ingredient combination that puts most other desserts to shame. Count me in!
What I’ve whipped up here are some ridiculously indulgent dark chocolate and peanut butter brownie cakes. Yes, you read that right. They are “cakes”…made out of dense, chewy dark chocolate brownies…smeared with fluffy peanut butter frosting…stacked on top of each other…and then topped with reese’s peanut butter cups. I never said anything about this being a healthy cooking blog, so if you arrived here looking for a healthy chocolate dessert this isn’t it. This is a blog about celebrating food and life. And celebrate we did.
Happy birthday, my love. Like a fine wine, your taste buds have improved with age. I’m so proud…even if it does mean I have to share my chocolate with you from time to time 😉
Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes
- 2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 3-4 cups of confectioners sugar
Use an electric mixer or kitchenaid to cream the butter. Add vanilla and peanut butter. Add confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup at a time until you reach desired consistency.
Brownie Cake Ingredients:
- 8 ounces of unsweeted chocolate, chopped coarsely
- 1.5 sticks (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter
- 1 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup loosely
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 cups of white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Brownie Cake Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Move one oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and butter the foil. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Place butter and chocolate in a medium size microwavable bowl. Microwave at 50% power until butter and chocolate are completely melted. (About 3 minutes, stirring once per minute). You can also use a double boiler method here if you don’t have a microwave. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until thick. Add chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisk. Add flour mixture and continue to whisk until entirely incorporated.
Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once at room temperature, use a biscuit cutter to cut into small circles. Or, if you’re like me and your biscuit cutter is still in a storage unit from moving, you can use a regular glass with a round rim. They won’t be as precise, but they’ll still taste delicious and that’s all that really matters anyway.
Using a large cake spatula, spread frosting across the mini-cakes. You can also use an icing bag set to pipe it onto the cakes. Stack them on top of each other (however many layers you want!) and go nuts.
Brownie recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.
Frosting recipe from Living Better Together.