Layers and Layers of Flavor!
As is usual, I was seriously craving chocolate and peanut butter pretty much all last week! So I waited until I knew we were having guests over for dinner on Friday to make a brownie cake with peanut butter frosting layers then smothered in a creamy, thick chocolate frosting and topped with dark chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! Ah-mazing and totally satisfied my craving…this is one rich cake!
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of three 8″ round baking pans.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Set on wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely.
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high-speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled (I let it cool about 1 hour, stirring occasionally)
- 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (no need to sift)
- 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 T Frangelico
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Process until the frosting is smooth.
To assemble cake, cut brownie layers so they have nice flat tops. Place one layer on your cake pan and top with half of the peanut butter frosting. Place another brownie layer on top of that and frost with remaining half of peanut butter frosting. Top with last brownie layer then frost entire cake with chocolate frosting! Top with crumbled Reese’s and eat away!!