I know, I know – “Claire, d’you think you could have come up with a longer name for a recipe?!” Lemme s’plain… it’s a good story, promise!
I saw an amazing recipe on the I Wash You Dry blog – Chocolate Peanut Butter Earthquake Cake. It had me at ‘chocolate’, let alone the combination with peanut butter that I’ve waxed lyrical about before 😉 And by sheer luck I already had the right ingredients on hand (which certainly helps motivate me to try new recipes).
The only problem was … boxed chocolate cake mix?? Not quite the way we do things in NZ, where ‘from scratch’ is the usual way of making cakes. I needed to find the perfect dense and moist chocolate cake with a soft texture that could double as pudding – I needed something decadent.
Enter ‘Decadent Chocolate Cake’ by Blokes Who Bake, a Kiwi recipe site that served me well during my uni days when I needed quick and delicious recipes. I had loved that recipe so much I’d copied it onto a piece of paper which is well stained from use. Being noble-hearted *scoff* I went back to that site to use as a reference for this post.
But wait a moment… if you just tried to click that link to their website you’ll find (as I did) that the page doesn’t direct anywhere any more. Always up for a bit of a reccy, I searched Facebook and found a fan page of the same name but associated with a different URL, this time a blogspot site also called Blokes Who Bake. So I left this message on their fan page…
…and I waited. And waited. And now, more than a month later, with no reply, I went to their blogspot site and did a search for the beloved decadent chocolate cake. No luck. I sent an email asking if that site was associated with the original Blokes Who Bake site and if it was their recipe after all, but the email bounced ten minutes later.
So here we are, with The Case of the Disappearing Blokes Who Bake (sounds like a crazy apocalyptic exodus, so keep your eyes peeled, baking blokes might be disappearing left right and centre 😉 ). If you know anything, I’m keen to hear! Or perhaps I should file a missing persons report with the police…?!
Good story, huh?? Right, back to the actual recipe…
So using the Decadent Chocolate Cake (that I was thankful I had copied down…) and the sauce recipe from Chocolate Peanut Butter Earthquake Cake, I made what became the Explosion Pudding Cake. It was everything I had hoped it would be, sweet and nutty with just the right amount of sauce to soak into the thick, rich chocolate cake (which is definitely more of a pudding cake than a slice-and-serve-with-coffee cake). Perfect – except you’ll have to take my word for it, because I did not take any photos of its perfection.
“Great,” I thought, “next time we have guests I’ll make it again and take photos for the blog, two birds with one stone!”
Great plan, indeed. Except when I have guests, I’m usually busy making dinner as well and my concentration is not at its peak. And in this case, that meant I was a bit forgetful of just how big this cake was – instead of reaching for my 9″ x 13″ oven tray, I picked a smaller lasagne dish. Big. Mistake. Or not, if you were hoping for an actual baking explosion that matches the cake name…
Now you see why ‘explosion’ is apt.
What is hard to see is just how delicious it (still) was! So below is the recipe – with advice for avoiding actual explosions – because I’m not going to be put off by a little bad decision when I believe that you need this pudding/cake/’splosion in your life.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Explosion Pudding Cake
I’m serious about using a 9″ x 13″ pan – think of the sauce that you are getting short-changed on by letting it explode! If you have a baking dish that is even slightly smaller, I highly recommend halving the quantities below.
Decadent Chocolate Cake recipe from Blokes Who Bake (reference unavailable). Recipe idea and sauce adapted from I Wash You Dry.
Decadent Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Sift these ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl/large jug combine the following:
- 1 cup hot coffee (either instant or plunger coffee)
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk (can use milk from milk powder)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking to combine.
Pour into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish sprayed with oil or lined with non-stick baking paper, then make the Peanut Butter Sauce (below).
If you want to make the cake by itself (without the amazing peanut buttery sauce) bake for approx. 45 minutes in a non-fanbake oven – shorter if you have a fanbake – or until a skewer comes out clean.
Peanut Butter Sauce
- 1/2 cup (125g) unsalted butter
- 250g cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 & 1/2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup miniature Reese’s chocolate peanut butter cups, chopped in half, OR 250g Whittaker’s Peanut Butter Chocolate, chopped (easier to find in NZ!)
Melt the butter in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top. Place the cream cheese in a bowl or large jug and pour the melted butter over it. Use a hand mixer to beat until smooth.
Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat again until smooth.
Beat in one cup of icing sugar at a time.
Spoon blobs of the peanut butter mixture onto the chocolate cake batter.
Scatter the chocolate chips and peanut butter chocolate on top (it will sink as it cooks!).
Bake for approx. 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean from the cake. Let it cool for 10 minutes or so then spoon into serving bowls, making sure to scoop some of the sauce over each serving. Serve with icecream or cream.
Right, that’s enough of exploding things for the day. Next: the wedding cakes of the summer! Stay tuned 🙂