Yes, the ingredient list looks lengthy, but you can omit the ganache and burnt peanuts if desired and double the amount of frosting to entirely frost the cake. I think you will find a whole new meaning of decadence once you have tried this cake.
What is “bloom“? When you whisk a dry (in this case cocoa) with a hot liquid; and for some scientific reason, the flavor of cocoa multiplies substantially, giving you a deep chocolate flavor, especially when you add even more chocolate to the blooming process.
Many of you may remember either the Boston Baked Beans (the little red, rock-hard candies) of old, or grew up eating French Burnt Peanuts. This is a Yanked version of each, which lends a terrific salty-sweet crunch to this dessert. This cake easily makes 10 large servings.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 4 ounces chocolate chips
- As needed Nonstick cooking spray
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup oil
Peanut Butter-Cream Frosting
- 1 (16-ounce) tub buttercream frosting
- 1/2-3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
Boston Burnt Peanuts
- 1 cup peanuts or nuts of your choice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 drops red food coloring
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 Begin blooming by adding the milk, cocoa and chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir a few times until everything is melted and combined well, but do not allow mixture to boil. Remove from heat; set aside.
- 2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- 3 In a large bowl, blend flour, brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Add beaten eggs and oil, along with bloom mixture. Whisk (or use a beater or electric mixer) until batter is smooth and chocolaty.
- 4 Pour into prepared loaf pan, it will come up to about 2/3 full. Bake 44-46 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when pressed in the center. Remove from oven to cool slightly before loosening the sides and cooling completely on wire rack.
- 5 Prepare frosting by beating buttercream frosting with peanut butter until creamy.
- 6 Make Boston Burnt Peanuts by placing peanuts, brown sugar, water and food coloring in a large, nonstick skillet, stirring well. Over medium high heat, cook mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring almost constantly until the sugar has created a syrup. Remove from heat and pour onto prepared cookie pan to cool completely. Break it up to desired sizes when hardened.
- 7 Make ganache by placing chocolate chips in a bowl with milk. Microwave for 1 minute, remove and stir until smooth. Keep heating in 15 second increments if needed to melt chocolate; set aside.
- 8 When cake has cooled, horizontally slice cake into 3 layers of equal thickness (the top will obviously be higher). Spread half the frosting over the first layer and top with middle layer. Spread on remaining frosting and top with rounded top layer. Pour melted ganache over the top and dot with Boston Burnt Peanuts.
- 9 NOTE: The Boston Burnt Peanuts can be done while cake is cooking and they can cool as the cake cools.