Welcome Back: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Pie

So I’ve been a long time absent. Sorry! As I recall, a certain Morsel and/or Chip was supposed to be on my case about uploading. She didn’t update much, either, but she doesn’t have a kitchen in which to bake (although that’s changing as she begins to steal other people’s kitchens… or just store baking ingredients in them).

This absence isn’t so much for my lack of baking as it is my laziness how busy I am. I’ll try to catch up with everything soon, because there are definitely a few cakes to post (keep an eye out for a choco raspberry kahlua cake that’s reasonably easy and delicious), some cookies, and probably a few other things I’ve forgotten. Maybe if I’m lucky, I can get a guest post about Full House’s award-winning chocolate almond caramel crunch cake from Reid. Maybe.

This one is something I made right after I got back to school for someone’s birthday. I’ve made it once before for my sister’s birthday, and it’s an easy go-to for anyone who loves yummy, warm, gooey cookies. The base recipe is quite simple and then you can do whatever you want with it (I’ve done both ganache and whipped cream).

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Cake (Adapted from and inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s “Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies”)

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1ish cup peanut butter (to taste)

Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Generously oil a 9in springform pan.

Beat the sugars and butters together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Add in the chocolate chips (and peanut butter chips if you want!), then finally 3/4-1 cup peanut butter, depending on how much you love the magical substance.

Spread evenly in springform pan and bake in middle of oven about 25-30 minutes until edges brown and middle springs back slightly to the touch.

Add either chocolate ganache (see below) or whipped cream, and chill.

Semisweet Ganache

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cups heavy cream

1. Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.

2. Bring heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour cream onto chocolate chips and allow to sit for five minutes. Mix with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted.

3. Mix with immersion blender until shiny and smooth.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Ricotta Cake

There are a few challenges I won’t turn down. One of them is “well, we have a ton of ricotta… unless you happen to have a recipe for a ricotta cake you’ve been wanting to make.” Well, lucky for me, Extraordinary Cakes happens to have an amazing ricotta cake. For Olivia’s benefit, I pretended to make it mildly less bad for you. That and I halved the recipe. And made some things up. Don’t calculate the calories, please.

Blueberry Ricotta Cake (Passion Fruit Ricotta Cake adapted generously from Extraordinary Cakes)

Whole Wheat Ricotta Cake

1 tbsp Country Crock Light buttery spread, melted but not hot
3 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup skim-milk ricotta
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour*
1/2 tbsp baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 300. Grease 6in x 2in round cake pan with melted butter and line the bottom with parchment round.

2. Whip together eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until it is very thick and falls in heavy ribbons, about seven minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together oil, ricotta, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add to mixer.

4. Mix together flours and baking powder. Add to the batter, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Be careful not to overmix.

5. Pour the batter into prepared pan and place on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake about 60 minutes, until cake is golden brown and a center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, then remove from pan and wrap in plastic. Chill until ready to use.

*I would use whole wheat pastry flour and cut down to 2/3 cup next time, as the resulting cake was a little denser than it should have been.

Blueberry Puree

1 cup blueberries (frozen is fine – thaw as necessary)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Mix blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in food processor.

2. Strain through fine-mesh sieve,

Blueberry Simple Syrup

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp blueberry puree

1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

2. Remove from heat and stir in blueberry puree.

Blueberry Whipped Cream

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup blueberry puree

1. Mix cream and sugar to form stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold blueberry puree into whipped cream until combined.

Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. If cake is frozen, allow to thaw. Cut off top 1/4″ cake with long serrated knife to even top as necessary. Slice the remaining cake into two equal layers.

3. Using a pastry brush, moisten the bottom cake layer with 1/2 of the simple syrup. Spread 1/4 of the whipped cream over the syrup.

4. Top with the second layer, and brush with remaining syrup. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.

5. Break top of the cake (the pieces you didn’t eat) into small chunks. Place on baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes, until dry.

6. Chop resulting toasted cake into small crumbs in food processor.

7. Use remaining whipped cream to cover top and sides of cake. Press toasted cake crumbs into sides of cake.

8. Serve slightly chilled.

Viking Cake

This isn’t the last you’ll hear of Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego. Lucky for you, I have Karen Krasne’s Extraordinary Cakes cookbook. Unfortunately, it’s in transit from San Diego to Middletown right now, meaning it’s not with me where it should be. I knew how much I loved the challenges that come from this book and asked my parents to scan over recipes so that Abbey and I could make a monstrosity cake when I was visiting her in San Antonio.

What I love about this cookbook is the amount of labor and steps that go into a single cake. It takes a serious and committed baker to go on one of these adventures. It’s almost too many pieces to list, but I’ll do what I can. Just to preview, the components are below:

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
Cocoa Simple Syrup
Semisweet Kahlua Ganache
Chocolate Creme Brulee
Milk Chocolate Chantilly
Chocolate Almond Praline

Viking Cake (altered a tiny bit from Extraordinary Cakes)

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
1/3 cup butter (cubed), plus 2 tbsp (melted but not hot)
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 cup water, boiled

1. Preheat oven to 275. Grease 9in x 3in springform pan, put line bottom with parchment round.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar until the mixture is very thick and lightens in color, about seven minutes.

3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder.

4. Melt chocolate in small, heatproof mixing bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water.

5. Add cubed butter, then sour cream to mixer and mix until each is fully incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add dry ingredients, careful not to overmix.

6. Boil 1 cup water and add it to the mixer. Mix on low speed until combined and smooth.

7. Pour the cake into prepared pan. Bake until the cake springs back when pressed lightly and a knife blade comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

8. Allow to cool completely, run a knife around the outside and remove the cake. Wrap entire cake in plastic wrap store in freezer until ready to use.

Cocoa Simple Syrup

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

2. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder.

Semisweet Kahlua Ganache

4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp Kahlua

1. Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.

2. Bring heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour cream onto chocolate chips and allow to sit for five minutes. Mix with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted.

3. Add Kahlua and mix with immersion blender.

Chocolate Creme Brulee

7 oz bittersweet chocolate (70%), coarsely chopped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup lowfat milk
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 250.

2. Melt chocolate in medium, heatproof mixing bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water.

3. In a small, heatproof mixing bowl, mix egg yolks with sugar.

4. In a medium saucepan, bring cream, milk, and vanilla to boil, stirring occasionally. Pour this onto egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Strain into chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.

5. Pour into a 9in x 2in round cake pan and bake 25 minutes until set. The top may crack and the center will jiggle slightly. Allow to cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic and freeze four to six hours, until firm.

Milk Chocolate Chantilly

6.5 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof mixing bowl.

2. Bring heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour cream onto chocolate chips and allow to sit for five minutes. Mix with rubber spatula until smooth and homogenous.

3. Cover with plastic wrap anad refrigerate overnight (I froze about 30 minutes because I ran out of time).

Chocolate Almond Praline

3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp lowfat milk
1/3 cup butter, cubed
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup slivered almond, lightly toasted

1. Generously grease a baking sheet.

2. Bring cream, milk, butter, corn syrup, and sugar to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over a medium-high heat. Continue to boil 7-8 minutes, until thick and slightly lighter in color.

3. Remove pan from the heat, mix in cocoa powder. Stir in almonds.

4. Spread onto baking sheet and set aside to cool.

Assembly

1. If cake is frozen, allow to thaw a couple hours. Cut off top 1/4″ cake with long serrated knife to even top as necessary. Slice the remaining cake into three equal layers.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip chantilly until stiff peak form.

3. Using a pastry brush, moisten the bottom cake layer with 1/3 of the simple syrup. Spread 1/2 cup ganache over the syrup, then cover with the frozen creme brulee.

4. Top with the second layer, and brush with 1/3 of the simple syrup. Spread 1/2 cup ganache, then chantilly.

5. Top with the third layer of the cake, brush with remaining syrup. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining ganache.

6. Grind praline to a medium powder in a food processor (hopefully yours is cool enough, because mine wasn’t!) Press pralines into sides of the cake (if it ground finely enough) and sprinkle the rest on top of the cake.

7. Serve slightly chilled.