Anyway, my recipe collections to tend to the dessert side, and I have quite a pile of untried treats. However, Deb of Smitten Kitchen recently referred to a cake she'd made a while back, and the timing was just right to catch my attention for my birthday cake. I make my own, you see, because that way I get just what I want. Most of the time. :)
So, the recipe is for Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze, and originally came from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman. I'm not that fond of peanut butter so I decided to try substituting almond butter. Worked great, even though the Trader Joe's almond butter was pretty runny and not, of course, homogenized. The recipe's caution about the oil separating out was unneeded...or maybe the cake just didn't stay around long enough for that to be a problem. I did add a little more powdered sugar to the frosting to stiffen it a little, and also kicked in a little almond extract because almond butter is a less assertive flavor than peanut butter.
The cake is a one-bowl affair make with oil instead of butter. And it is a really thin batter--I really thought it might not bake up, but it did indeed. The cake was really delicate so I did as Deb suggested and froze the layers before trying to assemble the cake. Even then it was fragile. The frosting is made with cream cheese and was really luscious.
Three layers of chocolate cake, with a thin coating of the frosting to glue the crumbs down.
On top goes a glaze--really a ganache, with a little almond butter and a couple tablespoons of corn syrup. I used most of a block of semisweet Scharffen Berger chocolate.
Pour that over the top, and let it drip down the sides....but I frosted the cake Saturday night and made the glaze Sunday morning, so the cake was really cold. Should have poured the glaze when it was a little warmer for better "drips". OK, and maybe more practice as a food stylist would help...
But that's OK, the inside was just fine. The folks next door and I ate about a quarter of it, I put a small wedge in the freezer for a future treat, and took the rest to my office to pass around. It was gone in no time.