I’ve been baking cakes since I was about nine years old. Back when all I had at my disposal for mixing them was an old rotary beater from the ’60s.
Apparently those beaters are worth a bit now … collectors’ items … wish I’d kept it instead of getting so excited at the arrival of an electric hand-held mixer at our home.
In any case a beater or mixer is only needed for a small part of this recipe.
I decided to make my own birthday cake this year as that way I actually get one. I’ve bought cakes in the past as the rest of the family believes that birthdays need cakes (no-one seems to extend that rule to making one though) and while they’ve been good there’s generally not a huge taste variation available with good, bought flourless cakes.
The flourless part? I’m gluten intolerant and the best gluten-free cakes are the flourless ones in my opinion. Forget flour substitution. Just don’t work with it in the first place, I say.
Makes for a cake that is fudgy and, on this occasion, supremely chocolately with a salty finish.
I don’t know where the need to combine flourless chocolate goodness with peanut butter came from but it started me on an experimental path that I’m glad I went down.
The cake itself is an adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margarita Cream which I whipped up for Mr SY’s birthday (you’ll find a visual here).
The dark chocolate peanut butter ganache on top (best served up warm) I adapted from here. I’m a dark chocolate girl but that’s just me, maybe you love milk chocolate. Whichever your poison, choose the best quality your budget will allow. It will pay off for you in taste big time.
BTW, this cake comes with a decadence warning … but you already knew that didn’t you?
- 150g dark chocolate (chopped)
- 150g soft unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- Dark chocolate peanut butter ganache (recipe below) and Darrell Lea Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brittle to serve
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line 23cm springform baking tin with baking paper and grease sides with butter.
- Melt butter, chocolate and peanut butter together in a medium saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together until about tripled in volume, pale and moussy. I used my Thermomix and the butterfly attachment but any mixer would work.
- Gently fold ground almonds into the egg and sugar mixture, followed by the slightly cooled chocolate mix.
- Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes. The cake will be firm on top but still moist underneath when done.
- Remove from the oven and sit the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool. Or serve warm with the warm ganache sauce and crumbled dark chocolate peanut butter brittle.
- To make ganache sauce: warm on low heat one cup of cream in a small saucepan, add 200g dark chocolate, 2tbsp unsalted butter, 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix until all have melted and whisk to a smooth, shiny consistency. Pour immediately on cake or gently reheat for later.
If you were making your own birthday cake, tell me what you’d make?