Peanut Butter, Caramel & Chocolate Drip Cake

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This cake is highly over-the-top, but highly delicious. 3 layers of rich dark chocolate cake slathered in salted caramel sauce and peanut butter frosting, draped in chocolate ganache and topped with all things good: honeycomb, caramel macarons, peanut brittle, maltesers, snickers pods, jersey caramels and caramel popcorn.

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Ingredients (serves 16)
Chocolate Layer Cake
2 boxes dark chocolate cake ( I used Betty Crocker moist devil’s food cake)

Salted Caramel Filling 

Peanut Butter Frosting
1 ½ cups smooth peanut butter
375g butter, softened
6 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Dark Chocolate Ganache
170g dark chocolate melts
¾ cup cream
1 ½ teaspoons corn syrup

Toppings
1 x packet Snickers pods
1 x packet caramel popcorn
1 x packet jersey caramels (halved diagonally)
1 x packet peanut brittle
1 x packet Maltesers
Salted caramel macarons (optional)
Honeycomb

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Method
Make 4 cakes, according to packet instructions, by halving the batter from each cake mix. Carefully trim cooked cakes where necessary to ensure they are perfectly flat, and use the best 3 (freeze the 4th for another time, or add a 4th layer if you really want to impress).

To make the frosting, beat peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and slowly add the icing sugar. Add the milk and beat until just combined.

Spread a generous layer of frosting onto the bottom cake layer, and then top with caramel filling. Repeat with the remaining layer/s.

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Spread frosting onto the top and sides of the cake – don’t worry if you get crumbs in it, this is called the crumb coat. Using a spatula or protractor (as I did!), scrape off excess frosting so you have a thin smooth layer.

Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes or until frosting is firm. Add a second layer of frosting onto the top and sides of cake, using the protractor again to scrape off the excess and create a smooth finish. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.

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Place chocolate melts into medium bowl and set aside. Heat cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat just until it almost starts to simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup.

Use a spoon to add a few purposeful drips over the top edge of the cake. Then spoon more ganache on top of the cake, allowing it to drip at varying points around the cake.

Top cake with honeycomb, caramel popcorn, maltesers, jersey caramels, pods and macarons. Enjoy!

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Snickers Cupcakes!

The exclamation mark in the title is necessary because these are the best cupcakes I have ever eaten (and I’ve sampled A LOT of cupcakes in my time). I made them for a family birthday party by combining a number of different recipes so that these cupcakes are like a deconstructed Snickers. Everyone went crazy for them, not that I blame them, because who doesn’t love Snickers? With a dense, fudgy chocolate base, a light and fluffy peanut-nougat icing and oodles of caramel, these cupcakes are to die for and I can imagine them becoming a firm family favourite.
EDIT 2015: Still a winner! I made these for my 21st birthday celebrations with family & friends and the went down a treat 🙂 
Elise August 2015 182

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Ingredients (makes around 30)
Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
350g butter
450g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
2 ½ cups caster sugar
1 ½ cups almond meal
2 cups cocoa
10 eggs
2 tspns vanilla extract

Peanut Nougat Frosting
1 cup smooth peanut butter
250g butter, softened
4 tspns vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
2 tblspns milk
Salted peanuts (chopped), remaining caramel, melted dark chocolate & chopped snickers, to decorate

Caramel
100g butter
⅔ cup soft brown sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
½ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 140°C. Line 3 12-hole muffin trays with patty pans (about 30).

Combine butter, chocolate and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Mix continuously until melted and smooth. Sift the almond meal and cocoa into a large bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and beat for 1min on a low speed. Add eggs two at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Divide mixture evenly between patty pans (filling each about ¾ full) and then bake for  30mins or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the tray and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely before icing and decorating.

As cupcakes are baking, make the caramel sauce. Combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup and cream in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil for at least 5 mins. Take off the heat and cool to room temperature.

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Once the cupcakes are cooled, dig a small hole at the top of the cakes with a teaspoon.

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Fill the holes with the cooled caramel.

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To make the frosting, beat peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and slowly add the icing sugar. Add the milk and beat until just combined.

Using a piping bag with a star attachment, pipe the frosting in a circular motion onto the cupcakes, starting around the edge so that you form a soft-serve ice-cream effect. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce, melted dark chocolate and then top with salted peanuts & chopped snickers. Enjoy!

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Elise August 2015 182

Cupcake recipe adapted from the Crabapple Cupcake Bakery Cookbook.