Friends, I promised you a long time ago that I’d share with you how to make what is (for reals) quite possibly the greatest cheesecake – nay, dessert – I have ever created.

I wouldn’t lie to you, would I? Nope.

And let’s not forget, healthy choices aren’t just about organic rabbit food.

Balance. Right? Right.

So let’s talk about Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, then. I feel like fanfare should blare whenever those words are typed together.

Picture it: August 2012. A certain blogger was about to approach a certain birthday and knew that not just any traditional birthday cake would do. Although Chocolate Truffle Cake is perfection and should never be kicked out of anyone’s party, ever.

Still, it was time for a change. So I (yeah yeah, we were talking about me, surprise!) found something at Tammy’s Recipes, thanks to Pinterest (which by the way I refuse to visit right now since I always become way too obsessed and wind up telling Rob that he has approximately 57 new things to do around the house and then I wonder why a recipe for crock pot chicken has, in fact, never “changed my life”. Is there something wrong with me?).

I fell in love with this beautiful cheesecake. However, I felt like it needed a bit of a shake-up.

I dig white chocolate. I dig chocolate in general. Still…I wanted something a little jazzier.

Then the heavens opened and the angels sang and a voice whispered two sweet words in my ear: Peanut butter

Done.

I have to tell you, I took a total stab at it and added a cup of peanut butter instead of the white chocolate as instructed and it worked tremendously well for my tastes and, as evidenced by the approval I received and the rate at which the cake disappeared, the tastes of everyone else who ate it.

Still, you may want to add more if you want a more intense peanut butter flavor. I can’t speak to how that would affect the texture of the cream cheese, though, so be warned.

Once the cake was baked and cooled, it was time to make the chocolate glaze.

Look.at.that. Just look at it. Take a minute and soak it in.

And in case you were wondering: Yes. It tastes as good as it looks.

In fact the general consensus was “It takes just like a peanut butter cup”. What else do you need to know?

Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary or a Wednesday night, you need to make this cheesecake NOW. And feel free to invite me over to help you, um, get rid of it.

It’s the least I can do.

Sharing with these amazing bloggers.

 

 
Brownies

Double Chocolate Brownies

Gulp. Hold me.

You don’t…sigh…you don’t even understand.

Give me a minute here.

See, years ago there was a brownie born of desperation.  Of random ingredients strewn around my kitchen and a hankering for something sweet and decadent and incredibly bad for me.

These brownies are the love child of that desperation paired with my complete inability to ignore a craving.

The chewy. The fudgy. The “Who Needs Willpower Or Pants With An Actual Waistband” quality of these brownies.

They’re even better than The Baked Brownie, and that’s saying something, people.

They are not to be believed unless you experience them for yourself.

I’m actually debating whether or not I should share this recipe with you. Because I don’t want to think of you being subjected to a life of elastic and lycra as a result of these brownies and my *ahem* generous nature.

I took them to work, people. I took them to work.

And I don’t even love my coworkers like that.

But they sure love me now.

Chocolate Brownies

Such was my fervent desire to get them out of my house, lest my husband come downstairs one morning to find me passed out on the kitchen floor, surrounded by crumbs, milk dribbled down my front.

And a big ol’ chocolatey smile on my face.

Make them at your own risk. That’s all I’m saying.

And if you should happen to have any left over, unlikely as that seems, send them my way.  The least I can do is help you get rid of them, after all.

 

What’s your favorite chocolate recipe?

Sharing with The Country Cook, Jennifer Cooks, Whipper Berry, Dwell on Joy, One Artsy Mama, Tidy Mom, 504 Main, Simply Sweet Home, Rattlebridge Farm, Ladybird Ln, Alli ‘n Sons, 30 Handmade Days, Simply Designing, My Romantic Home, Mom Trends, A Southern Fairytale, Skip To My Lou, Delightfully Dowling, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Lines Across My Face, Mad In Crafts, The Southern Institute, It’s So Very Cheri, CRAFT, Mrs. Happy Homemaker, The Girl Creative, Everything Under The Moon, CraftOManiac, Add A Pinch, Home Savvy A to Z, Sarahndipities, Making The World Cuter, Chef in Training, Crazy for Crust, Hope Studios, Sugar Bee Crafts, A Bowl Full of Lemons, I’m Topsy Turvy, Not Just a Housewife, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, 33 Shades of Green, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Reasons to Skip the Housework, Ladybug Blessings, Tip Junkie, Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy, Today’s Creative Blog, Home Stories A to Z, Raising 4 Princesses, All The Small Stuff, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Trendy Treehouse, Sugar and Dots, Junk In Their Trunk, Lady Behind The Curtain, The Shady Porch, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, This Chick Cooks, We Are THAT Family, Sew Much Ado, Blue Cricket Design, Someday Crafts, The King’s Court IV, Newlyweds, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Bear Rabbit Bear, Somewhat Simple, Between U & Me, Delightful Order, It’s A Keeper
 
Brownies

Pinterest is the devil.*

There.  I said it.

I spend way too much time there, pinning recipe after recipe that I absolutely can’t live without making at least once.  Including the recipe for these brownies.

These decadent, super chocolate, sexy (yes, I said sexy), rich, fudgy brownies.

I read that they were the greatest brownies in the entire world when I found the recipe for Baked brownies at Brown Eyed Baker.  It was an extremely persuasive review, to say the least.

And when Oprah declares something one of her favorite things? It’s no joke.

What choice did I have but to bake them myself? None.  No choice at all.

And in case you were wondering – yes.  My arm still hurts from being twisted so hard.  But I knew that you, my beautiful friends, would benefit from my sharing this recipe with you.

The things I do for you people…

Melt the butter, chocolate and espresso (or, in my case, coffee) in a double boiler, or a large bowl set over simmering water.

Try not to dive in face-first.  If I can fight the urge, so can you.

Mix in the sugars and salt.

Remove the bowl from the heat, make sure the chocolate is around room temperature, and add the eggs and vanilla.  Important: Don’t over-beat the eggs into the chocolate or you’ll go from fudgy brownies to cakey brownies.

Pour the dry ingredients on top and gently fold them in.

Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment or foil.  I used two sheets and laid them in different directions and sprayed them.  Once the brownies are finished, use the foil to remove them from the pan.

Let ‘em cool and cut ‘em.  And you end up with…this.

Yeah.  That just happened.

And now I want it to happen again.  Like, right now.

Sharing with Mangoes and Chutney, EKat’s Kitchen, Mom Trends, Alli N Son, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Bizzy Bakes, Creation Corner, Tidy Mom, 504 Main, Simply Sweet Home, Designs by Gollum, Sugar Bananas, Delightfully Dowling, A Southern Fairytale,  Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Skip To My Lou, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Keeping It Simple, This Chick Cooks, The Lady Behind The Curtain, The King’s Court IV, Passionately Artistic, Pinch of This, That and the Other, Ginger Snap Crafts, Lil’ Luna, Blue Cricket Design, Sugar and Dots, My Girlish Whims, Hugs and Cookies, What Allie’s Making Now, A Glimpse Inside, Something Swanky, The 36th Avenue, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, A Creative Princess, Delightful Order, It’s A Keeper, Frugalicious Me, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, All The Small Stuff, 33 Shades of Green, Reasons To Skip The Housework, Jam Hands, Chef In Training, Blessed With Grace, Sugar Bee Crafts, All Thingz Related, Tip Junkie, Nap Time Creations, The Blackberry Vine, Dr. Laura’s Adventures, Mandy’s Recipe Box, Crazy for CrustFor The Love of BlogsIt’s a Blog PartyNothing But CountryFunky Polkadot GiraffePermanent PosiesThe Kurtz Corner, Sweetology, From Mess Hall to Bistro, Not Just a Housewife, Not Just a Housewife, At Home With Haley, Southern Lovely

*Also sharing with Dutch Being Me as part of the Pinterest Challenge! Are you a fan of Pinterest? Do you like to try the projects you find there? Why not post about your efforts and link up with Julie?

 

 

 

 
Chocolate Cake

Sometimes you come upon an absolutely perfect thing.

A snowflake.  A double rainbow. A child’s laughter.

You realize that your duty – nay, obligation – is to share this perfect thing with the world.

So here I am, once again sharing this cake and its amazing frosting with you all.

It is just.that.important.

See, never in my life have I eaten a cake so moist.  So chocolatey.  So “I need to either eat this whole thing right now or give it away before I eat the whole thing right now”.

And as nice and pretty as it looks, oh believe me – you have no idea how good it really is.

You’ll find yourself convincing family members that they need to have this cake for their birthday, just so you have an excuse to bake and eat it.  You’ll realize out of nowhere that you’ve been sitting at the kitchen table, trying to have a conversation with it.  Your spouse may start talking about it as if it’s a member of the family.

It’s a sad, sad predicament.  And yet oh so worthwhile.  You may mourn when it’s gone but hey – tomorrow is another day, Scarlett.  Another day in which you can bake another cake.

And for the record, I gave almost half of it to my brother.  Well, it was his birthday cake, after all…

Original post here.

 

 Sharing with Designs by Gollum, Simply Sweet Home, 504 Main, Tidy Mom, Delightfully Dowling, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Sugar Bananas

 

Oh, this cake.  This cake this cake this cake.

I have a deep, personal relationship with this cake.  Truly. 

This is my signature cake.  The one I make when I want to impress.  The cake to beat all cakes. 

The one I make when I want to die of chocolate overdose.

I haven’t died yet.  But I’ve come close.  What a lovely way to go.

Wanna know how to make it happen? Let’s get it going.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (or whatever it says on the cake mix box).

First you’ll need a box of chocolate cake mix.  Put it in a bowl.

Then you’ll dump a large (5.9 oz) package of chocolate instant pudding mix on top.  Mix that together.  Or not.  It’ll be okay either way.

On top of that add a cup of sour cream.

Then four beaten eggs.  I have a picture of this but for some reason, Blogger keeps turning it on its side.

Well, you know what four beaten eggs look like.

Add a cup of vegetable oil.

And a half cup of warm water.

Mix that all up together.  And be prepared.

It is THICK!

The first time I made this I literally could not believe how thick this was.  It’s more like a thick mousse than a cake batter.

Pour this into your prepared pans.

Well, maybe not “pour”.  More like “plop and try to spread evenly”.

Good luck with that one.

I used 9 inch pans which were buttered and floured in advance.  For chocolate cake it’s better to use cocoa powder instead of flour…but I didn’t have any cocoa powder.  Still working on stocking my pantry.

You can follow the instructions on the back of the box of cake mix for baking instructions.  The additional ingredients didn’t do anything to change the bake time.  I had the cakes in a 350 degree oven for 33 minutes and they turned out just great!

While the cakes cooled (and they do need to cool totally and completely!), prepare the frosting.

This, friends, is what sends this cake over-the-top in a big way.

I will give you the original measurements here, even though I did 1.5 times the original.  Why? Because I tend to go overboard.  There is no such thing as too much of a good thing in my world.  Hence my figure.

And once again…this frosting is beyond ridiculous.

Heat 2 cups of heavy cream until it is very warm and just about to simmer.

Stir in a quarter cup of light corn syrup.

And then add 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate.  You can use chips or chopped baking squares or a mixture of the two – it matters not.

Mmm…chocolate.

Here’s what this will look like when you first add the chocolate to the cream.

Turn the heat down to low and then whisk…

And whisk…

And whisk some more.

In fact, never stop whisking or stirring or whatever it is you’re doing.  Just never stop until it is all smooth and there are no lumps of chocolate left.

Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner.  Here is what your mixture will look like when you’re finished.

Oh lordy.  Oh lordy, lordy.  Lordy.

Try to refrain from drinking this.  It’ll ruin your appetite for the finished product.

Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover it and place it in the fridge.  This will need to get cold enough to whip up so it’ll be in there for a while.  Don’t be afraid to get in there and stir it once or twice, but it’s not necessary at all.

Eventually…after some time and nail biting and daydreaming…your mixture will be nice and cold.  Time to beat it up!

Finally you’ll get to this lumpy, wonderful consistency.

I love you.

Now, don’t do what I did at this point.  I had visitors show up just as I finished whipping the frosting so rather than leaving it out to get melty (and it will – remember, this is fancy whipped cream we’re talking about here, so it’ll get soft if left out), I popped it back into the fridge for a little while.

Don’t do that if at all possible.  And if you do, let it sit out for a little while before you attempt to frost the cake with it.  Because if you don’t and try to use it right out of the fridge, it’ll be darn near impossible.

Above, you’ll see the bottom layer of my cake prior to the start of frosting.  Notice the squares of waxed paper underneath.  This really is a great technique to clean up smeary frosting.  Use four squares, overlapping them to make sure you cover the whole plate, but be sure that you can easily yank them out from underneath when you’re finished.

And voila! You’ll be left with a neat presentation!

Now let’s skip ahead to the finished product.  Again, visitors distracting me and leaving me unable to take pictures, frost and converse at the same time.

Plus I couldn’t sing love songs to the frosting like I normally do.  Which hurt a little bit.

And here she is.  Isn’t she lovely?

Try to get yours in the center of the plate, okay? Don’t be like me.

And here she is inside.  Because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

I think it’s hysterical that I totally lost my sense of proportion and went INSANE on top.  It’s, like, as thick as the cake itself! Meanwhile, the sides are so poor and almost naked.

Bakerella I am not.  I’m sure she’s breathing a sigh of relief somewhere, knowing that she’s safe from me.

Hey! Again: Visitors.  Distractions.  Plus I had meatballs and baking bread to tend to.

Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.

But not with this cake.  This moist, rich, decadent cake with the frosting that totally melts in your mouth.  Keep it in your fridge so the frosting stays firm.

It should be a sin.  But happily, it is not.

I’m going to eat some of this now.  Because, well, I just blogged about it and looked a many pictures of it.  Plus it’s taking a ton of room in my fridge and I, uh, need to get it out of there.  I’m sure Rob will be heartbroken if he is called upon to help me.

Enjoy!!!

CAKE

1 boxed chocolate cake mix
1 5.9 oz box of instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
3 beaten eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Pour into two prepared pans – follow directions on box for cook times, depending on size and type of pans.

FROSTING
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
8 oz semisweet chocolate

Heat cream and corn syrup until barely simmering. Add chocolate and turn heat to low. Whisk constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin forming on top of mixture. Chill in refrigerator for a least one hour, or as long as it takes for mixture to become fully chilled. Beat mixture once cold until texture becomes thick and lumpy.

Frost cake layers with truffle frosting and enjoy!

Linking up to:

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Sweet and Savory’s Chocolate Obsession

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