"Eeek - what is that?? Yikes!"
That was my dad's immediate reaction upon seeing the cake I baked him for his 60th birthday. No "thanks!", or "how sweet of you!", or any of that sentimental jargon. Just sheer terror at the prospect of eating: 1. Something his daughter made 2. Something unrecognisable that his daughter made.
You see, my dad is a bit of a hygiene freak. He hates it when other people's cutlery so much as even grazes his food, let alone when other people's manky hands are involved in the making of his food! Luckily, he was blissfully unaware of how many times I stuck my finger in and out of the batter to get a taste before it went into the oven (don't worry, I assume most of my germs died in the fire).
Despite all the chopped Reese's peanut butter cups strewn on top of the cake, my dad could not decipher what flavour it was. Or maybe it was because he was standing too far from my cake to even get a clear visual of what it was. He was like a curious little puppy, ebbing closer and closer to investigate the foreign object before quickly darting away after perceiving the brown mound as a threat.
My dad sure is a character and I love him loads despite all his quirks. He's one of the smartest people I know and has never failed to lend me great advice throughout my life. He's caring (in his own, unique way) and has always made it a point to make sure my family was well taken care of. I don't think I fully appreciated all that he's given us when I was younger, but now that I'm older and earning what is practically minimum wage, I only wish I could go back to living off my childhood allowance!
Anyway, I better get on with the recipe now! I nicked this from The Daring Gourmet.
For the frosting:
- 1 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the cake:
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In another medium mixing bowl, add the peanut butter, oil and brown sugar. Beat until combined and creamy. Next add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
4. Alternately add the flour and buttermilk to the wet mixture, beating until just combined. Be careful not to over-beat or the cake will be dense and dry. A few small lumps of flour is fine (Warning: the batter will be incredibly tasty but try and refrain from eating too much of it, otherwise I guarantee that nausea will ensue).
5. Grease a 9x3 round baking pan then pour the batter in (apologies for my rather unsightly pan. I put it in the dishwasher and it came out looking like so).
6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out moist (it shouldn't be wet with batter or dry).
7. To make the frosting, place the peanut butter and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Beat until smooth and creamy. Next add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, continuing to beat. Add the heavy cream until a smooth and spreadable consistency is reached.
8. Once the cake is completely cooled, dress the cake with the frosting along with some chopped Reese's peanut butter cups, if you feel like being extra fancy! Ok, I admit that the final outcome of my cake looks a tad messy, but maybe you can find a more visually appealing way of placing the cups.
I must say, this cake ended up being quite a success! Despite my dad's initial fear of it, he ended up consuming two bites which according to Papa Teo, "should be seen as a compliment". He claims that his first bite was out of politeness, and the fact that he carried on with another proves that he genuinely enjoyed it. Compliments from Papa Teo are very hard to come by, so I'll take what I can get!
I love you dad!! xx