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Crunchy Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

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Ingredients
For cake
  Granulated sugar 34 Tablespoon (2 Cups Plus 2 Tablespoons)
  All purpose flour 1 3⁄4 Cup (28 tbs)
  Unsweetened cocoa powder 14 Tablespoon (3/4 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons)
  Baking powder 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Baking soda 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Salt 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Eggs 2 Large
  Milk 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Vegetable oil 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Pure vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon
  Boiling water 14 Tablespoon (3/4 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons)
For filling
  Sliced almonds 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Confectioners sugar 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Egg whites 2 Large
  Granulated sugar 1 Tablespoon
  Roasted salted peanuts 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), coarsely chopped
  Creamy peanut butter 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Unsalted butter 2 Tablespoon, softened
  Milk chocolate 3 Ounce, coarsely chopped
  Rice krispies 1 Cup (16 tbs)
For ganache
  Milk chocolate 1 1⁄4 Pound, coarsely chopped
  Heavy cream 30 Tablespoon, warmed (1 3/4 Cups Plus 2 Tablespoons)
Directions

1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350° Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar with the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then whisk in the boiling water. Pour the batter (it will be thin) into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan.
2. Slide a knife or offset spatula around the sides of the cake: invert the cake onto a work surface. Working carefully, use a long, serrated knife to slice the cake in half horizontally to form 2 layers. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°
3. Make the filling: Trace a 9-by-13-inch rectangle onto a sheet of parchment paper and lay it on a large baking sheet. In a food processor, pulse the sliced almonds with the confectioners' sugar until they're finely ground. In a large bowl of an electric standing mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually pour in the granulated sugar and continue to beat at medium speed until the egg whites form a stiff, glossy meringue, about 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the chopped almond mixture into the whites until combined. Spread the meringue on the parchment paper to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts on top of the meringue. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and firm. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the meringue cool completely.
4. In a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the peanut butter with the butter and milk chocolate and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is completely smooth and melted. Take the bowl off the heat and fold in the Rice Krispies. Spread the mixture evenly all over the top of the meringue rectangle. Transfer to the freezer and let cool completely.
5. Make the ganache: In a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Whisk in the cream until smooth. Take the bowl off the heat and refrigerate the ganache for 1 hour, whisking occasionally, until it is thick enough to spread.
6. Assemble the cake: Place the bottom cake layer cut side up on a large board for serving. Spread one-third of the ganache evenly over the cake. Invert the meringue filling onto the cake and peel off the paper. Spread half of the remaining ganache over the filling, and then top with the second cake layer. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Using a serrated knife, trim the edges. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate to set. Cut the cake into slices, transfer to plates and serve immediately.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Easy
Cuisine: 
American
Course: 
Dessert
Method: 
Baked
Ingredient: 
Cocoa

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