I wasn’t really ready to leave the fall like spice cakes and warm wintry desserts that we have been doing the past few weeks but chocolate and peanut butter beckoned and how can you really go wrong with that combination. Once I started reading the recipe I saw that it started off with that most magical of ingredients, beurre noisette and I knew that I was in for a real treat.  I have waxed poetic about the virtues of beurre noisette on many occasions and how it is positively orgasmic when that first waft of warm toasty butter hits your nostrils.  I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen. 

The genoise is that workhorse of French cakes.  It is the basis for many desserts and the starting point for many assembled cakes and desserts.  I have generally used the Julia Child genoise and usually Alice Medrichs chocolate genoise as my go to recipes when I need a genoise.  This one using beurre noisette instead of just melted butter had me intrigued.  Genoise is a delicate cake and many times if not handled properly they can be dry which is often why they use an imbibing syrup to keep them moist.  This genoise I found to be feather like and very very delicate.  It practically didn’t need a syrup and I have to admit that it was so light that I was almost afraid that the syrup with disintegrate it but it turned out fine.  I have to admit that the combination of the raspberry syrup and peanut butter ganache sounded a bit strange to me and it certainly isn’t something I would have tried on my own but it turnout out to be fine.  This cake was a nice light chocolate and not at all intense or cloying which makes it a perfect base for other flavored syrups and just about any type of frosting.  Well, without further ado, let’s get into the kitchen and bake…

I must apologize her as I took many step by step photos and when I transferred them from the camera to my computer some sort of glitch happened and they were all destroyed.  Luckily I took the finished cake photos separately so I at least have a few of those to show you.  On to the baking.

This was one of those way too easy cakes.  I have to admit that I had the ingredients assembled, the batter made and the cake in the oven in about 30 minutes.  Too easy.  To begin, prepare your beurre noisette.  Combine the cocoa, vanilla and boiling water and set aside to cool a bit.  Combine the eggs and sugar and a whisk over simmering water until luke warm.  Whip the egg mixture with a stand mixer for about 5 minutes until it has tripled in volume. In the meantime measure the flower.  When the eggs have tripled, remove two cups of the egg mixture and whisk them into the cocoa mixture.  Sift the flour over the remaining whipped eggs and gently fold it in.  Then fold in the cocoa mixture and finally fold in the butter.  Pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Then unmold onto a rack and cool completely.

Next, make the whipped ganache.  I will admit that I found this ganche as with almost all of Roses’ frostings to be way too soft to work with.  Rose cautions about over whipping this frosting as it may become grainy. She recommends only whipping it until soft peaks form.  I know that I totally over whipped it and it never became grainy but it also never formed soft peaks either.  It was just way too soft to work with and was almost more of a glaze than a ganache. At any rate, it tasted delicious and I did manage to get it on the cake and smoothed out so I won’t complain about it too much but there was no way to do any sort of piping with this ganache.  Is it just me or does anyone else have this problem with Roses’ frostings?

To make the ganache, melt the chopped chocolate using your favorite method, add the peanut butter and whisk until it is melted and fully combined.  Stir in the vanilla and then the chilled heavy cream and whisk until soft peaks form.

To assemble the cake, split the cake layer in two.  Spread about a cup of the ganache on the first layer, apply the top layer and frost the top and sides, smooth the ganache and decorate as desired.  Enjoy!

Next Up:   Lemon Canadian Crown with Ladyfingers