Monday, September 22, 2008

Dorie's Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with The Barefoot Contessa's Peanut Butter Frosting, Fresh Peach Pie, and Banana Bundt Cake

This past weekend I was able to get together with a bunch of friends for lunch and some catching up. My friend's husband made us the best curry and bulgogi (Seriously, to die for- I have to get the recipes), and I really wanted to provide dessert. You see, get togethers give me the chance to make treats that I have on my "to-make" list, and I usually knock out at least 3 at a time.

So, then I had to decide what was going to be made. The almost rotten bananas and overload of peaches made two of the choices easy, but on the third I was going back and forth. I had seen a post for this Dorie/Barefoot Contessa combo dessert (here on Smells like Home and also here on Slow Like Honey) and everywhere else and knew it couldn't miss. How could combining Dorie and Ina go wrong? Especially when you are mixing choco and pb? If you only make one dessert in your life, make this Cocoa Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. It was divine. I made cupcakes because they are easier to feed more people and not as hard to transport.

The Peach Pie is a no-bake filling and super easy, plus it is delicious. It is a recipe from a family friend, from my childhood that we make every year when the peaches are ripe. Everyone thought they would just have a half a slice, but it was the first thing that disappeared.

The Banana Bundt was wonderful as well. I made it the night before as Dorie suggested and wrapped it in plastic wrap over night and drizzled the icing right before we got in the car. It was so much fun to see old friends and eat yummy food. I think I try to eat healthy at breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I can enjoy delicious treats like this a few times a week. Yummy! (Exercise helps too)

Cocoa Buttermilk Birthday Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
source- Baking: From My Home to Yours and Barefoot Contessa
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk I used low-fat because that is what I always buy
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional) I used 3 oz.
Countless amounts of miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups, smashed or cut up
Peanut Butter frosting recipe follows

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet. (I made 18 cupcakes and 12 mini-cupcakes)
To make the cake: Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then the yolks one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); mix only until each new batch is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and, if you want, add the melted chocolate, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
Bake for 26 to 30 minutes (I baked the minis for about 14 minutes and the other cupcakes for 19 minutes), or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
To Assemble the Cake: Place one layer top side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Frost the top of the layer, and sprinkle the smashed up peanut butter cups inside. Be careful to not overload the inside with peanut butter cups or else it will look uneven when you place the top layer.
Next, cover with the second layer, top side down. Frost the sides and top of the cake, either smoothing the frosting for a sleek look or using a spatula, knife or spoon to swirl it for a more exuberant look. Press the remaining peanut butter cups around the sides of the frosted cake, and if you want you can sprinkle them on top too.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour (or for up to 1 day, if that’s more convenient) to set the frosting, then bring it to room temperature before serving.
Peanut Butter frosting: from The Barefoot Contessa
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Nancy Morgan's Fresh Peach Pie
1 refrigerated pir crust, or your favorite pie crust recipe, baked and cooled
2 Tbls graham cracker crumbs
5 large fresh peaches, peeled and pitted
3/4 cup sugar or less, to taste
1/2 cup water
3 Tbls cornstarch
2 Tbls butter
1/2 tsp almond flavoring

Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs onto bottom of pre-cooked pie shell. Slice 3 peaches and arrange slices over the crumbs, layering as needed.
Mash the other 2 peaches, with sugar, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling or thickened.
Remove from heat and add butter and almond flavoring.
Pour over the sliced peaches in the pie crust and chill for 3-5 hours.
Serve with whipped cream.

Classic Banana Bundt Cake from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: from my home to yours
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2-1 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. (I used Crisco baking spray with flour)
Whisk together the flour, soda, and salt.
Beat the butter in a large bowl, until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally mix in half of the dry ingredients, all the sour cream and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to debubble the batter and smooth the top.
Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes-if its browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
If you've got time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving- it's better the next day.

Lemony White Icing
Sift 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar into a bowl and squeeze in enough fresh lemon juice (start with 2 tsps and add more by drops) to make an icing thin enough to drizzle down the Bundt's curves.


Steph said...

Your friends were very lucky to be able to enjoy your desserts. That peanut butter frosting is to die for! All your pictures are gorgeous!!

Thanks for the award!

Lisa said...

Wow, when you bake you go all out, don't you? They all look delicious!

Prudy said...

This all sounds so wonderful, I really do think you are getting the best food of anyone out there. I've made the buttermilk cake, and I even frosted it with my own PB frosting, but mine was not pretty. I just frosted with a knife and your piped ones look sooo good. I have to make cupcakes for the YW and YM so I'm definitely going to make it your way with little mini on top and piped frosting. The peach pie looks so good and guess what? We made your peach ice cream and we are in heaven. It's so yummy. I thought I'd make the cinnamon wontons too, but haven't got there yet and now ice cream is almost gone. I've made Dorie's banana cake too but now I want to make it again and I've got four bananas that are iffy at the moment. A couple more days should do the trick.

Maria said...

Look at all of those desserts! I am drooling. I keep telling myself I am going to be better and not eat sweets but I just can't do it! I love them too much! Your spread looks great! I am glad you had fun with your friends.

Maria said...

Hey! Glad you are going to try pretzels! I would do Bobby's version. We like both, they are very similar but Bobby's were a little softer and the cheese sauce Josh made this last time is killer! Good luck. Let me know if you have any other questions!! I also recommend doing some cinnamon sugar ones with a little glaze, they are delicious!

Aggie said...

I think I just gained 5 pounds. These all look out of this world. I love the way your cupcakes turned out! I have been wanting to try that frosting. I have to start piping looks so pretty!

Congrats on your awards by the way!

Bridgett said...

My goodness, I would have the worst time picking which one to try first! Your friends are incredibly lucky to have you at their parties.

Jenny said...

Loving ALL these recipes. You are so talented girl! It all looks fantastic!

Alexa said...

What a lucky group of friends! Those treats look so decadently delicious. The pictures are so enticing...Drool..Drool...

The Blonde Duck said...

You're amazing! I love these treats!

Jeena said...

I just had to pick my tongue up off the floor and roll it back up into my mouth because I was drooling that much at those photos!!!!

What amazing recipes your presentation is beautiful, those frostings look so thick and creamy YUM.

Jake B. said...

Ummm...Mary Ann, Will you marry me? :)

Leslie said...

Thanks so much for your visit to my blog! The Oreo Turkeys would be very cute for a Thanksgiving Birthday!
I dont think I have visited you blog os wonderful..great photos and great food!!!

Mary Ann said...

Umm Jake, you are super sweet, but that would be breaking the law. You know I will make you breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert of your choice at any time. I am even willing to bring it to you. Just let me know
Love ya!
p.s. how is the pesto pizza coming along?

Mary Ann said...

And, I am already happily married!

Holly said...

I am drooling. I at 5 cupcakes that day, one at 3 am. It was SOOO good. Seriously. I'm working on a marketing plan for you. You're a flippin' baking genius!

camillamccammon said...

I am so glad that you put those recipes on there, I was going to call you to get them. Thanks for coming and bringing those to die for desserts.

amylou said...

I stumbled upon this blog months ago and made a note to try to make the birthday cake with peanut frosting. The frosting was fabulous. The cake I had really high hopes for, and followed every step by the book. I only baked it for 20 minutes, checked it, and put it back in for three. I let it cool in the pan for about 10 min, then flipped it onto a cool counter top. The texture was so dry, that one completely split in half! The other I was barely able to save, but if it didn't cost me $40 for the ingredients, I would have thrown it out, it was so dry. I hoped for a better outcome. Maybe I left it in the oven a couple minutes too long? Anyways, just sharing my experience with this recipe. Hope others turn out better!