February 14, 2014

Snickers Cake

This recipe has been hanging out in my bookmarks for a while ... probably since August 11, 2013 when Brown-Eyed Baker first posted it. I made it for my husband's birthday, with a few minor modifications. I only have two round cake pans unpacked since we're only temporarily renting this lovely tiny duplex for our family of four ... for more than a year ... temporarily so much of our stuff is in boxes ...

But it worked out OK. I split most of the batter between my two cake pans and filled some large cupcake liners with the remaining batter. The cupcakes became my samples that I could dig into prior to cutting the cake (and no one knows how many cupcakes I actually started with and therefore how many I ate).

Baked on my cupcake consumption, since the cake isn't cut yet, this is phenomenal. A few notes for when I make this again:
  1. For me, the coffee flavor is a bit prominent since I'm not a huge coffee fan. Perhaps a different cake recipe next time.
  2. My caramel turned out well, but this version of caramel scares me. I do better when I start with a bit of sugar and water.
  3. Oh my, the nougat is delicious!

Snickers Cake
2 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp. flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup + 1 Tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 cups strong black coffee, hot
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Nougat Filling
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese,  room temperature
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
2 cups powdered sugar
Milk Chocolate Ganache
8 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Additional salted caramel sauce
Chopped peanuts

For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment and then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix for an additional 20 seconds. (Be careful for splatters as the batter is extremely thin.)

Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes, and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes,  and then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

To make the nougat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat, and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake, stirring occasionally.

For the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Pour in the salted caramel, and beat until combined. Reduce the speed, and slowly add the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half the nougat filling, and then spread with a couple spoonfuls of salted caramel sauce. Top with another cake layer, and repeat the filling ingredients. Top with the remaining cake layer. Frost the cake with the frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Chill the cake for at least one hour to set the frosting.

While the cake is chilling, make the ganache by placing the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream until it is barely starting to boil, and then pour cream over chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes, and then stir to incorporate. Set aside to thicken as it cools.

Pour ganache onto the middle of the cake, so it drips over the sides. Drizzle the top with salted caramel sauce as well. Top with chopped peanuts.

Keep cake refrigerated until 20 minutes prior to serving.  

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