Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And yes, most things in life right now are green and minty.
But I’m gonna go ahead and do a 180. I’m bringing you peanut butter.
And if you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of brushing your teeth after you’ve had peanut butter toast for breakfast, you know exactly how much peanut butter and mint don’t go together.
Not quite as bad as mint and orange juice, that’s truly the worst. But PB + Mint made a really good run for 2nd place.
Why did I ignore everything green, minty, Bailey’s, and Guinness to bring you this chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness instead?
Because apparently I am really bad at being Irish this year. Like I forgot to wear green today, bad.
Who forgets to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day when they are actually Irish, and went to Catholic school as a child where you are trained from an early age that you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? Me. The girl bringing you peanut butter on mint’s unofficial national holiday.
Seriously, I even accidentally ended up wearing purple for St. Urho’s day yesterday. What’s that, you ask? It’s a Finnish St. Patrick’s Day. You wear purple and drink beer. Am I Finnish? Nope. I’m small and brunette. I’m like what the Finnish people keep as a cute pet in the land of their giant golden gods. But I still ended up wearing purple yesterday, and somehow completely blanked on wearing green today.
But before you send your hordes of angry leprechauns to pinch me, let me at least justify why this peanut buttered chocolate mountain of wonder still totally qualifies as a St. Patrick’s Day treat.
When one of the chef’s from The Oceanaire Seafood Room taught us how to make their death by chocolate cake, a seven layer flourless chocolate torte with chocolate butter cream and ganache, the brought in the real deal for us to sample.
And the real deal weighs 30 pounds. It’s seriously the biggest cake you will ever see. They brought it in using a giant plastic tub. And they set it right in my line of sight. Good thing for them there was a kitchen counter, several hot burners, and a few sets of knives in the way.
But I digress, the point here, is that they gave us 1/3 of the recipe, so a 10 pound cake essentially, and what did I decide to do? Add peanut butter to it. Because clearly a 10 pound cake made from the recipe a famous restaurant gives you isn’t good enough until you’ve junked it up even further.
So, as you can see, while I appear to be slacking on my St. Patrick’s Day duties, I am secretly the most Irish of them all. My giant peanut butter cake embraces the insanity of wandering the streets drunk, drinking green beer, doing jigs, and eventually hunting for tiny bearded men with pots of gold.
And since everyone in the whole United States who is not even Irish still gets a pass on St. Patrick’s Day to drink green beer and test out their terrible Irish accents, shouldn’t I be cut a little slack?
Ingredients (makes one giant cake):
- 20 ounces of chocolate chips
- 14 Tablespoons of butter
- 10 egg whites
- 10 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
Peanut butter buttercream:
- 4 sticks of butter
- 2 cups peanut butter (you can adjust per your tastes)
- 4 cups powdered sugar (more or less, depending on your desired consistency)
Chocolate peanut butter ganache:
- 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces chocolate chips
1. Preheat your oven for 315 degrees. Melt the chocolate chips with the butter using a double boiler.
2. Whip the egg whites and the salt until stiff, but not dry, and set aside. Then whip the egg yolks with the sugar in another bowl for 10 minutes, or so there is a receding line and the yolks are no longer rising.
3. Add the cooled melted chocolate and the cocoa to the yolk batter and whip. Then fold in the egg whites.
4. Spray three round cake pans, or one large, rimmed jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray, and dust the insides with cocoa powder to help prevent sticking. Bake for 24 minutes, or until the middle is set.
5. While the cake cools, mix the butter and peanut butter together in a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar in batches, mixing slowly to avoid a powdered sugar explosion. Set aside until it’s time to frost.
6. Once the cake is completely cooled, you can begin assembly. If you’re using a jelly roll pan, cut the cake into thirds, and use those as your three layers. Place the bottom layer on a plate or serving dish, and top generously with the peanut butter buttercream. Add the next layer, and continue, topping with the buttercream. Use the remaining butter cream to frost the sides of the cake, and store it in the fridge until it’s time to add the ganache.
7. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the chocolate chips to the cream, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Fold the chocolate and the cream together. If you find it’s not completely smooth, stir over low heat for a few seconds.
8. When the ganache is slightly cooled, and the frosted cake is chilled, pour the ganache on top of the cake, and smooth with an offset spatula. Keep in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve, and use a knife run under hot water to cut your slices.