Recipe: The Ultimate Birthday Cake

I implore you not to hate me for this recipe.  It’s the very opposite of Paleo in so many ways, from the name to the ingredients to the final outcome.  Sure, I allow chocolate into my life from time-to-time, but that’s usually in line with extreme mood swings that roll around every few weeks.  I never eat peanut butter.  I never eat sour cream.  I never ingest AP flour or cream cheese or corn syrup.  This recipe has all these things, in ample quantities.

Before you swear off this blog forever, please let me explain myself: these cupcakes were requested by my mother, for whom I made one while experimenting in the kitchen during my pre-Paleo days.  When she asked me to make them for her 55th birthday celebration on Sunday afternoon, I simply could not wave my Paleo flag and say no.  I had intended on re-creating a Paleo version of this cake, but a 55-hour workweek at El Gaucho and a faulty Amazon Fresh delivery got in the way of a complete re-vamping (although several tweaks were made).  The end result: a cake that was infinitely better than the one I made the first time around and that I’m excited to continue to rework on the way to Paleo good-ness.  Seriously, these things are so good that I had one of them and immediately scheduled my next Whole 30 to begin tomorrow so that I could justify having another.  You’ve been warned.

IMG_0086

Chocolate on Peanut Butter on Chocolate on Peanut Butter Cupcakes=
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
2 c. AP Flour
2 1/2 c. coconut sugar
3/4 c. Vahlrona cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. coconut oil
1 c. sour cream, made from raw milk (store bought sour cream works if you’re not feeling ambitious)
1 1/2 c. water
2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with muffin liners

2. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together, whisking to combine well.  Add oil and sour cream and whisk to blend.  Gradually beat in the water.  Add vinegar and vanilla.  Whisk in the eggs and beat by hand until mixture is well blended.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full and bake for 17 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting (I found it best to freeze the cupcakes before frosting them because they are so soft).

3.  To frost, add a layer of peanut butter cream cheese frosting, followed by a dollop of peanut butter chocolate ganache.  Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes before serving, in order to allow ganache to set completely.

Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese
4/5 stick unsalted, grass-fed butter (at room temperature)
4 c. confectioners’ sugar
2/3 c. smooth peanut butter (note: I would have used almond butter… had Amazon Fresh gotten my order right this week)

Method:
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly, for 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

2. Add peanut butter and beat until well-blended

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache

Ingredients:
8 oz. dark chocolate (70% or more cacao), coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter (Again… would have used almond butter.  Stupid Amazon Fresh)
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 c. raw milk

Method:
1. Place chocolate, peanut (or almond) butter, and corn syrup in a microwave bowl and microwave for 1:30, stirring every 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave when chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Whisk in the raw milk, beating until smooth.  Use to top cupcakes while still warm.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hr. +
Serves: Will give you at least two dozen cupcakes, each of which feed 1-2 people.  These suckers are rich, so you’ll get maximum mileage out of them.

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