One of the best things about blogging is going through your comments inbox. Usually this just entails clicking through a huge amount of spam, but sometimes you come across a comment from an actual person. Someone who isn’t trying to sell you stuff or wants to use your blog for some cheap advertising. No, someone who actually likes your blog!
When it comes to comment moderation, it has been a great week! Quite a few people have taken the time to reach out to me to tell me that they really loved ‘The Battle of the Buttercreams‘ series! I’m just so ridiculously stoked about it! Plus, today I received the cutest comment ever! Guess who it’s from? From Sally! You know, the girl who came up with the Caramel Molasses Cookies recipe! The girl who runs Sally’s Baking Addiction! The girl I’m presenting with a personal recipe for my ‘Making Friends’ campaign today!
She said she really loved my post and that my cookies looked perfect! She even told me my post made her afternoon! I’m so excited to know that someone I admire actually read and likes my blog! About a week ago, I also received a very nice comment from Emma, the girl behind Poires au Chocolat, telling me that she is going to try my recipe soon and that she has always wanted to make a pear soufflé! I’m just so glad that my attempt to make some blog friends is turning out to be a fruitful one!
Like this cake I made Sally!
It also has fruit in it…
But first a little confession…
Everyone who knows me knows that I love peanut butter. As a little kid, I was fascinated by a story my mom used to tell me. It was about a girl who loved peanut butter so much that every year for her birthday, all she ever asked for was a jar of peanut butter. No toys. None of that. Not even a birthday cake. Just the peanut butter. The girl, who was apparently the complete opposite of me (aka: not hungry and very patient) would limit herself to eating one single spoonful of peanut butter each day, rationing it until her next birthday, when she would get another jar.
Even though I loved peanut butter as a kid, I wasn’t a fool and always asked my mom to buy me toys and such for my birthday. Never peanut butter. But nonetheless, the story fascinated me…
Ten years later, that same fascination struck me as I was watching Nigella Lawson make a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. It looked gorgeous and I was sure it would taste amazing. So I got out my brand new food processor (Christmas gift from the Rocking Rebel) and set to work in my sister’s kitchen. You see, I was still living at home at the time and because my youngest sister is not supposed to breath in peanuts due to a severe tree nut allergy, I was forced to make the cheesecake at her place. Not that she and her little kiddies minded that very much… In fact, after the cheesecake had cooled, they sat themselves at the kitchen table while I cut up the cake. We all sank our teeth into it at the same time and…
… to this day I still burst out laughing whenever I think about those little faces wanting to gag but trying their best not to because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings!
The cheesecake was terrible. Horrible. I’m sorry Nigella, I love you and your roast chicken, but the cheesecake was the worst. In fact, we used it to prank the Rocking Rebel and my brother-in-law, offering them a piece when they came over and capturing their disgusted faces on camera…
So even though the cheesecake was a huge failure, my sister, the kids and myself had a great day!
Anyway, my point is that, although I love, love, LOVE peanut butter, I’m a bit wary when it comes to peanut butter cakes.
At least: I was. Until this baby came along!
Because I wanted to make Sally something special and creative and because I wanted to use her favorite flavors for this friend-making cake, I was forced to use peanut butter in my baking this time. You see, even though Sally’s favorite dessert is an apple-upside down cake, she loves to bake with peanut butter and her tastebuds are all about mint chocolate, sprinkles, margaritas, more sprinkles and… peanut butter!
So I faced my fears and whipped something up, combining 3 of Sally’s favorite flavors into one cake: peanut butter, caramel and apple.
And now peanut butter cakes no longer gross me out…
This cake has converted me…
It is THAT good!
Having read her posts, I knew that Sally is quite particular about peanut butter cake, so I used her recipe for peanut butter cake from her post on Fluffernutter Cake as my base to make sure she would love it! I adapted it slightly, using buttermilk instead of regular milk, because I only had the buttermilk. It worked brilliantly though! The cake was moist and full of flavor! However, I couldn’t just make her a peanut butter cake, right? It had to be something special! So I decided to pair the cake with juicy apples, because she likes apple-upside down cake so much! And that wasn’t all, after the cake came out of the oven, I added a sweet golden caramel drizzle and sprinkled over some salted chopped peanuts…
It was to die for!
So on with the friend-making!
I’m so glad you left me a comment! I was going to send you one after I posted the recipe for this cake, but you got to me first. I take it you already know a thing or two about my ‘Making Friends’ campaign – I mean, you’ve read my post on your Caramel Molasses Cookies. Still, I’ll just explain things for you here.
Because I’m basically the new kid on the block when it comes to blogging, I thought I’d introduce myself to the bloggers I really admire. And I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than with a beautiful, homemade cake! Well, not a real cake, of course… But the next best thing: a personal recipe!
So I made this one for you! Because I love your blog, your amazing photo’s, your delicious recipes (next on my to-bake list: your Homemade Extra Cheese Pizza and your Biscoff White Chocolate Blondies) and the fact that you’re a peanut butter addict like myself!
I really hope you like it!
Oh, and as you can see: I’ve finished the jar of caramel…
- 115g (or ½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g (or ¾ cup) dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 170g (or ⅔ cup) creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 160g (or 1¼ cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 large (260g) apple, I used Jonagold
- 100g (or ½ cup) granulated sugar
- 45g (or 3 tablespoons) salted butter
- 60ml (or ¼ cup) whipping cream
- a handful of salted peanuts, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and line a 1.8 liters loaf pan with baking parchment. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. This may take up to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Scrape own the sides of the bowl every now and then to make sure it all combines beautifully. Add the peanut butter and the vanilla and mix for about 2 minutes, or until the batter is smooth.
- In a another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients have absorbed the wet ingredients. The batter will be very thick at this point. Add the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the surface with a rubber spatula. Wash the apple, quarter and core it then cut the apple into thin slices. Arrange the slices down the middle of the pan, inserting the slices about ½-cm (¼-inch) into the batter. Bake the cake for 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The edges of the cake will bake first, but the batter underneath the apples takes a little longer, so check there for doneness. Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Leave to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Heat granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. Very slowly, drizzle in ½ cup of heavy cream. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils. Remove from heat and allow to cool down before using.
- Once the cake has cooled, drizzle generously with the caramel sauce (I used a fork for this) and sprinkle over the salted peanuts. Cut thick slices of cake and... enjoy!