I have a confession. You say birthday I say cake. As in if I hear it is your birthday, your dogs birthday, your half birthday, etc I consider it an occasion to make you a cake. Nothing says I love you (to me at least) quite like homamade loveliness covered in frosting lovingly (although poorly) decorated. Precious little brings me as much joy as being part of a special occasion and being able to bring that person a whole pile of sugar love.
So last week when I heard it was Aaron’s birthday the first words out of my mouth were “Can I make you a cake?”His response was “Well I certainly am not going to turn you down so if you want to…” He requested peanut butter and chocolate. I was set out to make a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Have I mentioned I must be the one person on the planet that doesn’t like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate? However the birthday boy requested it so that was the kind of cake he was going to get.
And somehow this isn’t a cake. Well it is of sorts because it comes out of a springform pan but it more pie like. There is a graham cracker crust and a filling. I did make my very first parchment piping bag to drizzle chocolate over the top. It wouldn’t be a special occasion if I didn’t pipe something on to it. It actually looks ok for a change. I stumbled onto this recipe at sweetapolita.com and couldn’t resist making it.
Happy birthday Aaron. I hope you enjoyed it.
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
8 ounces chocolate graham crackers
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mash up the graham crackers in to a fine powder (food processor, in a bag with a rolling pin, in a bowl with the bottom of a cup). Combine melted butter and crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream). Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.
Notes- The crust was a bit crumbly. If I were to remake it I would do one of two things- instead of just melting the chocolate and spreading it on I would add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to make it a ganache which I think would hold the crust together better. The other thing to try would be to add an extra tablespoon of butter. Just my two cents.