Stop drooling first. Pick yourself up off the table, take an insulin shot (or two) and get ready for this sucker! For the last two years, I have made Lindy this cake for her birthday! She is a huge fan of anything related to the Chocolate and Peanut Butter variety when it comes to desserts, and who can blame her. They really are the perfect compliment to each other. Reese's Cups, Reese's Pieces, whatever it is, I'm good with it!
Despite the look of the cake, it is in fact a very simple cake to make. The best part of it is that is is covered with so much stuff, that the icing job doesn't need to be perfect, which is always great for me, because despite how many cakes I have made in my life, I just can't seem to get the icing to look like a perfect sheet. I know some would just recommend using fondant to remedy that problem, but I just can't bring myself to use fondant on a cake. It is odd to work with and it doesn't really taste all that good. How many people have you ever known who take a bite of fondant and say outloud, "Man, that tasted good! I think I want more of that stuff!" I would take a wild guess that you probably have never heard that. For those of you blissfully unaware of what fondant is, thank your lucky stars, because maybe you haven't run into it at a wedding reception. It's simply a decorator's tool that creates a solid sheet of white (or color if you choose) over the top of your cake. It is moldable and pliable and can be smooth to make the cake look pristine. If you ask some cake decorator's (like Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes in fact) he will say that the intention is to peel the fondant off, but how is one supposed to know that if they don't know what fondant is. Should one post a sign at a wedding that says "Hey, if you are wondering why the cake kind of has a plastic taste to it, just take the top layer of gummy stuff off!" In my humble opinion, if you are supposed to take something off the cake, why put it ALL OVER the cake in the first place? I can understand, and have been known to do this, using fondant or modeling chocolate as a decorative element, but not to cover the entire surface of your cake.
But I digress! In order to give you the full reciple for the chocolate cake, you would have to look at the ingredient list from a Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. (GASP!) Yes I use boxed cake mixes. I mean, who doesn't some times. Well I don't just use them sometimes, I use them almost all of the time. When you have a good thing going on, and I'll admit that some cake mixes don't, why mess up a good thing? If you can make a good moist cake with a box mix, SO BE IT!! I am not ashamed to say that I use them, and neither should you. People don't make their own ketchup or mustard do they? Nope they buy it premade! So raspberries to all you who would judge me.
Now this cake was in a 10" cake pan and there are 1 and a half box mixes in each pan. They took about 45 minutes total to bake, but as you hopefully know, baking times vary across ovens. Be sure to let the suckers cool! And if you don't have a nifty levelling device, just take a serrated knife across the top of the cake while it is still in the pan to make sure that you can have an even surface to work with once you stack them.
Now for the icing! I modified a recipe that was for some cupcakes I found on Food Network's website. All you need is 1 lb of softened salted butter, about 4 cups of peanut butter, a 2 lb bag of powdered sugar and about 2-3 Tablespoons of whole milk. First mix the butter and peanut butter until it is smooth and then add the powdered sugar and blend well. Add the milk to get the icing to a nice smooth spreading textutre. You may need to add more or less powdered sugar to yours, just watch as you are making it. If it doesn't look like it could be spread, then it probably can't be. This should be enough to ice the entire cake!
When you are stacking the cakes, put a layer of the icing on the top of the first layer. Then unwrap some Reese's cups and place them on top of the peanut butter. I covered the top of the icing with them and then put a little more icing on the top of the cups to make sure they wouldn't move. Next place the other layer on top and start icing the cake.
For the bottom of the sides of the cake, I crumbled up some chilled Reeses in the food processor and used a spoon to push the pieces against the cake. Next I halved some other Reeses and placed them on the top of the cake.
For the chocolate drizzle, I took a small ramekin and filled it with chocolate pieces and added a small amount of vegetable oil. Microwave that for 1 minute and stir to melt it all. Spoon it onto the top and sides of the cake and voila...you have a cake.
Now I used Dark and Milk Chocolate Reeses for this, but you could use all of one type. Or even go for the white chocolate ones, and instead of making chocolate cake, make a french vanilla or white cake. That sounds fantastic actually.
Be sure to enjoy this one with a nice tall glass of milk, because the cake it VERY rich! And don't expect it to stay around for long...