Reminiscing about past cake is a terrible idea, mostly because cake memories are not nearly as good as cake-present. Yeah, sure. A recollection of how rich and luscious the chocolate ganache was is always nice, as is the thought of perfectly whipped, sweet frosting. But come on. I’d trade any remembrance of cake for, well, a slice of a cake.
So this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Mascarpone Frosting and Brittle, this very cake of my dreams, only brings back fond recollections. But then I get to thinking about how perfectly moist and peanuty the cake was, how it was filled with dark, silky ganache and a crunchy powder of peanut brittle, how it was frosted is alternatively sweet and tangy mascarpone whipped cream frosting and how on top were perfect fragments of that same sticky sweet brittle, and I curse my brain. I try to shut it off, block the memories! It’s helpless really. I accepted long ago that for about 80 percent of the time, I’ll be thinking sweet nothings of pie, cake, cookies, ice cream and the occasional tart. Most of the time it’s lovely, but every so often I catch myself thinking of dessert when I actually am quite hungry.
It does not help the situation. At all.
Each component of this cake can stand on its own, but combined they create one of the most delicious (and traditional) flavor combinations in a new and luxurious kind of way. Chocolate and peanut butter have never tasted this elegant. Part of that can be attributed to what I’ve discovered is the General Rule of Deliciousness.
What is this rule, which, in general, makes everything delicious? Oh well, I guess I share it with you. For maximum deliciousness, the finishing touch has to be contrasting textures. A little crunch in the filling of this cake is what brings it over the top. The soft cake filled with the similarly textured smooth ganache filling is highlighted by the sweet crunch the peanut brittle adds to each layer. That dissonant surprise sharpens the other textures and flavors. It’s the General Rule of Deliciousness. Try it out, in ice cream, cookies, muffins, anything.
But first, make this cake.
Recipe on the following page.