Mar 1, 2014

Peanut Butter Cake & Caramel Mascarpone Whip with Candied Peanuts Parfait

 
I made this with leftovers...can you believe it?  Needing some inspiration for my next creation, I turned to my pantry to see what I had to work with.  I always do this whenever I'm stumped on what to make next.  It's a great place to start unless you're living like a bachelor with half a jar of pimento olives and a highly questionable cucumber in your fridge...then you better just go shopping.  Or call your mother.  Let her cook for you.
 
So I had half a peanut butter loaf in the freezer (the other half was used in a similar trifle recipe for a magazine shoot, will share that beauty with you as soon as it's published!) and a jar of caramel sauce in the pantry.  Another 'I-am-starving-forget-groceries-let's-buy-jarred-caramel' purchase.  And I don't even like jarred caramel.  It's almost always just okay...like getting a C- on a test.  You know, you passed, but it's nothing to celebrate about.  Same with jarred caramel.  Anyway I had it, let's use it.  However I highly suggest to just make your own at least once in your life.  I cannot begin to tell you the inner happiness you will feel after a successful batch of homemade caramel.  However, don't worry, I almost always screw up the first batch and end up making two.  It will burn on you in a second.  Making caramel is a dedicated process.  There are no potty breaks.  No Pinterest pinning, no blinking, no nothing.  Just lots of sugar babysitting.  But its sooooo worth it.  If you need some help to get started, check out my link on caramel here.
 
And my new favorite trick for 2014...mascarpone whip.  It's as simple as can be and even easier than making whipped cream.  Think of it as a blank canvas that can easily incorporate a multitude of flavors.  Caramel, dark chocolate, honey, vanilla, peppermint...really anything that works with your recipe.  And cha-ching!  It's fooooool proof. 
 
Peanut Butter Cake & Caramel Mascarpone Whip with Candied Peanuts Parfait
Ingredients
makes 4 servings using approx. 9.5 ounce glasses, each
 
*You will only need half of the cake for the recipe, depending on the size of your glasses.
 
For the Peanut Butter Cake:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
 
For the Candied Peanuts:
2 cups raw peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Sea salt
 
For the Mascarpone Whip:
8 ounces mascarpone
¾ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup caramel sauce
 
1/2-3/4 cup caramel sauce (depending on how intense you want the sweetness) I used Bonne Maman
 
Directions 
 
***apologies for not including photographs of the cake preparation.  This is something I typically include with every single post but this cake was make ahead of time...regardless it's super easy to throw together!
 
To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan; set aside. 
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
In the bowl of a stand up mixer, combine the peanut butter, oil, and sugar.  Mix until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Add the milk and vanilla and mix until well combined.   
 
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Do not over mix.  
 
Bake for 55-60 minutes.  If the loaf is browning too quickly, cover top with aluminum foil and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove loaf from tin and cool completely on wire rack.  Once cooled, take about half of the cake and cut in into ½ inch cubes.   
 
To prepare the candied peanuts, add peanuts, sugar, and water to a wide heavy duty skillet.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently until the liquids seizes up (about 5 minutes).
 
 

The sugar will start to crystallize on the peanuts, looking a bit crusty.  Lower the heat and scrape down the bottom of the pan once the sugar starts to melt and become syrupy.  Make sure to coat the peanuts well at this point.    If the pan starts to smoke, remove from heat and keep stirring.  Be sure to keep stirring the peanuts so they will be thoroughly coated with the sugar syrup. 
 
 
 
 
Sugar will start to caramelize and the peanuts will be become golden in color.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and remove from heat. Place peanuts on a cookie sheet or mat to cool. *Peanuts can be made days ahead of time and store in an air-tight container for up to 7 days.
 
 
Just prior to assembly, prepare the caramel mascarpone whip.  Add the mascarpone and heavy cream to the bowl of a stand up mixer.  Beat on high until soft peaks form.  Add the vanilla, sugar, and caramel and continue to beat until the mixture thickens.  
 
 
 
 
 
To assemble, place 4-5 large cubes of cake in the bottom of the serving glass.
 
 
 
 *Sorry again!  Something happened with my camera and I lost the last couple photos.  I certainly hope it had nothing to do with the big blog of caramel that I 'drizzled' it with.
 
Top cake with a layer of the caramel sauce, making sure it reaches the sides of the glass so it will be noticeable throughout the layers. Next add a layer of the caramel mascarpone using the back of a spoon to create an even layer.  Continue with a layer of candied peanuts, cake, caramel, and another large dollop of the mascarpone whip.  
 
Cover glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Garnish with chopped candied peanuts and serve immediately.
 
 

Enjoy!
 
candied peanut recipe from David Lebovitz


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