The recipe for this fabulous dessert was adapted from the blog www.browneyedbaker.com. I like to make decadent, elaborate desserts, so for my daughter’s recent birthday I had no doubt that this cake would be a fabulous way to mark the occasion. Here’s the description from the author: “A cake reminiscent of a Snickers bar – chocolate cake with peanut nougat filling, covered in a salted caramel buttercream and topped with a milk chocolate ganache and chopped peanuts.” Thanks to the “Brown Eyed Baker” for agreeing to my sharing an adapted gluten-free version of her recipe. I substituted a favorite gluten-free chocolate cake recipe for the cake in her original recipe.The fillings, frostings and toppings are what really make this a fantastic cake, and they are all taken almost entirely straight from the blog.
For the cake: Follow instructions for “Chocolate Cake”
For the Nougat Filling:
4 Tb unsalted butter
1 c. granulated sugar
¼ c. evaporated milk
1 ½ c. marshmallow fluff
¼ c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ c. salted peanuts, roughly chopped
For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
½ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ c. caramel sauce (original recipe calls for salted caramel sauce, which I could not find; so used regular plus a dash of kosher salt)
2 c. powdered sugar
For the Chocolate Ganache
8 ounces chocolate, chopped (use best quality, milk or dark, according to personal preference)
4 ounces (1/2 c.) heavy cream
For the Assembly & Garnish
Additional caramel sauce
Additional chopped peanuts
- Make the Cake: Follow “Chocolate Cake” recipe. Let layers cool completely before proceeding.
- Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this by leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.
- Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed of electric mixer for 5 minutes. Pour in the caramel sauce and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, or until the frosting is set.
- Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.
- Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.
(My modifications: for ganache I used half semi-sweet and half bittersweet chocolate. I did not add chopped peanuts on top.)