Some of my friends and I get together every year for St. Patrick’s Day. We’ve been doing this for years now. We’ve lost track exactly how long, but we estimate about 9 years. Every year we threaten to keep notes because inevitably, we always try to figure out when something or other happened. The tradition is to go out to dinner at Bennigan’s and then come back to our house for dessert.
This year I felt a little pressure to make something fabulous. Everyone knows I”m in baking school, so how could I make something second rate? After careful deliberation, I decided whatever I made had to be chocolate. All right, I didn’t really deliberate at all. I always knew it would be chocolate…but what??
Of course, I began to look through Baking from My Home to Yours. And this is what I found…Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake. Who…I ask you…who could resist that? (Besides someone with a peanut allergy…)
A full page photo of the cake showed a rich chocolate cake drenched in caramel and topped with peanuts. It looked amazing. I knew this was it!
The cake was very easy to make. Not much to it really, just a basic chocolate cake recipe. In fact, it was so basic, I was a bit disappointed. Not at the ease of it. Gosh, no…I love ease. The problem was that it seemed, well, ordinary. It was a dry and not as chocolatey as I had hoped. I also thought the name was misleading. It didn’t really resemble a brownie. All of that could have been my fault. I am notorious for overmixing my cakes. I was really careful though so I don’t think it was.
The caramel topping, on the other had was fabulous. FAB-U-LOUS! There is nothing like homemade caramel. You just can’t buy that stuff in a jar. The peanuts were stirred into the caramel and were completely covered with the gooey stuff before the whole pot was poured over the cake top. The caramel oozed over the sides just a bit. The peanuts sat on top in all their glory. It was a beautiful cake to look at the.
And it tasted good. Don’t get me wrong about it being dry and ordinary. It still tasted good. The caramel and peanuts made the cake though. Without them I wouldn’t have wanted to serve it. The peanuts gave it a nice, yummy crunch that was a nice contrast to the cake. The caramel firmed up and was just a touch chewey which gave the whole thing a bit more complexity.
Everyone like it. I don’t think anyone didn’t. But I didn’t get the WOW factor I was hoping for. Oh well…I guess there is always next year.