It is no secret that I favour quick, healthy and easy food. Meals that are fresh, and that can be thrown together with relative ease. This cake is none of those things.
For it involved multiple steps, a few days to make, and is positively laden with chocolate and calories. But the whole process was rather fun. From an idea, to a finished product, created mostly while the kids slept. All with a sense of gratefulness that I had found myself with some spare and un-rushed moments to get creative in the kitchen once more.
However the hidden story behind this cake starts with peanut brittle. And the distinct lack thereof in the finished product. For when creating this cake in my mind, I had envisaged that it would be topped with peanut brittle shards (although I didn’t feel like making the peanut brittle myself…yes I am still a bit of a sugar-making-gumbie). First shop – sold out. Second shop – none to be found. Third shop – sold out. And even a fourth mercy dash to another supermarket at 7.00am proved fruitless. Seriously! There is apparently a peanut brittle shortage in Canberra!??
Anyway I went with plan B, and created some white chocolate / honeycomb bark to decorate the cake instead.
Then later that day, while innocently standing in line at the post-office – there it was. A bag of peanut brittle on the shelf beside me. One lonely little bag. Taunting me. And with my cake already decorated with the ‘plan B’ white chocolate bark, it appeared that Murphy had struck again. But the end product was a little different to what I had envisaged, I was still really pleased with the overall result. Inspired by the iconic crunchie bar, this chocolate cake has a thick layer of rich honeycomb buttercream, and is covered with a silky dark chocolate ganache outer layer.
Finished with a sprinkling of crushed crunchie bar and, of course, that white chocolate honeycomb bark.
No peanut brittle in sight.
“Honey, its crunch time” Cake This cake is best started the day before, as it involves quite a few elements. I *cheated* and used a packet chocolate cake mix (gasp!) but you could, of course, make the chocolate cake element yourself too.
- 1 rich chocolate cake, cooked and cooled. Then split into two even layers horizontally.
- 150ml cream
- 300g dark chocolate, chopped
- 200g white chocolate
- 200g crunchie bars, crushed
- 200g butter, softened
- 380g caramel sauce (such as top n’ fill)
- 2 cups icing sugar (+ extra until desired consistency is reached)
- To make the chocolate ganache, place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until almost simmering, then pour onto the chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute or so, then stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is rich and glossy. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
- To make the white chocolate bark: Line a tray with baking paper. Melt the white chocolate, and pour onto the baking paper, spreading out to desired thickness. Top with 50g of the crushed crunchie, and place in the fridge to set overnight. Break into ‘shards’.
- To make the buttercream: Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy then add the caramel sauce. Gradually add the icing sugar, until the buttercream has reached a good consistency (you want it to be quick thick). Stir through 50g of the crushed crunchie bars.
- Begin to assemble the cake, by lining a round spring-form pan (use the one you cooked the cake in) with cling-wrap. Place one of the chocolate cake halves into the bottom of the pan. Cover with the buttercream, then place the other layer of cake on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- On the day of assembly, remove the ganache from the fridge and allow to come to ‘peanut butter’ consistency (you may need to give it a short burst in the microwave.) Carefully remove the cake from the pan and place onto your serving dish. Cover lightly with ganache to form a crumb layer, then refrigerate for 5 minutes (no more). Place another thicker layer of ganache over the cake, using a palette knife to create swirls around the edges. Top half the cake with the remaining crushed crunchie bars, and the white chocolate bark. Place in the fridge – and remove 15 minutes before serving.
What about you? What is your favourite chocolate bar?