crunchy inside and out…

Nancy Olson’s Crunchy Milk Chocolate
Peanut Butter Layer Cake

My eyes get me in more trouble than they should. I’m a sucker for glossy print pictures… especially ones of food.

But, this time, it wasn’t the picture that caught my attention first. It was the name: Nancy Olson.

Just a couple of months before I opened my November, 2007 issue of Food + Wine to an article about Ms. Olson her family-inspired recipes (‘Baking From the Heartland’), I dined at Gramercy Tavern in New York. Although I had anxiously anticipated trying Chef Michael Anthony’s food, I was, in the end, pleasantly surprised and dazzled by Ms. Olson’s desserts (read “review: farm to city…“), which were all very good.

While the gorgeous(ly elegant-looking) “Gingerbread with Quark Cheesecake” fronting the article about Ms. Olson on page 139 cried out to me the loudest, the “Crunchy Milk Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake” on the next page begged to be made for a dinner party was to attend; the hostess is somewhat of an admitted peanut butter tramp.

This chocolate cake has a three-layer filling of milk chocolate ganache, almond dacquoise, and a milk chocolate-peanut butter crunch consisting of chopped roasted and salted peanuts and rice krispies. The entire cake is encased in a layer of milk chocolate ganache.

Nancy Olson’s Crunchy Milk Chocolate
Peanut Butter Layer Cake

I took my own artistic license and crusted the milk chocolate ganache frosting on the outside with rice krispies. You can see the other cake that I made that I just left plain, as the recipe called for, on the left. Aesthetically and texturally, I like my version better – but I’m “krispie” like that.

This cake is a bit of a chore. It requires patience, as it needs to be made in stages: cake, crispy peanut-chocolate ganache filling, dacquoise, and the ganache frosting. But, for you chocolate and peanut butter combination-lovers, you will be rewarded greatly.

Click here for the recipe.

~ by ulterior epicure on November 12, 2007.

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