Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
From Food & Wine, November 2007. Allow extra time to chill.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 3⁄4 cups flour
- 3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3⁄4 cup boiling water, plus
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1⁄3 cup sliced almonds
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup dry roasted salted peanut, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup Rice Krispies
- 1 1⁄4 lbs milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 3⁄4 cups heavy cream, plus
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream, warmed
- Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
- Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Whisk in the boiling water.
- Pour the batter (it will be thin) into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
- Invert the cake onto a work surface.
- Working carefully, slice the cake horizontally.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
- Make the filling: Trace a 9-by-13-inch rectangle onto a sheet of parchment paper and lay it on a large baking sheet.
- In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the confectioners’ sugar until they’re finely ground.
- In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Add the granulated sugar and beat until the whites are stiff and glossy, about 2 minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almond mixture.
- Spread the meringue on the parchment to fill the rectangle.
- Sprinkle the chopped peanuts on top.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and firm. Let cool.
- In a medium bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water, heat the peanut butter with the butter and milk chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and melted.
- Remove from the heat and fold in the Rice Krispies.
- Spread the mixture all over the meringue rectangle.
- Transfer to the freezer and let cool completely.
- Make the ganache: In a medium bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate.
- Whisk in the cream until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and refrigerate for 1 hour, whisking occasionally, until thick enough to spread.
- Assemble the cake: Place the bottom cake layer cut side up on a large board.
- Spread one-third of the ganache over the cake.
- Invert the filling onto the cake and peel off the paper.
- Spread half of the remaining ganache over the filling, then top with the second cake layer.
- Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Using a serrated knife, trim the edges.
- Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate to set.
- Cut and serve.